While logic would seem to prove that smoking anything would be bad for your lungs, most people are surprised to hear the truth about smoking marijuana. But recent research has shown that there is absolutely no connection between cancer and smoking marijuana.
A 2006 study conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles and funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.
The study was lead by Donald Tashkin, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years, who was surprised by the results. The study involved 1,200 people in Los Angeles who had lung, neck or head cancer and an additional 1,040 people without cancer. They were all questioned about their use of marijuana, tobacco and alcohol throughout their lives. The study concluded that even the very heavy marijuana smokers showed no increased incidence of lung, neck or head cancer.
What’s more, a 2007 Harvard study found that marijuana can actually help fight cancer. THC, one of the most active ingredients in marijuana, cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, according to researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.
Although marijuana smoke contains twice the level of carcinogens as tobacco smoke, the THC in marijuana prevents these carcinogens from causing cancer—while the nicotine in cigarette smoke promotes the development of cancer. According to Dr. Robert Melamede of the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, nicotine activates a body enzyme that converts certain chemicals in both tobacco and marijuana smoke into cancer-promoting form. In contrast, studies in mice suggest that THC blocks this enzyme activity. However, according to a 2009 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the risk for lung disease is increased when a cigarette smoker also smokes pot. Bottom line: Do not smoke cigarettes. Ever.
How to get an AZ medical marijuana recommendation.
- 1. Call, or fill out the form below to make an appointment.
- 2. Bring your medical documentation and valid Arizona ID.
- 3. That day, you’ll know if your doctor has recommended you for medical marijuana.
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