Marijuana is obtained from the cannabis plant which is now given an authorized use in some countries because of the newly discovered therapeutic uses it can provide.
It is important to know that the smoke released from marijuana contains toxic chemicals which do much harm to the body than the benefit they can provide.
Marijuana is most commonly used by inhaling in the form of smoke through smoke pipes, bongs, paper-wrapped joints, blunts and other devices which either heat the constituents or vaporize them turning them into smoke.
The prevalence of the use of weed and marijuana associated products in the US has increased to 9.25% in adults. Weed has become popular among youngsters nowadays. Weed, pot, dope, grass are all the different names of the same drug which are resourced from the cannabis plant, commonly called as marijuana.
It was found that the smoke of weed or vaping weed eliminates exactly the same harmful chemicals which are found in the tobacco smoke too.
Study reveals that people who smoke marijuana have relatively higher levels of toxins present in their urine and blood samples. These are same toxins which are either the direct constituents of the smoke produced from marijuana or are produced after the metabolic reactions on them in the body making the constituents toxic. Naphthaline, acrylamide and acrylonitrile are the main toxic constituents.
The research conducted on the toxic chemicals found in the smoke of marijuana smoke indicates that this smoke can be even more harmful than usually one can expect because the constituents are very much similar to the one found in the smoke from tobacco.
The senior author of this research, Dr. Dana Gabuzda who is a principal investigator in cancer immunology and virology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said in a statement that, “Marijuana use is on the rise in the United States with a growing number of states legalizing it for medical and nonmedical purposes – including five additional states in the 2020 election. The increase has renewed concerns about the potential health effects of marijuana smoke, which is known to contain some of the same toxic combustion products found in tobacco smoke.”
A comparison of the smoke released from tobacco and marijuana shows that people who smoke tobacco or either tobacco or marijuana both, were more prone to getting toxicity from it. The study was conducted on the HIV positive people in contrast with the HIV negative patients because this group is usually found to have a greater interest of using marijuana, vaping and smoking.
The results showed that those who consumed tobacco along with marijuana had higher levels of naphthalene, acrylamide and acrylonitrile in their blood and urine samples. Those who consumed marijuana only smoke did not have acrolein in their blood samples which is a major contributor in developing cardiovascular diseases.
People who smoked weed had even higher levels of carcinogens and toxic chemicals in the urine and blood; even higher than both marijuana and tobacco combined.
Acrolein is not only known for causing chronic heart diseases but also suspected for causing congestion and respiratory tract irritation. Naphthalene if inhaled during pregnancy can cause hemolytic anemia in the fetus. It also causes damage to the live, neural damage, cataracts and also cancer if the exposure is for a long duration of time.
Acrylamide is known to increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers and is also considered a probable human carcinogen by many studies. Exposure to acrylonitrile for a short period causes dizziness, nausea, vomiting and ataxia however long term exposure can cause impaired judgment, cyanosis, convulsions and collapse.
“This is the first study to compare exposure to acrolein and other harmful smoke-related chemicals over time in exclusive marijuana smokers and tobacco smokers, and to see if those exposures are related to cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Dana Gabuzda.
The study is a clear indicator of how the three drug habits are harmful to health. A comparison is only a representation of how a certain habit is affecting public health and forming a basis of certain diseases.
However, smoking tobacco or marijuana is not in any way better than smoking weed. Hence despite of some proven clinical uses of marijuana, its non prescription use is strongly discouraged and prohibited in most countries around the world.