- New study shows that smoking cannabis does not cause the same risk of chronic lung diseases as smoking tobacco..
- Previous studies have made similar findings, while other studies have shown an increased risk of COPD from smoking cannabis.
- Cannabis use is associated with many health benefits, but there are also drawbacks for chronic users.
- Experts recommend avoiding smoking or snorting and finding alternative ways to consume cannabis.
New research shows that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – which is strongly associated with cigarette smoking – is not that high when it comes to the use of cannabis.
While the findings are promising—especially for those who use cannabis for its many benefits—experts caution that there are some caveats to the research.
Among other things, they understand that any smoke from cannabis or tobacco can damage the lungs.
Although there are many environmental risk factors that contribute to COPD, the most common cause is tobacco smoking.
Decades of data show a strong link between tobacco use and COPD, but the link between cannabis smoking and COPD has not been studied as much, he said.
“There is a large amount of data to support the negative effects of cigarette smoking on lung function, but the evidence so far on the relationship between cannabis use and lung function is inconsistent,” said Dr. Thomas Kilkenny. Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Northwell Health, Staten Island University Hospital in New York, which was not involved in the study.
Kilkenny said. Medical news today Previous studies have come to similar conclusions – smoking cannabis alone is less harmful to the lungs. Conversely, other studies have shown that cannabis use is associated with milder airways dysfunction.
He mentioned the University of Queensland (Australia).
“First, it proves that cigarette smoking – with or without the use of cannabis – is associated with a decrease in airflow in the lungs,” he said. Second, there is no consistent relationship between cannabis use and abnormalities in lung function. Finally, the combined use of tobacco and cannabis poses no additional risk to lung function beyond the risk associated with tobacco use alone. The verdict is still pending.
The authors of the recent US study acknowledged that there were limitations to their data.
“Given the limitations of our study, these findings highlight the need for further studies to better understand the long-term effects of marijuana smoking in COPD,” the authors wrote.
says Jagdish Kubchandani, Ph.D., professor of public health at New Mexico State University. Medical news today There is no guarantee that smoking cannabis alone will not lead to COPD.
“Evaluating the relationship between COPD and cannabis smoking is complicated by other factors – heavy and light use, cannabis smoking device, genetics, lifestyle, occupation and geography,” he said. “Look at a miner living in a heavily polluted area who smokes cannabis. In this case, it will be difficult to identify the cause of COPD.”
While cannabis use has been widespread for decades, it is only in recent years that legalization efforts have led to increased access.
The legal cannabis industry has created many ways to share, from smoking to pot to edibles.
Now, there’s a lot of evidence to prove that cannabis has more benefits than a simple high.
“The use of cannabis has been extensively studied and has shown many beneficial effects, including lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and chronic pain, treating insomnia, preventing relapse to drug and alcohol addiction, treating anxiety and depression, and preventing seizures,” Kilkenny said. There are several studies looking at cancer-fighting properties.”
While the benefits of cannabis are becoming better known, there are also disadvantages that have nothing to do with inhaling the smoke — although these are generally found in chronic users, Kilkenny said.
“Complications may include transient hallucinations, transient paranoia, worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia, and chronic nausea and vomiting,” he explained.
The availability of legal cannabis products creates issues from a public health perspective, Kubchandani said.
“Amounts and types legally permitted for medical and recreational use are generally considered safe,” he said. The challenge remains with overuse, cocktails, effects on young adults, and heavy and chronic consumption. Political, social and economic factors drive legitimacy, but those should not be the only drivers.
According to Kilkenny, for someone who wants to try cannabis for its health benefits, the best practice is to seek professional advice.
“Now there are doctors who have experience using different cannabis products,” he said. “At least go to a reputable dealer for advice.”
Different products have different effects and results so it is important for people to buy the right product to get the right result. Studies have shown that smoking cannabis is not as harmful to the lungs as smoking tobacco, experts say that it is still better to completely avoid smoking – this is very easy with the wide range of products on the market.
“Avoid smoking or ingesting cannabis products,” Kilkenny warned.
Children who smoke or breastfeed cannabis may have more serious health problems, he said.
“When it comes to smoking cannabis, I feel the jury is still out on whether it can cause chronic lung disease. It’s best to avoid it. Also, keep any edible cannabis out of the reach of children because they often mistake the product for candy and can overdose,” Kilkenny added.