Pot smoking doesn’t cause lung disease: The lung cancer gene, part 1

A study that came out last month determined that occasional post smoking doesn’t cause near the damage to lungs as cigarette smoking.

The study followed 5,115 regular pot smokers over the course of 20 years.

This reminds me very much of a study done about 5 years ago showing that even chronic pot use doesn’t appear to lead to an increased risk of lung cancer.

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” the study’s lead researcher, Dr.Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles stated. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect” among marijuana smokers who had lower incidences of cancer compared to non-users.

So what’s going on here? Why is tobacco smoke so unhealthy and pot smoke apparently does minimal damage (though the article does point out that some studies have shown an increase in bronchitis and chronic coughs in pot smokers).

In any case, every major study on the issue has consistently shown that pot is considerably less dangerous to the lungs and heart than tobacco (not getting into whatever cognative damage chronic pot use might cause. When it comes to lung and heart, tobacco is far, far, far worse). Not to mention the difference of physical addiction between nicotine and THC. I quit smoking dope 20 years ago and it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. No night sweats, no cravings, nothing. Why one continues to be illegal and the other legal continues to mystify me. And there doesn’t appear to be a lot of political will out there for legalizing dope.

Pot smoke actually has some of the same toxins as cigarette smoke, but in different doses. One theory is that additives in cigarette smoke are making cigarettes so deadly, but I’m dubious of that one. People were dying of smoking in the 1930s long before the tobacco companies were pumping additives into their tobacco. Another theory is that tobacco smoke is ingested more deeply, but I’m dubious of that one, too, because pot smoke is ingested pretty deeply into the lungs.

I have a theory that lung cancer (forgetting for a bit the heart damage and COPD that smoking causes) is both a genetic and environmental disease, which could be one big reason tobacco smoking causes so much lung cancer while pot smoking doesn’t. There’s been a lot of really interesting and exciting information that has come out about the genetic component of lung cancer the last few years. I’ll write about that in part two tomorrow.

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This entry was posted in Lung cancer, Lung disease, marijuana and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pot smoking doesn’t cause lung disease: The lung cancer gene, part 1

  1. Lizard Island says:

    More people should ingest marijuana instead of smoking it though. I’m glad this study disproves one more hyped thing about this medicinal herb or weed or whatever it is. But, in general the lungs were probably not designed to be ‘smoke containers’! 😉

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