It looks like anti-marijuana groups are going to have to let go of the idea that smoking marijuana and smoking cigarettes are similar and have common dangers. Yet another study is showing that while tobacco smoke continues to be extremely bad for lung health, smoking marijuana doesn’t create the same problems and in fact, pot smoke could actually benefit the lungs.
A new article in Mic.com points to data recently published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, where researchers discovered that inhaling one marijuana cigarette a day over 20 years is not associated with changes in lung health.
The researchers at Emory University in Atlanta performed the largest cross-sectional analysis study of its kind and found that cannabis exposure and inhalation were not associated with “negative spirometry changes, just FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) declines or problems with small airways disease.” However, the study did find that “inhaling marijuana smoke led to an increase in symptoms of bronchitis-like coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. So, some risks are certainly still present, but they pale in comparison to the same risks when smoking tobacco cigarettes.”
Also, vaporizing marijuana users reported even fewer issues than those who inhaled combusted marijuana. And to top it all off, the researchers concluded that exposure to marijuana smoke could be “associated with some protective lung effects among long-term smokers of tobacco.”
Previous studies have also shown that marijuana has health effects much different than expected, including its effects on pulmonary functions. Not only does the research continue to show that marijuana smoke isn’t as dangerous as tobacco smoke, but that cannabis could potentially be an effective method of treatment for a number of medical issues.