USA: Study: Smoking Marijuana Not Linked with Lung Damage

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by claygooding, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. claygooding claygooding

    • DrugWarVeteran
    • Since: May 13, 2009
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    USA: Study: Smoking Marijuana Not Linked with Lung Damage
    Time / Maia Szalavitz / January 10, 2012


    Marijuana smokers performed better on tests of lung function compared to nonsmokers and cigarette smokers

    [IMG]
    Russell Burden / Getty Images

    Marijuana does not impair lung function—at least not in the doses inhaled by the majority of users, according to the largest and longest study ever to consider the issue, which was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Researchers working on a long-term study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults or CARDIA study) tested the lung function of 5115 young adults over the course of 20 years, starting in 1985 when they were aged 18 to 30.

    They found that marijuana use was almost as common as cigarette smoking in the sample, which was designed to reflect the U.S. population. Among participants, the average marijuana user toked 2-3 times a month, while the average tobacco user smoked eight cigarettes a day.

    Those who smoked both tended to do so slightly more frequently than those who smoked only cigarettes or only marijuana.

    The study was “well conducted” and is “essentially confirmatory of the findings from several previous studies that have examined the association between marijuana smoking and lung function,” says Dr. Donald Tashkin, professor of medicine at UCLA and a leading scientist in the area. He was not associated with the new research.

    “The major strengths of this study are that it included a far larger number of subjects followed for longer than any of these previous studies,” he adds.

    MORE:
    Teen Drug Use: Marijuana Up, Cigarettes and Alcohol Down

    While tobacco smokers showed the expected drop in lung function over time, the new research found that marijuana smoke had unexpected and apparently positive effects. Low to moderate users actually showed increased lung capacity compared to nonsmokers on two tests, known as FEV1 and FVC. FEV1 is the amount of air someone breathes out in the first second after taking the deepest possible breath; FVC is the total volume of air exhaled after the deepest inhalation.

    “FEV1 and FVC both actually increased with moderate and occasional use of marijuana,” says Dr. Mark Pletcher, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco and the lead author of the study.

    That was a of a surprise, says Pletcher, since “There are clearly adverse effects from tobacco use and marijuana smoke has a lot of the same constituents as tobacco smoke does so we thought it might have some of the same harmful effects. It’s a weird effect to see and we couldn’t make it go away,” he adds, explaining that the researchers used statistical models to look for errors or other factors that could explain the apparent benefit and did not find them.

    MORE: Marijuana Slims? Why Pot Smokers Are Less Obese

    The improvement wasn’t seen in the heaviest users, however. At high levels of marijuana use—for example, in those who smoked more than 20 times a month—FEV1 slipped back to levels seen in nonusers and a reduction was seen in, um, the most chronic smokers. But FVC remained high in even the longest term, heaviest users.

    So why might marijuana users have greater lung capacity than nonsmokers? Consider Bill Clinton’s famous non-denial denial of his marijuana use, “I didn’t inhale” and Barack Obama’s retort that he “inhaled frequently; that was the point.” Unlike cigarette smokers, cannabis users usually draw deeply on the joint or pipe— and hold each puff in, typically for as long as physically possible.

    “In some ways, marijuana smoking is really a lot like doing a pulmonary function test,” Pletcher says. This “practice” or “exercise” might expand lung capacity and account for the unusual results.

    He cautions, however, that long term exposure to marijuana smoke at the most extreme doses probably does damage the lungs, although he concedes that the evidence from the study on this point is “weak.”
    The authors conclude:
    Marijuana may have beneficial effects on pain control, appetite, mood, and management of other chronic symptoms. Our findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana for these or other purposes may not be associated with adverse consequences on pulmonary function. It is more difficult to estimate the potential effects of regular heavy use, because this pattern of use is relatively rare in our study sample; however, our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavy use and a resulting need for caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered.
    Since the study focused on cardiovascular disease and even the oldest participants had not yet reached the highest risk ages for lung cancer, it does not provide new information on cancer risk, but it does confirm the link between cigarette smoking and long-term lung function declines.

    Tashkin, however, has studied this issue extensively. He says, “The largest epidemiologic (case-control) study of the association between marijuana use and lung cancer failed to demonstrate that marijuana increases the risk of developing lung (or, for that matter, upper airway) cancer.”

    He notes that a much smaller, recent study from New Zealand did claim to find a link, but only in very heavy users. He says, “The authors’ interpretation of their data can be faulted because of the small numbers of their subjects exhiing such heavy use, which rendered their estimates of risk imprecise.”

    Why smoking marijuana and smoking tobacco should have such different effects on the lungs is still a matter of dispute. Many researchers believe that it’s simply a matter of dose: most marijuana users smoke a few times a month, while most cigarette smokers light up multiple times a day.

    But Tashkin argues that specific properties of marijuana also matter. He says that THC has anti-inflammatory and immune suppressing properties, which may prevent lung irritation from developing into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a devastating lung disorder frequently caused by tobacco smoking.

    As for cancer, he says, “the THC in marijuana has well-defined anti-tumoral effects that have been shown to inhi the growth of a variety of cancers in animal models and tissue culture systems, thus counteracting the potentially tumorigenic effects of the procarcinogens in marijuana smoke.”

    Whatever the cause, it seems that those who argue that marijuana is harmful because of its smoke are going to have to find a different line of attack.



    I like the way Maria added links to other science that proves prohiion harm mantras are nothing more than rhetorical fear mongering.


    And the ONDCP's playbook is getting real thin as the only statement that he has made about marijuana being a dangerous drug we have not proven false is that he believes it is a dangerous drug.

    Perhaps one of Kerli's friends(if he has any)could post a pic of him hitting a bong to disprove that too.(on second thought,,please don't,,it could cause ptsd for weak minded children.)


    7 people like this.
  2. WolfGang Paco WolfGang Paco

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Jul 13, 2009
    • Posts: 2,005
    I felt as though a thanks wasn't enough appreciation for this thread. Finally, a test that has been long term, and under skeptisism. So often I hear that these marinuana studies are done by biased people ( :rolleyes: ) and that they are not preformed long enough and with enough examples. Now I can point them here. Thank you :)
    1 people like this.
  3. Ryan 4891 Ryan 4891

    • Well-Known Member
    • Since: Mar 14, 2008
    • Posts: 1,019
    didnt we all know this?? i saw this yesterday too n was like duh!! bout time you did some research on Cannabis. TIME TO LEGALIZE!!
    1 people like this.
  4. Dedbr Dedbr

    • Domestic War Veteran
    • Since: Mar 24, 2001
    • Posts: 21,228
    Here's the big bang with this one.....What is the American public going to think when they find out herb can arrest or cure some forms of cancer?

    All these years and all these folks suffering and we herb smokers will live forever free from disease......;)

    Hey, I can dream, right......:shrug:

    Ded.....
  5. iLikeGreenNugZ iLikeGreenNugZ

    • New Member
    • Since: Jan 11, 2012
    • Posts: 11
    And yet, people still use slippery slope arguments like it is a gateway drug and how it makes you dummer, etc. People need to start doing their own research (or at least read credible ones like this one) and start making their own minds up not go with whatever society tells them.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please take a moment to read:
    http://www.marijuana.com/legalizati...187836-want-legalize-marijuana-heres-how.html
  6. SmokeyBear88 SmokeyBear88

    • New Member
    • Since: Sep 20, 2011
    • Posts: 308
    True Story:

    One of my best friends in college smoked everyday. I'm talking, bong rips with his coffee in the morning, bong rips at lunch, bong rips before his nap in the afternoon, bong rips... you get the idea.

    He also loved to scuba dive. One day he was testing his lung capacity for a class or something related to scuba diving (I don't know the exact details) and his lung capacity tested off the charts. The lady administering the test looked at him and said. "Clearly you have never smoked anything in your life".

    All he could do was laugh.
    2 people like this.
  7. WolfGang Paco WolfGang Paco

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Jul 13, 2009
    • Posts: 2,005
    :laugh:
  8. tommarktravis182 tommarktravis182

    • New Member
    • Since: Jan 8, 2012
    • Posts: 8
    man im never gonna take any more sh*t for smoking from anyone. everyone always spits out bullsh*t "studies" about it being worse than tobacco for your lungs.now i will simply tell them that they are wrong and goodday ima go rip one
    1 people like this.
  9. claygooding claygooding

    • DrugWarVeteran
    • Since: May 13, 2009
    • Posts: 9,611
    I keep telling people at Huffington Post articles in the comments section:

    If you are really tired for hearing these arguments between advocates and prohib-itionist,tired of being told what to think,,try it,,with an addiction level of caffeine,one joint will not addict you anymore than one cup of coffee turned you into a coffee addict.
  10. Dedbr Dedbr

    • Domestic War Veteran
    • Since: Mar 24, 2001
    • Posts: 21,228
    Wait a minute, I'm a coffee addict. I couldn't live without it. I can live without herb and do all the time.......;)

    Ded.......
  11. claygooding claygooding

    • DrugWarVeteran
    • Since: May 13, 2009
    • Posts: 9,611
    ahhh,,,but your first cup didn't do it and you probably didn't like it that much either.
  12. Freshness420 Freshness420

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Nov 10, 2009
    • Posts: 1,767
    I can see the promise land. Legalization!
  13. Dedbr Dedbr

    • Domestic War Veteran
    • Since: Mar 24, 2001
    • Posts: 21,228
    No, I didn't like it but I did like the buzz.....;)

    Yep, coffee gatewayed me into the hard stuff, sugar and cream.....:rolleyes:

    Ded.....
  14. claygooding claygooding

    • DrugWarVeteran
    • Since: May 13, 2009
    • Posts: 9,611

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