In what sounds like a case of prohibitionists grasping at straws, the CDC is warning cannabis cultivators that trimming marijuana can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
In 2015, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health—a subsidiary of the Center for Disease Control (CDC)—set out to evaluate the working conditions of cannabis farmers. While the study found an abundance of THC and potential allergens in a cannabis farming environment, the big takeaway seems to be farmers susceptibility to carpal tunnel syndrome.
The study states that “highly repetitive work” of trimming marijuana buds puts cannabis farmers at risk of developing muscular skeletal issues, predominantly carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel occurs most often in people who work manual jobs that require excess use of their hands. This overuse causes inflammation in the muscles and tendons that surround the medial nerve that runs between the hand and forearm. The CDC suggests the frequent trimming cannabis buds done by marijuana farms may be just such a job.
However, the report noted that none of the workers evaluated in the study had carpal tunnel at the time of assessment. So the relationship between cannabis trimming and carpal tunnel is based more on speculation than concrete case studies.
The report also failed to mention that consuming marijuana can reduce inflammation.