Breathe Easy: Study Finds No Link Between Marijuana Smoking and Lung Problems

Categories: Health, Marijuana
blacklungminer2.jpg
Not pot's fault
Tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke have some things in common. For example, they are both "smoke." Yet it appears there are some significant differences between the two, according to a study conducted by University of California San Francisco researchers. 

For starters, one causes lung problems and the other doesn't.

Researchers found no link between marijuana smoke and emphysema, or any of the other pulmonary problems associated with cigarettes. In fact, some light marijuana users had higher lung function that nonsmokers.


The findings are the fruits of a 20-year study in which over 5,000 marijuana users in four cities were examined between 1985 and 2006. The study's authors stop short of recommending that pot be issued to all citizens, but they do corroborate some previous findings.

The study was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (subscription required to read the study in full), and has received nonstop international media attention.

Perhaps troubling for frequent tokers, the "typical" light use in the study is two to three joints or pipe bowls over a 30-day period. For others, it could be one set at a Phish concert.

The study corroborates other similar findings: Donald Tashkin, who runs the pulmonary center at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, found no link between marijuana use and lung problems, even in users who had smoked the equivalent of a joint a day for 50 years.

At the least, this study shouldn't be interpreted as an endorsement of marijuana use -- merely a lack of evidence that it makes lung function worse, according to health experts interviewed by WebMD.

"Marijuana does irritate airways, and certainly anyone who's heard someone cough after smoking marijuana knows that," one said. "Is this actually a real benefit to lung health? Probably not."

So don't throw away your vaporizer, and no need to give up on the brownies!

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Bbarrett
Bbarrett

Only spoiled brat ladies, who feel they know more than anyone and represent God's view have created the fear in politicians that the legalization of marijuana  is an evil. What they won't consider is that it is a gift in nature, which they're own God created. One might argue that they are contradicting god's gift and all common sense in the name of their own ignorance, or, as I like to say, "Don't confuse them with the facts".Medical and social applications have been repeatedly proven as valuable. Growing by individuals helps subvert the violence propagated by the organized crime cartels. Smoking too much causes sleep, not crime. It is not a "gateway" to other drugs. It is not addicting.It is illegal because it can be grown in your own back yard and the pharmacuetical companies can't sell it or make profits like the criminal element currently does. Clearly history's lesson from the "Prohibition" era has not been learned, especially by opponents to its general value.Brian J. Barrett January 12, 2012

Malcolm Kyle
Malcolm Kyle

1) Tobacco is cancer causing largely because it delivers specific carcinogens such as NNK and NNAL that are not present in cannabis. Not all "tar" is created equal, and tobacco has some of the most carcinogenic types of tar known to science, whereas cannabis does not.

2) Cannabis (marijuana) use is associated with a DECREASE in several types of cancer... potentially even providing a protective effect against tobacco and alcohol related cancer development.

Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.

Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn't also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.

Malcolm Kyle
Malcolm Kyle

1) Tobacco is cancer causing largely because it delivers specific carcinogens such as NNK and NNAL that are not present in cannabis. Not all "tar" is created equal, and tobacco has some of the most carcinogenic types of tar known to science, whereas cannabis does not.

http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org...

2) Cannabis (marijuana) use is associated with a DECREASE in several types of cancer... potentially even providing a protective effect against tobacco and alcohol related cancer development.

Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.

Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn't also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.

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VivlianWozz

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zengfoo
zengfoo

I jsut dont really know what to make of that dude. WOw.www.Total-Privacy dot US

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for theuser as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects,and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds onreforming pot laws.  I drew up a verycool poster featuring Uncle Willie Nelson and The Teapot Party for the causewhich you can check out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...  Drop in and let me know what you think!

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