Long-term exposure to cannabis smoke is not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function, according to clinical data published in the journal Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.
Investigators at Emory University in Atlanta assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of US adults age 18 to 59. They concluded, “[The] ongoing use of marijuana is associated with increased respiratory symptoms of bronchitis without a significant functional abnormality in spirometry, and cumulative marijuana use under 20 joint-years is not associated significant effects on lung function.”
Pulmonary complications associated with the regular smoking of cannabis are “relatively small” and far lower than those associated with tobacco smoking, according to a recent review published in the June edition of the scientific journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society. The paper – authored by Donald P. Tashkin, MD, emeritus professor of medicine and medical director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles – is “the most comprehensive and authoritative review of the subject ever published.”
A forthcoming review to be published in journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society reiterates that the ingestion of cannabis smoke poses nominal pulmonary risks compared to those associated with tobacco smoke. It concludes, “In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared to the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.”