The study focused on individuals who smoked cigarettes and marijuana. More specifically, the researchers analyzed air flow rate (the speed in which a person can blow out air) and lung volume (the amount of air a person is capable of holding) of the smokers. “We found exactly what we thought we would find in relation to tobacco exposure: a consistent loss of lung function with increasing exposure […] We were, however, surprised that we found such a different pattern of association with marijuana exposure,” said Mark Pletcher, an epidemiologist and a general internal medicine physician from the University of California.
“Essentially with tobacco, the more you use, the more loss you have with both of the indicators, air flow rate and lung volume, there’s a straight-line relationship: the more you use, the more you lose,” added Stefan Kertesz, MD, MSc, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and the Birmingham VA Medical Center.
What’s the big news then? Well, it looks like air flow rate actually increases if you smoke marijuana. Of course, if you don’t smoke it too much… but that’s one the key elements of the findings: marijuana lovers do not smoke 20 joints every day, but tobacco users easily cross the 20 cigarettes/day line.
Let’s make no mistake: smoking too much is bad, no matter what you smoke. But if you enjoy getting HIGH like a normal person does—and you don’t spend your days smoking—cannabis can actually be beneficial for your lungs.
Quite an interesting, surprising finding: wouldn’t you agree?