Does Smoking Marijuana Lead to Lung Cancer?
By Mark Wunder | April 30, 2013 00:46:34 AM PDTLung cancer is the number one death from cancer in America. Roughly 1 out of every 3 people who lose the fight with cancer do so from lung cancer. More people die from lung cancer than the combined total of the next 4 leading cancer deaths and takes a gruesome average of 437 Americans every day. While some are of the belief that smoking (marijuana or cigarettes) is the main cause for lung cancer, astonishingly just one out of every 5 women and one out of every 12 men diagnosed with lung cancer had ever smoked before. This is not to say that if you smoke cigarettes and marijuana that you won’t get lung cancer, as some research has shown otherwise for those who indulge in both.
While much research has been conducted on whether or not smoking marijuana increases the risk of lung cancer and/or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) among those smokers who do not smoke cigarettes, researchers cannot seem to come to an agreement.
A study conducted in 2006 concluded that by itself, smoking marijuana does not increase the risk of either lung cancer or COPD. This study was composed of 2,240 subjects proved beyond a reasonable doubt that among those subjects who smoked marijuana but did not smoke cigarettes, the risk of lung cancer or COPD was not increased whatsoever. This was true even for subjects who had smoked marijuana heavily for over 20 years. The study was conducted by a pulmonologist by the name of Donald Tashkin. He wrote in his official report of evidence that shows smoking marijuana may actually REDUCE the risk of lung cancer. “It’s possible that tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana smoke may encourage apoptosis, or programmed cell death, causing cells to die off before they have a chance to undergo malignant transformation. We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
In 2007, scientists at the University of British Columbia concluded in a study that among those who smoke both marijuana and cigarettes, the risk for those individuals to develop COPD more than triples. Over those subjects who only smoked cigarettes and did not smoke marijuana. This makes sense, considering the high resin and tar content of marijuana, which could help the nicotine tar stick to the lung wall better. However, like Tashkin’s 2006 study, these researchers came to the conclusion that smoking cannabis by itself did not, in fact, increase the risk for those subjects to develop COPD or any type of respiratory disease.
So all-in-all, is smoking marijuana really going to kill you by lung diseases/cancer? It’s highly unlikely - pun intended - unless you smoke cigarettes as well. I mean, they’re called cancer sticks for a reason right?
Guest | Nov 18, 2011
I quit smoking cigarettes 10 years ago, and even though I still smoked cannabis, my doctor said my lungs showed so much improvement and looked great just 2 years after quitting cigarettes. I used to get bronchitis twice a year while smoking cigarettes. Since quitting, I haven't had it once, and my lungs are in great condition today. I am convinced that cannabis only helps to improve our health, and in many ways.
lindzzz | Nov 23, 2011
This is great news to read, I know that vaporizing is obviously ideal, but it is comforting to know that this research shows no connection between smoking marijuana and lung cancer!
Guest | Jun 29, 2012
i have suffered with chronic depression, anxiety, ptsd, and chronic neck pain due to a broken c-5 vertebrea and unsucessful surgery. i started smoking cannibes 2 years ago and am opieate free, and only use lorazepam to sleep. my moods are stable and my mind feels clearer than it has in year.
Guest | Apr 30, 2013
this kind of report just goes to show that marijuana is in fact good for your lungs in a funny kind of way :) and that tobacco is not good for your lungs, however if you choose to use a marijuana vaporizer, you will be doing your self and your lungs a huge favor. It will even save you money on herbs.