AHPA urges specificity in OEHHA review of scientific data on cannabis

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AHPA urges specificity in OEHHA review of scientific data on cannabis

May 8, 2019: Scientific review should be specific to route of consumption and part of the plant

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

In a letter to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), AHPA strongly recommends that the office ensures that the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC) sufficiently differentiates between the parts of the cannabis plant and the route of exposure when it reviews scientific literature to determine if certain cannabis articles should be listed under Proposition 65 as causing reproductive toxicity.

OEHHA recently selected cannabis (marijuana), marijuana (cannabis) smoke, cannabis extracts, and Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for DARTIC to review for possible listing under Proposition 65 as causing reproductive toxicity (developmental toxicity endpoint). DARTIC serves as California's qualified experts and renders an opinion about whether a chemical has been clearly shown to cause reproductive toxicity. Chemicals identified by DARTIC as causing reproductive toxicity are added to the Proposition 65 list.

AHPA submitted recommendations to OEHHA to encourage specificity in the review so that research on cannabis (exclusive of seed, seed oil or fiber) smoke for inhalation is not used to make recommendations for cannabis flower extract for ingestion, for example.

Specifically, AHPA recommends that DARTIC’s review of scientific data consider the following issues:

  • Any eventual classifications of these articles under Proposition 65 should be specific to the route of consumption of the substance under study, and the data used to support any eventual classification must be specific to that route of consumption. For example, if DARTIC evaluates scientific studies that consider or draw conclusions on the effects of smoking marijuana on male or female reproduction, those publications should not be considered relevant to an evaluation of the effects of oral consumption of any cannabis ingredients.
  • Publications that consider or draw conclusions on the effect of isolated compounds, and in particular on THC, should not be extrapolated to make any conclusion on any other isolated cannabis compound, or any cannabis ingredients that contain little to no THC.
  • The scientific basis for any classification decision should be limited to reproductive toxicity studies on specific parts of the Cannabis plant, so that studies on the effects of oral consumption of the leaf or flower should not be extrapolated to the seed or other parts of the plant, or to other products like fiber or seed oil.

For more information on Prop 65, download AHPA’s free Guidance on California Proposition 65 and Cannabis Products, Guidance on California Proposition 65 and Herbal Products (member login required), and AHPA’s consumer-facing FAQ, Proposition 65 and the Food We Eat.


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