In spite of all the health benefits medical marijuana has to offer us, scientists and medical professionals have always wondered if smoking marijuana will damage our lungs. After all, we know for sure that smoking in general (cigarettes or tobacco) can have a negative impact over the lungs; so perhaps the smoke of marijuana also does. However, according to a study conducted at Emory University, this may not be the case.
A NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys) cross sectional-analysis discovered that adults between 18 and 59 years old, who smoked one joint (a marijuana cigarette) a day, were able to exhale the same FEV1 (forced expiratory volume, also known as the expiratory volume of air), in one second. Spirometry, which measures a person’s ability to exhale, is the method through which doctors diagnose respiratory illnesses that impair lung function. It was the method applied to the subjects involved in the NHANES study.
Marijuana smokers who smoked more than one joint a day were more likely to develop minor symptoms that were similar to those of bronchitis. These symptoms were a cough and a sore throat. These symptoms seemed to be from very minimal to non-existent, and appeared less often, in subjects who used vaporizers instead of joints.
Vaporizers are used by many marijuana smokers. They heat the plant up just enough for it to release the active chemicals. This means the plant doesn’t need to be combusted. This means it wasn’t the marijuana causing the minor symptoms, but more so the papers used by the subjects to roll their joints.
The current studies confirm what previous studies have proven. In a study performed in 2012, scientists identified that persons who smoked weed each day, for 7 years, experienced absolutely no adverse effects in their pulmonary function. Another study from 2013, conducted by Donald P. Tashkin from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found out that habitual use of marijuana doesn’t lead to abnormalities in lung function.
More studies will continue as marijuana and medical marijuana are becoming ever so increasingly popular. If you have any questions about getting access to medical marijuana, contact our team for help today.