- Researchers warn smoke from cannabis contains compounds potentially damaging to DNA, potentially enhancing cancer risks and creating similar health threats as tobacco smoke.
- Lab tests have found specific carcinogens in cannabis smoke in quantities over half greater than in tobacco smoke.
- The research suggests that even minimal cannabis use could be harmful due to the tendency for marijuana smokers to inhale more deeply.
- According to the research, inhaling three to four cannabis cigarettes per day equates to the same amount of harm to the bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes daily.
- The researchers concluded that there is supporting evidence of the DNA-damaging potential of cannabis smoke, indicating that it could negatively impact health and potentially trigger cancer development.
In recent findings from the United Kingdom, researchers warn that the smoke from cannabis – the plant responsible for producing marijuana – is believed to contain compounds potentially damaging to DNA and might enhance cancer risks, paralleling the health threats associated with tobacco smoke.
Rajinder Singh and his team from the University of Leicester conducted lab tests and discovered the presence of specific carcinogens in cannabis smoke in quantities exceeding by half those found in tobacco smoke. It’s important to note that even slight cannabis use could prove more harmful as cannabis smokers tend to inhale more deeply compared to those smoking cigarettes.
Examining the Damage from Cannabis Smoke
“The inhalation of three to four cannabis cigarettes per day is equated with the same amount of harm to the bronchial mucus membranes as smoking 20 or more tobacco cigarettes on a daily basis,” the researchers mentioned as part of a release from the university.
The research was grounded on tests implemented using an innovative and highly sensitive method known as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, allowing the precise analysis of cannabis smoke. The primary focus was on acetaldehyde – a cancer-causing chemical known to meddle with human DNA, which is detected in both types of smoke.
Inference on Potential Health Risks
“We have found supporting evidence for the DNA-damaging potential of cannabis smoke, suggesting that the consumption of cannabis cigarettes could be negatively impacting human health, with the potential to trigger the development of cancer,” the researchers concluded in their published report in the issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology on June 15.
The American Cancer Society provides more details on the topic of marijuana use and its connection to cancer. They do not provide a hyperlink.
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