A while back I came across a supposedly credible website reporting on the effect marijuana leaves on the body. The author claimed that marijuana smoke contains properties from over 2000 chemicals, many of which are worse than cigarette smoke. I don't doubt the presence of chemicals; however, it is the presence of harmful chemicals that I am interested in.
Around the web different sources provide an array of results; some suggest marijuana as a beneficial substance while others refer to the plant as harmful and damaging. Depending on the funding behind the study and those in charge of the research we typically results confirming the hypothesis of those testing.
One study that ScienceDaily.com (click for article) has reported on consists of research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Heart Lung Blood Institute. Investigating the effects of different types of smoke on the lungs the study investigates long term feedback from marijuana and cigarette smokers over a 20 year period. I like this study for a few reasons: those conducting it are not completely biased to certain results meaning we do not have any anti marijuana or pro cannabis entities conducting the research. Likewise, the time frame is projected in the long term projecting real life results from prolonged use of a substance.
The research provided results confirming popular belief that smoke inhaled directly from cigarettes cause a significant decrease in lung capacity. The interesting aspect comes into play when we refer to the marijuana smoke:
"At levels of marijuana exposure commonly seen in Americans, occasional marijuana use was associated with increases in lung air flow rates and increases in lung capacity," Kertesz says.
"Those increases were not large, but they were statistically significant. And the data showed that even up to moderately high-use levels -- one joint a day for seven years -- there is no evidence of decreased air-flow rates or lung volumes."
Now that is some fresh lettuce for thought if I have ever seen it. I realize that lung capacity is not the only thing effected by smoke inhalation. As I have a chance to filter thru research and find some credible work I will report on it!