With more and more people using marijuana, researchers decided to take a second look at how this drug actually impacts the body. One of their first researched topics was the risk of lung damage caused by smoking joints. Surprising enough is that researchers found that smoking marijuana doesn’t cause lung damage.
There are so many factors today that impact our lungs that protection against them is simply impossible. Pollution, smoking tobacco and even pool chlorine have the high potential of causing lung damage, still all of these are not marginalized and considered illegal throughout the world’s societies.
Paradoxically, an urban myth has marijuana smokers coughing after lighting up a joint. Researchers show that the reality is different. A new study shows that marijuana smoking doesn’t seem to have any detrimental effects on lung health. The research involved more than 5,000 young adults in Oakland, Chicago and Birmingham.
Dr. Stefan Kertesz from the University of Alabama at Birmingham was involved in the study. He begins his explanation by referring to the Harold & Kumar movies, which show that marijuana smokers cough after inhaling.
He then points out to the previous studies that came up with “mixed results”, stating that “some have hinted at an increase in lung air flow rates and lung volume, and other have not found that. Others have found hints of harm”.
But, despite all of these, the new study had different findings. Kertesz points out that although the fact that the marijuana smoke has a lot of the same toxins as cigarette smoke, the difference lays with the pot users. The fact remains that pot users tend to smoke fewer joints each day than tobacco users smoke cigarettes. Coupled with certain inhaling method, the lungs are protected from toxins in the smoke.
Before switching from tobacco to marijuana, there’s still a warning to consider. Kertesz emphasizes that “marijuana is still an illegal drug, and it has many complicated effects on the human body and its function”.
Plus, “in our findings we see hints of harm in pulmonary function with heavy use, and other studies have shown that marijuana use increases a user’s likelihood of a heart attack” he adds. On top of that, it seems that heavy use of marijuana can impair “the immune system’s ability to fight disease”.