Marijuana contributes to lung damage, according to new research
Breathing anything but clean air into your lungs is not recommended by any credible medical professional, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the American Lung Association is challenging the rumor that marijuana smoke is healthier than cigarette smoke.
A preliminary study published by the Radiological Society of North America revealed that more than 75 percent of people in the study who smoked marijuana and tobacco had emphysema. Sixty-seven percent of the tobacco-only group also had the disease, while 95 percent of the marijuana-only group did not.
Lead study author Dr. Giselle Revah recognized that an eight-point difference between the group that smokes both tobacco and marijuana and the tobacco-only group might not seem significant, but it certainly is. According to Revah, the study suggests that marijuana also has a negative impact on the lungs when coupled with tobacco.
As marijuana legalization becomes more likely, fear propaganda will continue to spread. However, it is essential to consider the findings of different research types when deciding whether to smoke marijuana. One study suggests that young marijuana users are more likely to visit the emergency room than their non-smoking counterparts. However, the majority of the people who visited the ER were there for injuries, not lung-related issues.
No research will ever suggest that smoking marijuana is healthier than not smoking at all. However, research does continue to suggest that marijuana is far healthier for the lungs than tobacco products, which have enjoyed protection under federal law for decades.
More research must be done in order to institute best practices. Banning the substance entirely because there are risks isn’t the answer, especially when legal prescription drug users constantly run the risk of addiction. Instead, we must stay up to date with the latest research, and make decisions based on the best available information.