Long term study finds that Cannabis smokers who smoke one joint a day for twenty years showed absolutely no decrease in lung function! Hooray! For health conscious puffers who worried about whether smoking marijuana was analogous to tobacco smoking in terms of the effect it has on lung function, the time has come to rejoice. It can be difficult to wrap your head around, but smoking certain herbs in moderation, including mullein and marijuana, can actually have a positive and cleansing effect on the pulmonary system.
The journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society published a study compiled by researchers at Emory University which sought to find out if moderate marijuana smokers suffered from a decrease in lung function over a long period of time. The study focused on adults between the ages of 18 and 59. Cannabis smokers who inhaled more than one joint a day reported a slight increase in frequency of bronchitis like symptoms, but even they did not exhibit adverse effects on pulmonary function. Additional research shows that those who frequently consume marijuana through vaporizers do not experience frequent symptoms of bronchitis.
A similar study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While their study was less lengthy, seven years in total, they came to the same conclusion; moderate weed smoking doesn’t cause emphysema, it doesn’t cause cancer, it doesn’t even cause a little wheezing.
An additional study published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society in 2013 found that low to moderate marijuana smoking posed little to no risk of pulmonary or any upper airway cancers. It is not even comparable to tobacco use which proves time and time again to be harmful to the lungs and, some would argue, the entire body. Donald P. Tashkin, MD, a professor at the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the University of California authored the paper. He claims that the study is the most comprehensive and authoritative study ever done on habitual marijuana use and lung function. He claims that, at worst, excessive marijuana smoking can lead to bronchitis. It is notable that marijuana does not increase the risk for any other lung disorders.
“Cannabis smoking is not equivalent to tobacco smoking in terms of respiratory risk. Cannabis smoking does not seem to increase risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or airway cancers. In fact, there is even a suggestion that at low doses cannabis may be protective for both conditions. This conclusion will affect the way health professionals interact with patients, parents with teenagers, and policy makers with their constituents. Efforts to develop cleaner cannabinoid delivery systems can and should continue, but at least for now, [those] who smoke small amounts of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes can breathe a little bit easier.” said Dr. Mark Ware in his commentary on the study.
by Suzanna Mountain