According to a recently concluded study, smoking marijuana (cannabis) on an occasional basis is not associated with significant damage to the lungs.
The paper, which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, adds to some research in the past that failed to find a link between low or moderate exposure to smoke of marijuana and lung damage.
Mark Pletcher at UC San Francisco led the researchers and studied 5,115 men and women in four cities of the United States of America. The present and lifetime exposure to tobacco and marijuana smoke and their lung function was analyzed by the researchers. Marijuana smoke’s exposure was expressed by joint years, with smoking 365 joints or filled pipe bowls being equal to one “joint year.”
It was revealed in the study that there was a decline in lung function with increased exposure to tobacco smoke but the same pattern was not experienced with marijuana smoke. It was further disclosed that there was no proof of damage to lung function with seven joint years.
The study findings reassured people that advantages of medical marijuana would not be offset by lung damage, according to the researchers, who also said this study didn’t evaluated the effects of heavy marijuana smoking on the lungs.
“Our findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana for [medical] purposes may not be associated with adverse consequences on pulmonary function,” Pletcher said in a news release. “On the other hand, our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavier use — either very frequent use or frequent use over many years — and a resulting need for caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered.”