Image of woman inhaling marijuana smoke
Some coughing, maybe; but serious issues, no.
~
The inhalation of one marijuana cigarette per day over a 20-year period is not associated with adverse changes in lung health, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
 
Investigators at Emory University in Atlanta assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of US adults age 18 to 59. Researchers reported that cannabis exposure was not associated with FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) decline or deleterious change in spirometric values of small airways disease.
 
Authors further reported that marijuana smoke exposure may even be associated with some protective lung effects among long-term smokers of tobacco. Investigators acknowledged, “[T]he pattern of marijuana’s effects seems to be distinctly different when compared to that of tobacco use.”
 
Researchers also acknowledged that habitual cannabis consumers were more likely to self-report increased symptoms of bronchitis, a finding that is consistent with previous literature. Separate studies indicate that subjects who vaporize cannabis report fewer adverse respiratory symptoms than do those who inhale combustive marijuana smoke.
 
Authors concluded, “[I]n a large representative sample of US adults, ongoing use of marijuana is associated with increased respiratory symptoms of bronchitis without a significant functional abnormality in spirometry, and cumulative marijuana use under 20 joint-years is not associated significant effects on lung function.”
 
This study is the largest cross-sectional analysis to date examining the relationship between marijuana use and spirometric parameters of lung health.
 
A separate study published in 2012 in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) similarly reported that cumulative marijuana smoke exposure over a period of up to 7 joint-years (the equivalent of up to one marijuana cigarette per day for seven years) was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function.
 
A 2013 review also published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society acknowledged that marijuana a smoke exposure was not positively associated with the development of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or bullous lung disease. It concluded: “[H]abitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function. Findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use. … Overall, the risks of pulmonary complications of regular use of marijuana appear to be relatively small and far lower than those of tobacco smoking.”
 
You may view an abstract of this latest study, “Effects of marijuana exposure on expiratory airflow: A study of adults who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Study,” here.
 
By Paul Armentano / NORML January 15, 2015
 
~

Recent News Articles

Friday June 21

Congress Votes To Block Feds From Enforcing Marijuana Laws In Legal States - Cannabis News

in Politics

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

The House of Representatives approved a far-reaching measure on Thursday to prevent the Department of…

283 hits

Friday June 21

57% of Arthritis Patients Have Tried Cannabis. 90% Found It Helped - Cannabis News

in Medical News

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

A new survey of more than 1,000 arthritis patients found that 57% of those questioned…

412 hits

Friday June 21

New York state decriminalizes marijuana after legalization fails - Cannabis News

in Law & Crime

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

Efforts to legalize marijuana in New York state have failed, so lawmakers did the next…

335 hits

Friday June 21

Report: How Legal Cannabis Affects U.S. Snacking Industry - Cannabis News

in Finance

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

Shifting cannabis laws present new opportunities for food and beverage markets.

359 hits

Monday June 24

Could CBD Fight Superbugs? Marijuana Compound Shows Promise As an Antibiotic - Cannabis News

in Medical News

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

The quest for new antibiotics has led researchers to a surprising candidate: the marijuana compound…

256 hits