Understandably, since logic dictates, many believe that inhaling cannabis has highly detrimental effects on the lungs. However, weed is not tobacco, and unlike cigarettes, it has no chemicals added. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, a study published in 2012 proves this notion false. In fact, the study suggests the opposite: That marijuana delivery improves lung health.
The CARDIA Study
Before you search “marijuana delivery near me” in Google, it is important to understand the effects of marijuana on respiratory function. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults, or CARDIA, study asked that very question. This longitudinal study spanned two decades, from 1985 to 2006. It analyzed the pulmonary health of 5,115 people in four different cities within the United States.
Specifically, it took into consideration their smoking habits, both tobacco and cannabis. All of the participants, aged between 18 years and 30 years at enrollment in 1985, were in good health with excellent pulmonary function. After initial baseline analysis, each participant underwent another six examinations at specific year markers over the next 20 years.
To measure accurate pulmonary function over two decades, researchers tested forced expiratory volume, or FEV1, which measures how much air a person exhales during the first second of a forced breath after taking the deepest breath possible. They also tested forced vital capacity, or FVC, which is the sum total of air exhaled during the deepest possible breath of the FEV test.
It is important to note that among smoking participants, average cigarette users smoked around nine cigarettes every day, while average cannabis users smoked only two, maybe three, times in a whole month. Further, the study tested the inhalation of combustible plant material, being cannabis flowers, as opposed to inhaling concentrates, such as vaping oils and other cannabis extract.
What CARDIA Found
Unsurprisingly, the study’s authors found lower FEV1 and lower FVC scores associated with tobacco smoking. In contrast, cannabis smokers had higher FVC and there was a lifetime exposure associated with higher FEV1 too. In plain speak, this means that pulmonary function was notably better in cannabis smokers than in both tobacco smokers and non-smokers. Tobacco lovers performed worst of all.
When it comes to these findings specifically, it is important to note that it was low to moderate cannabis use associated with the increased lung capacity. In those using marijuana more frequently, up to 20 times monthly, researchers found FEV1 levels plateauing, even decreasing slightly. Among those using daily, the study showed FEV1 levels declining notably, while FVC remained at high levels.
In discussion of its limitations, authors of the study readily admit that CARDIA did not analyze a sufficient number of frequent and heavy cannabis users. Because of this, while these findings reflect those that did take part in the study, the team is unable to draw any conclusive conclusions regarding the effect of heavy marijuana use on lung capacity.
The Impact of CARDIA
The findings of this particular study are imperative for those using medical marijuana for whatever personal reasons. Firstly, as various respected scientists and doctors admit, it supports the findings of previous studies into the harmful effects of tobacco smoke on lung health. What is more, this study is among the most intensive and longest yet on the effect of marijuana on pulmonary capacity.
CARDIA proves a breakthrough. Its findings offer insightful analysis for the medical cannabis community to worry less about damaging their lungs, and instead realizing that moderate cannabis use, in fact, improves lung capacity and overall lung health. While the mechanisms of action remain unclear and warrant further study, there are theories as to why using marijuana proves so good for the lungs.
Many believe it because cannabis smokers take deep breaths. They are famous for it. Anyone who has ever smoked a joint knows to breathe deeply and hold the smoke in for as long as possible. Called “deep respiratory maneuvers” by researchers, these deep, long-held breaths potentially stretch the lungs, in effect increasing their capacity notably.
Another theory for the larger lung capacity of marijuana smokers is that inhaling cannabis strengthens the musculature of the chest wall. This reasoning is the subject of much debate, there may be some truth in it, but more research will reveal the real mechanisms of action in time. The results are indisputable, however: Weed has a positive effect on the lungs, improving capacity and health in users.
Fortunately, for cannabis lovers in Orange County and wider California, marijuana delivery is widely available. When searching “marijuana delivery near me,” make sure to research companies before parting with your money. Only choose licensed deliverers, and check online reviews. Other users will tell you if they are legitimate or not. Their feedback is of paramount importance.