Some states have access to medical marijuana. However, states like New York do not give patients access to pot that can be smoked. One of the reasons is the perceived danger from smoke to the lungs. Governor Andrew Cuomo believes smoking is harmful to your health and not just from cigarettes. He has received criticism for his “no smoke; no grow” medical marijuana policy in New York.
“Nearly everything the governor put forward was unworkable and designed to make sure this thing could not function,” says Sayegh. “They were seemingly uninterested in patient needs.”
Available research has given critics more reason to be up in arms. One study found over 20 years smoking cannabis caused no decline in lung function. In fact, most marijuana smoker’s were found to have better lung function over time. The study also found no connection between cancer and cannabis.
More Details On The Study
There is a difference between marijuana smoke and cigarette smoke. The latter contains way more harmful carcinogens. Additionally, there are slim to no health benefits from smoking a cigarette. Here’s a list of 25 health benefits provided by weed.
While we could have guessed weed wasn’t as harmful as cigarettes on our own. We were surprised to learn that the lung function of cannabis smokers tends to improve over time. If smoke, in general, is so harmful how could this be?
Researchers saw no evidence of breathing problems. The report notes the enhanced lung capacity seen in pot smokers. One researcher thinks it could be from users holding in their hits to get higher. Stefan Kertesz of the University of Alabama was involved with the study and says the results should comfort those who have to smoke marijuana for medical reasons.
Heavy Long-term Pot Smoking Harmful?
Another study by Dr. Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles observed heavy long-term cannabis smoking. What they found was that even the heaviest users didn’t see a decrease in lung function or any connection to cancer.
The study followed people who smoked at least a joint a day for 50 whole years and found no harmful effect on lung function. Results like these justify the criticism of “no smoke, no grow” policies in medical marijuana states. Some patients only get relief from smoking. If there’s no perceived harm from marijuana smoke patients should have access to it.
Should patients be allowed to decide whether the benefits of smoking weed outweigh the small potential for harm? We think so.
The most recent study was published in JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers analyzed data on a group of 1,037 New Zealanders that they followed for 20 years. The study found that on top of improved lung function, pot users had a lower BMI and better HDL cholesterol.,
Pot smoke isn’t as harmful as it was made out to be. In fact, it can slightly improve your lung function. On the other hand, tobacco was found to drop lung function over the span of 20 years steadily. In fact, tobacco was found to be the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease while cannabis has shown no harmful effects on pulmonary function.
So, put the cigarettes down and roll up some green to improve your breathing. According to the research, you can spark about a jay a day without having to worry about harming your lung health.