A new study published by the government, indicates that smoking marijuana is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, particularly among occasional smokers. With increasing accessibility to marijuana, researchers were able to look at over 5,000 regular users of marijuana, over two decades. The research found that persons who smoked one joint a day, did not significantly test lower than non-smokers.
According to the New York Times:
The researchers found that for marijuana smokers, an exposure of up to seven “joint years” — with one joint-year equivalent to smoking 365 joints or filled pipes, or an average of one joint a day for seven years — did not worsen pulmonary function. Dr. Kertesz noted that with heavier marijuana use, described as 10 joint-years of exposure or more, lung function did begin to decline. And for a person who smokes both marijuana and cigarettes, “the net effect is going to be continued loss of lung function.”
It has also been indicated that marijuana can have an anti-inflammatory affect on the body:
Dr. Donald Tashkin, a pulmonologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has studied marijuana for over 30 years and was not involved in the study, said it confirmed findings from several other studies showing “that essentially there is no significant relationship between marijuana exposure and impairment in lung function.” He said one reason marijuana smoke may not be as harmful as tobacco smoke, despite containing similar noxious ingredients, may be the fact that its active ingredient, THC, has anti-inflammatory effects.
Some marijuana users were actually found to perform better than non-smokers, which stoners will attribute to long, deep, and hard puffs of a joint or bong. While this study shows promise for marijuana, it’s important to note that some studies still indicate a vast array of psychological effects.
About Ann Flannigan
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