Marijuana is harmful, according to s report published earlier this month by the US Centers for Disease Control. Not consuming cannabis. Trimming it.
The agency’s report, titled Notes from the Field: Occupational Hazards Associated with Harvesting and Processing Cannabis, warned of the risks associated with trimming the herb after harvest. Workers who perform this arduous task, the CDC concluded, risk developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
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According to the small study:
The findings of [the Health Hazard Evaluation] indicated that the employees have exposures to highly repetitive work, most notably during hand trimming activities, which increase workers’ risk for musculoskeletal disorders.
According to WebMD, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the hand. The median controls the movement and feeling of your thumb, and also the movement of all your fingers except your pinky. The carpal tunnel is narrowed as a result, usually from swelling.
Pinching the median nerve causes tingling sensations in the fingers and can make it difficult to grip objects. The only known treatment for the ailment is rest or, in extreme cases, surgery. Carpal tunnel cases are common among manual labor workers or those who perform repetitive functions. Barbers, butchers, data-entry employees and assembly line workers are among the most common occupations at risk of the painful condition.
Although the workers hardly used any force on the scissors, the team noted that it was “highly repetitive work.” None of the employees actually had carpal tunnel at the time of the safety assessment.
Among the findings were:
- Employees were concerned about repetitive hand motions when trimming cannabis.
- Some hand trimming activities required a lot of hand motions, but not a lot of force.
Interestingly, the report found that none of the employees observed suffered from carpal tunnel syndrom at the time of the assessment. The report merely suggested it was a risk.