Marijuana Smoking and Lung Health: What Science is Revealing

It seems as if the entire country is taking another look at Marijuana. Cannabis supporters have spent decades touting the benefits of the herb for more than just a simple high. Many have told tales of its calming effect and as a medicinal option for a number of illnesses. In return, the medical community has issued warnings about the potential threat it poses to physical and psychological health. These warnings do not seem to carry the same weight they once did thanks to a number of research studies.

The main concern with marijuana smoking has been the potential damage it could cause to the lungs. Smoking is, after all, the most popular method for recreational use and a simple method of consumption for people looking for relief from nausea, glaucoma and pain. The question has beenwhether or not marijuana smokers faced the same health risks as tobacco smokers.

The simple answer appears to be, no. Lung performance tests taken in a lengthy medical study discussed at stated that marijuana smokers scored higher than tobacco smokers in lung capacity tests. More surprisingly, they tested better than non-smokers as well. It is not the only study to have revealed these types of results. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published an abstract in 2013 that stated marijuana smokers did not appear to face any increased risk to their lungs. Additional testing even suggested that marijuana may potentially help to repair damaged lung tissue for people suffering from lung diseases like emphysema, COPD and other disorders.

The problem for the pro-marijuana community has been the small amount of clinical testing that has been performed. Marijuana possession and use are still a federal crime and many laboratories rely on federal funding to perform their research. This curtails their ability to attempt these types of studies. In the meantime, many states have adopted laws allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes and others allow it for medicinal and recreational use. People in these states have the freedom to sample the products for themselves. Whether or not to try Marijuana is something that each individual has to decide for themselves. If considering doing so, it is often recommended to try vaporizing rather than smoking. It produces a cleaner product with many of the toxins removed.