Cannabis Doesn't Increase Risk of Lung Cancer
And another cannabis myth bites the dust: Even long-term cannabis smoking doesn’t increase the risk for lung cancer.
You can’t hide the facts; cannabis is a medicinal plant. However, smoking the herb obviously isn’t the healthiest choice - burning anything creates potentially dangerous and toxic by-products. Avoiding these nasties is precisely why vaporizers are becoming ever more popular. But in spite of the perceived dangers of smoke, it seems like inhaling burned cannabis doesn’t actually increase the risk of lung cancer. According to data pooled together from the US, Canada and New Zealand, there is no link between cannabis use and lung cancer risk.
The data was collected from 6 individual studies involving over 2,000 lung cancer cases and over 3,000 controls. This meta-analysis of a large portion of data looked for any links between habitual cannabis use and the development of lung cancer, for which no links could be established. In the words of the research team, “Results from our pooled analyses provide little evidence for an increased risk of lung cancer among habitual or long-term cannabis smokers.”
This is backed up by further research published in 2013, in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society. This research concluded that the habitual smoking of marijuana did not appear to cause any significant abnormalities in lung function, and posed a much lower risk than tobacco smoke.
Why is cannabis smoke less dangerous than tobacco smoke?
There is a lot of speculation as to what the reasons behind the limited risk of cannabis smoke, and there are a few theories in the works. For one, cannabis smokers smoke a lot less cannabis then cigarette smokers do tobacco. It is not unusual for the average tobacco smoker to go through more than 20 cigarettes a day, but the average cannabis user won’t get anywhere near this. Further, tobacco is usually laced with a wide range of chemicals to improve the flavor and to control the burning rate.
Besides, there is overwhelming evidence that THC and the other cannabinoids have anti-tumour properties, which actively inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It has to be noted that smoking cannabis has not been found to prevent cancer, unlike the Rick Simpson oil. Smoking is not a replacement for a highly concentrated extract, but it could be reasonably assumed that the anti-tumorous cannabinoids within the smoke still reduce the risk of lung cancer formation.
It’s good news that smoking our favorite herb doesn’t pose a major health risk, but smoking anything comes with toxins - even cannabis. The best way to avoid any potential health risks associated with smoking is simply to switch to a vaporizer. There are absolutely no combustion by-products plus the same amount of herb gets you much further, since no cannabinoids are destroyed by the heat. To learn more about the advantages of vaporizers, check out our post about the „5 Top benefits of Vaping“.