A small Canadian study that was recently published suggests that cannabis may be worse for a smoker’s lungs and airways than cigarettes.
In-depth details about Cannabis smoking may be worse for your lungs than tobacco smoking:
Between 2005 and 2020, 57 non-smokers, 33 tobacco-only smokers, and 56 cannabis smokers had their chest X-rays analyzed by researchers from the University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital.
They discovered that regular cannabis smokers had greater rates of airway inflammation and emphysema, a chronic lung condition, than regular tobacco smokers and non-smokers.
Giselle Revah, a radiologist at the Ottawa Hospital where the research was done, told AFP that marijuana smoking was on the rise and that the general population believed it to be safe or safer than cigarettes made of tobacco.
But this study raises questions about whether this is indeed the case.
She suggested that the different ways in which the medicines are commonly ingested may be the cause of the greater incidence of inflammation and disease among cannabis smokers compared to tobacco users.
Contrary to tobacco, which is typically filtered, marijuana is smoked without any filters, she explained. “More particles are entering into your airways, becoming deposited there, and aggravating your airways when you smoke unfiltered marijuana.”
She continued, “People tend to take greater puffs and retain the smoke in their lungs for longer while using marijuana, which may cause more harm to those air passages.”
Despite these plausible reasons, the study’s authors emphasized that some cannabis users also smoked tobacco and that additional research is required because certain lung scans yielded conflicting results. The study was published in the journal Radiology.
Since cannabis is illegal in most nations, as Revah pointed out, there isn’t much information available about its general health impacts.
The researchers’ home country of Canada legalized cannabis for recreational usage in 2018.
Along with being legal in several US states, it is also permitted for recreational use in Mexico, Uruguay, and other nations. Recently, a number of additional nations and territories have also decriminalized the possession of the substance or permitted its medical usage.