Marijuana isn’t just hazardous to your health just because it causes distorted perception, memory issues, loss of coordination, increased heart rate and affects brain function. Regularly lighting up can also lead to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
It turns out that both cigarette and pot smoking can increase a person’s risk COPD almost threefold, but smoking pot alone doesn’t seem to increase the risk of the deadly lung condition, researchers report.
What is COPD?
A progressive condition with no cure, COPD is characterized by diseased lungs and narrowed airways. So who’s at risk? Most cases are caused by prolonged smoking, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and yet most anti-smoking campaigns focus solely on cigarettes.
“Anti-smoking campaigns should include a reduction in marijuana use among their goals, aiming especially at those who smoke both marijuana and tobacco,” said study lead researcher Dr. Wan Tan, of the University of British Columbia and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Tan’s findings were published in the April 14 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
How Smoking Brings on COPD
The researchers found that smokers who use both marijuana and tobacco are 2.5 times more likely than nonsmokers to have respiratory disease and almost three times likelier to have COPD. This led researchers to theorize that smoking marijuana in relatively low doses may act as a “primer” or sensitizer in the airways to amplify the adverse effects of tobacco smoke on respiratory health.
“Smoking marijuana — even in small amounts — is very harmful for your lungs, increasing the risk of COPD by several fold,” Tan said.
If you or someone you love is battling a marijuana addiction, call The Oaks at La Paloma at our toll-free number. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.
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