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Study: Exposure to Marijuana Smoke is Three Times More Harmful Than Tobacco

Study: Exposure to Marijuana Smoke is Three Times More Harmful Than Tobacco

Dina Al-Shibeeb
large 20x13 - Study: Exposure to Marijuana Smoke is Three Times More Harmful Than Tobacco

New research has shown that exposure to marijuana smoke is three times more harmful than the smoke emanating from tobacco.

After researching the effects of smoke on rats, Matthew Springer, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, found that exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke makes it harder for arteries to expand and allow a healthy flow of blood.

In a plexiglass box, anesthetized rats were exposed in separate incidents to both clouds of smoke from cigarettes and tobacco.

With tobacco, the rats’ arteries had difficulty expanding for about 30 minutes but when exposed to marijuana smoke, their arteries took about 90 minutes to return to their normal function.

“People think cannabis is fine because it’s ‘natural,'” Springer told NPR. “I hear this a lot. I don’t know what it means.”

Springer said any smoke is bad for the lungs, heart and blood vessels, urging people not to think of his research as “an anti-THC conclusion.”

THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis that gives people the high.

Instead, he said it should be “an anti-smoke conclusion.”

As the trend to legalize marijuana spreads, more research is being done to fully understand the green plant.

The study said despite public awareness that second-hand smoking from tobacco is harmful, many people still assume that the smoke from marijuana is benign.

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