Marijuana Smoking Does Not Affect Lungs, Reveals Study
There is good news for the pro-marijuana lobby in the US. A recent study has revealed that smoking marijuana regularly for many years does not affect the lungs. The pro-marijuana lobby in the US has become more stridently vocal about legalizing marijuana. They argue that marijuana is not remotely as harmful as alcohol or tobacco. Marijuana use is becoming increasingly popular in the US thanks to the widespread availability of medical marijuana which has been made legal in 16 states.
The research study looked closely at the impact of regular marijuana use over many years. The researchers compared the effects of marijuana and cigarette smoking on the lungs. Greater than 5,000 people were monitored for more than two decades. They found that regular marijuana smoking did not affect lung function which is worsened by tobacco smoking. In fact, marijuana users experienced a miniscule improvement in a lung function test compared to nonusers.
Effects of Marijuana Use
Health experts aver that smoking marijuana can lead to coughing and also irritates the air passages. Besides, it increases the risk of accidents while driving, lowers motivation and impairs attention. Chronic marijuana use can cause memory and learning problems. But, marijuana smoking does not cause lasting damage to the lungs though it contains similar noxious chemicals as in tobacco.
Findings of the Study
In the marijuana study, researchers found that those who smoked one joint every day on average did not suffer pulmonary damage. But, lung function was affected with increase in marijuana use. The researchers warn that people who smoke both cigarettes and marijuana are likely to suffer lung damage. Health experts say this finding confirms other research results that found no effect on lung function due to marijuana exposure. They attribute this to the anti-inflammatory properties of THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana.
Tobacco Smoking is Riskier
Another research study found that even smoking three joints every day does not affect lung function. The researchers conclude that marijuana smoking does not lead to the development of lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). They confirm that it is tobacco smoking which is the most dangerous risk factor for COPD, which is a leading cause of death in the US.