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Moderate marijuana use doesn't have big impact on lung function

Posted January 10, 2012

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— Moderate marijuana use over long periods of time doesn't have the same impact on lung function as normal tobacco smoke, a recent study at the University of Alabama found. 

Researchers tested more than 5,000 people who reported their marijuana and tobacco use for about 20 years, regularly testing lung function to see how lung performance was affected over time. WRAL Health Team Health Team

With low to moderate levels of marijuana use – about one joint a day for seven years – researchers found no significant change in lung function. People taking part in the study didn't lose air flow or volume in their lung tests. 

"In essence, marijuana doesn't seem to behave like tobacco at those levels of use," Dr. Stefan Kertesz said. 

Marijuana study Moderate marijuana use doesn't have big impact on lung function

The risk for long-term lung damage due to marijuana use increases with higher level of use, but not significantly, doctors said. In some patients, there was even an increase in lung function. 

Doctors attribute that to the way people breathe when smoking marijuana, with deep breaths in and out. That can actually improve the way people handle lung function tests like the ones researchers employed during the course of the study. 

Despite the findings, however, doctors aren't recommending people smoke marijuana. 

"The effects of marijuana change, depending on how much a person has used over their lifetime," Kertesz said. "It would be very incorrect to look at this study and say, 'Wow, if I smoke marijuana, that's going to improve my lung health.'" 

Researchers also pointed out in the most recent study that low to moderate marijuana use has previously been associated with small increases in lung function.

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  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 17, 2012

    "It's obvious to me that whoever is moderating the posts for WRAL today is padding the comments on this story with ones from pro-pot posters. ncpilot2 January 16, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    Yes, the moderators are "padding" the comments, totally dude. I thought pro-pot people were supposed to be the paranoid ones." teenDAD

    LOL! I thought the same thing... I mean, they certainly wouldn't want to _think_ that there are actually a lot of people who understand where the (undeserved) stigma associated with marijuana comes from...

  • TeenDAD Jan 17, 2012

    It's obvious to me that whoever is moderating the posts for WRAL today is padding the comments on this story with ones from pro-pot posters.
    ncpilot2
    January 16, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    Yes, the moderators are "padding" the comments, totally dude. I thought pro-pot people were supposed to be the paranoid ones.

  • nonPC Jan 17, 2012

    I am not sure why I clicked this link and I really have no opinion either way on the plant itself. Its not my taste but I really do not see why there is such a big deal over it either. From a strictly logical perspective I think that 1: it shouldnt be the govt responsibility to tell us not to do it 2: tax and control is always a better way to restrain use the prohibition (pragmatically and constitutionaly) 3: really in the end it can not be worse, not better either, than alcohol. I suggest we leagalize it but I also suggest that people who use it should try to figure out a way to live without it just like I would say to someone who drinks.

  • ncpilot2 Jan 16, 2012

    It's obvious to me that whoever is moderating the posts for WRAL today is padding the comments on this story with ones from pro-pot posters.

  • dlnorri Jan 16, 2012

    "When any government presumes to dictate to us what we can or cannot put into our own bodies, isn't that in essence asserting a claim of ownership over us?" htomc42

    Man, that is an excellent post! I agree. Are we to be a free country or aren't we? I think we will find out over the next few years...the Bill of Rights continues to be eroded. We either turn the tide back now, take back the power that We the People are supposed to have (see 10th amendment) or we lose out forever.

    I agree, lets remove the restriction on age and use and allow idividual responsibilty. No public funding for addition, or injury resulting from use. And when you become a problem (injur or endanger others, can not support your family, can not pay yor bills) we will lock you away on a farm in the desarts of arizona to drink/dope all you want and hurt no one, but if you want to eat, you have to grow your own food.

  • dlnorri Jan 16, 2012

    If they had defined the story as "moderate mj smoking.... moderate tobacco smoking", however they chose a different level of MJ and tobbacco use, hense; form the first sentenct the story is entirely flawed. MJ does not have the tar that tobacco has, but the smoke and damage to the repsritory system, espcially since it it rarely fitlered; is huge.... Check the science...

  • tom73b Jan 16, 2012

    I saw a video once where this doctor had supposedly conducted research studies, on Marijuana and lung disease. and he stated that smoking one (1) joint was equal to smoking a pack of non-filtered cigarettes. Wondered who manipulated his results (big brother ?) go figure

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 13, 2012

    """natural plant?" It's been so highly bred & modified that it's not really the original plant anymore"- so it's even MORE like modern crop plants then. Better, stronger, healthier plants are a good thing! LOL" dwntwnboy

    Not sure that is true but at least it's not like GMO or the processed food garbage the propagandists convince us is "generally recognized as safe" (FDA term)... Now that is stuff that will kill you or at least make you ill and on prescriptions for the rest of your life.

  • dwntwnboy Jan 12, 2012

    ""natural plant?" It's been so highly bred & modified that it's not really the original plant anymore"- so it's even MORE like modern crop plants then. Better, stronger, healthier plants are a good thing! LOL

  • NoWayyyyy Jan 12, 2012

    makemyday - I think you have made my day! You are too funny :) Silly head!!!

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