Artificial marijuana with names like K2 and Spice is used less in states where weed is legalized. “People think that marijuana is safer than tobacco, but this study makes me worry that this may not be true,” said Dr. Giselle Revah, an assistant professor in the department of radiology at the University of Ottawa in Ontario and the study’s lead author.
“The American Lung Association says that the only thing you should breathe in is clean air,” she said. “If you breathe in anything else, it could be bad for your lungs.”
Marijuana And Tobacco Smoke Side Effect
The preliminary study, which came out Tuesday in Radiology, a journal of the Radiological Society of North America, compared computed tomography (CT) chest scans from 56 people who smoked both marijuana and tobacco with lung scans from 33 people who had been heavy cigarette smokers for more than 25 years.
As a control, scans from 57 nonsmokers who had no history of lung disease, chemotherapy, or other damage to their lungs were used.
About 75% of the people in the study who smoked marijuana and tobacco had emphysema, a disease of the small airways that damages the air sacs in the lungs. She said that about 67% of people who only smoked tobacco had emphysema, but only 5% of people who didn’t smoke did. A preliminary study found that people who smoke both tobacco and marijuana do more damage to their lungs than people who only smoke tobacco.
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Revah said that even though the difference of 8 percentage points between those who smoked both weed and tobacco and those who only smoked tobacco may not seem like much, it was important.
Revah said that this shows that marijuana has more effects on the lungs than tobacco alone. “Does the combination of marijuana and tobacco cause more holes in the lungs and inflammation of the airways, or does the marijuana itself do that?” She also said that the fact that many of the people who smoked pot were much younger than 50 was a worry.
Some caveats to this study: It was conducted on 56 people over the age 50, and 50 of those people also smoked cigarettes. https://t.co/HO03jV98Le
— Jeremy Berke🍁🍃🌊 (@jfberke) November 15, 2022
Revah said, “It seems likely that these patients were exposed to less smoke over the course of their lives, but they are even sicker than those who smoke a lot and have been doing it longer.”
“We just don’t know if the marijuana and the tobacco work together better than the marijuana alone.”
She said that smoking can quickly cause damage to the airways that can’t be fixed.
“Early inflammation of the airways can be fixed,” she said. “If you stop being exposed and I see mucus and thickening of the airways, that should get better. But that can sometimes cause the airways to widen and once they do that, it can’t be fixed. The bags look like well-known chips or candies, but what’s inside could hurt children.
Revah pointed out that the study had some flaws. It wasn’t big. There wasn’t much information about how much pot was smoked or how it was smoked, like with a bong, a blunt, or a joint.
Revah said that there are, however, some differences in how weed and tobacco are used that could lead to more questions. For example, most people use a filter when they smoke tobacco, but not when they smoke weed.
“Let’s say you smoke a joint without a filter. More particles will get into your airways, get stuck there and become irritants. This is why you have mucus and inflammation,” she said. She also said that people who smoke tobacco exhale quickly, while people who smoke marijuana often inhale and hold their breath to get the most out of the high.
“People usually hold their breath longer and take bigger puffs, so they take in more smoke and hold it in for longer,” she said. “That could cause small injuries to those airspaces. All of these are things to look into in the future.”
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The latest research
This isn’t the first study to find that smoking marijuana is bad for your lungs. A study done in June found that people who use cannabis are 22% more likely to go to the emergency room or the hospital than people who don’t. The main reason was a physical injury, but breathing problems were right behind that.
Nearly 25% more people who use marijuana are likely to need emergency care or to be hospitalized.
A study from 2021 found that teens are about twice as likely to say their chests “wheezed or whistled” after vaping marijuana than after smoking cigarettes or using e-cigarettes.
— FDA Tobacco (@FDATobacco) November 15, 2022
In a previous interview with CNN, Carol Boyd, the founding director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said that parents and teens often tell her that vaping cannabis is “OK” and better than smoking (a joint, blunt, doobie, etc.).
“So they ask, ‘Is it safe to smoke?’ “You’re fooling yourself,” I said. “We know that breathing in hot tobacco or cannabis smoke is bad for your health and can cause bronchitis or other life-threatening breathing problems,” said Boyd, who is also a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing in the department of health behavior and biological sciences.
“But you seem to think it’s healthy to turn chemicals, including carcinogens, into a vapor and breathe it in. “No, it’s not a healthy thing to do,” she replied.
Stay tuned for more updates on NogMagazine.com