Smoking cannabis could damage your lungs more than tobacco, study finds: ScienceAlert

Smoking cannabis could damage your lungs more than tobacco, study finds: ScienceAlert

Cannabis can harm a smoker’s lungs and airways more than tobacco small canadian study released on Tuesday.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital examined chest X-rays from 56 cannabis smokers, 57 non-smokers and 33 people who only smoked tobacco between 2005 and 2020.

They found higher rates of airway inflammation and emphysema – a chronic lung disease – in regular cannabis smokers compared to regular tobacco-only smokers and non-smokers.

“Marijuana use is on the rise and the public feels that marijuana is harmless, or safer than (tobacco) cigarettes,” radiologist Giselle Revah told AFP. Ottawa Hospital, where the research was conducted.

“But this study raises concerns that this may not be true.”

She said the higher rates of inflammation and disease in cannabis smokers compared to tobacco may be linked to differences in how drugs are typically consumed.

“Marijuana is smoked without a filter, unlike tobacco which is usually filtered,” she said. “When you smoke unfiltered marijuana, more particles reach your airways, settle there and irritate your airways.”

Also, she added, “people generally take bigger puffs and hold the smoke in their lungs longer for marijuana, which can lead to more trauma in those air spaces.”

Despite these possible explanations, the authors of the study, who published in the journal Radiologypointed out that some of the cannabis smokers also smoked tobacco and that some lung scans produced inconclusive results, meaning further studies are needed.

As noted by Revah, there is very little research on the health effects of cannabis in general because it is banned in most countries.

Canada, where the researchers are based, recreational use legalized cannabis in 2018.

It is also legal for recreational use in Uruguay and Mexico, among other countries, and many US states, while several other countries and territories have also recently decriminalized possession of the drug or approved it for medical use. .

© France Media Agency

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