Smoking weed while smoking tobacco may increase damage to the respiratory system, according to a new study.
“There is a public perception that marijuana is safer than tobacco, and this study raises concerns that this may not be true,” said Dr. Giselle Reva, an assistant professor in the department of radiology at the University of Ottawa in Ontario.
“The American Lung Association says the only thing that should go into your lungs is fresh air, so if you inhale anything, it can be toxic to your lungs,” she said.
primary research, Published Tuesday in RadiologyThe Journal of the Radiological Society of North America compared computed tomography (CT) chest scans of 56 people who smoked marijuana and tobacco. Lung scans of 33 men who were heavy smokers for more than 25 years.
Scans from an additional 57 nonsmokers with no history of lung disease, chemotherapy, or other lung injury were used as controls.
About 75% of those who smoked marijuana and tobacco had emphysema; This is a disease that causes damage to the air sacs in the lungs. About 67% of those who smoke only tobacco have emphysema, while only about 5% of non-smokers have the disease, she said.
The 8 percentage point difference between weed and tobacco and tobacco-only smokers may not seem like a big difference, but it was significant, says Reva.
“It suggests that marijuana has more effects on the lungs than tobacco alone,” Reva said. “Is it the combination of marijuana and tobacco that makes more holes in the lungs and airways, or the marijuana itself?”
Another concern was the age of marijuana smokers — many were under 50, she said.
“These patients were less likely to be exposed to smoke, except for those who smoked heavily and were sicker than those who smoked for longer,” he said. “We don’t know if the effect is equivalent between marijuana and tobacco versus marijuana alone.”
The damage to the airways from smoking can quickly become permanent, she said.
“Airway inflammation can be reversed early,” she said. “When I see mucus and thickening of the airways, if you stop exposure that should improve. But sometimes this can lead to an enlarged airway and when it expands, it can’t be reversed.”
The study had some limitations, Reva said. It was small. There was little information on how much marijuana was smoked or how it was inhaled – bong, blunt or joint.
But there are several differences in how weed and tobacco are consumed that may warrant further investigation, Reva said. For example, tobacco is typically smoked through a filter, but weed is not.
“If you’re smoking an unfiltered joint, say, a lot of particles get into the airways, settle and irritate them, which is why you see mucus and inflammation,” she said.
In addition, tobacco smokers exhale quickly, while marijuana smokers hold their breath to get high, she said.
“People usually have a longer breath hold and a higher exhalation rate, so they hold a larger amount of smoke for a longer period of time,” she says. “This can cause minor damage to those air spaces. These are all questions for future research.
This isn’t the first study to find lung damage from inhaling marijuana. A June study Cannabis users are 22% more likely than non-users to visit the emergency room or be hospitalized. The main reason was physical damage, however Breathlessness was a close second.
A 2021 study Teens are twice as likely to experience chest “wheezing or wheezing” after smoking marijuana than if they smoke cigarettes or use e-cigarettes.
I am contacted by both parents and teenagers who believe that smoking cannabis is ‘okay’ and better than smoking. etc.)” Carol Boyd, founding director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor He said in an earlier interview with CNN..
“And so, ‘Vaping is safe – right?’ My response: ‘You are deceiving yourself. “We know that breathing fresh tobacco/cannabis smoke into your lungs is unhealthy and can cause bronchitis or life-threatening breathing problems,” said Boyd Nursing, a professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences at the University of Michigan.
Still, you seem to believe that heating chemicals (including carcinogens) to a vapor and inhaling them is healthy? ‘No, it’s not healthy behavior,’ she said.