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Marijuana and Lung Health

Marijuana use, particularly through smoking, poses many risks to lung health due to inhalation of various toxins, chemicals, and carcinogens present in the smoke. Researcher on the direct impact of marijuana smoke on lung health and function is still evolving, studies suggest that heavy and regular use may lead to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and even bronchitis. Additionally, the combustion process releases harmful toxic compounds similar to those found in tobacco smoke, increasing the risk of respiratory issues and lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. Long-term lung health may not be affected by other alternative marijuana uses such as edibles, yet vaping still does pose risks to long-term lung and cardiovascular health. Great importance should be placed on emphasizing the importance of cautious consumption, prevention, and further research into its impacts on health.

Bottom Line

The American Lung Association compiled a list of important facts everyone should know:

  • Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung, and regular use leads to chronic bronchitis and can cause an immune-compromised person to be more susceptible to lung infections.
  • No one should be exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke.
  • Due to the risks it poses to lung health, the American Lung Association strongly cautions the public against smoking marijuana as well as tobacco products.
  • More research is needed into the effects of marijuana on health, especially on lung health.

Avoiding substance use can improve your health, your mental health, and your lifestyle. Avoiding substance use can also lessen the risk of acquiring dependency and addiction which can lead to severe health problems. This may also lead to developing mental health conditions or impact preexisting mental health conditions. Seek help for substance use and make a plan to quit. Reach out to your health care provider or trained health professional for support.



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