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Effects of marijuana smoking on the lung.
Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013 Jun; 10(3):239-47.AA

Abstract

Regular smoking of marijuana by itself causes visible and microscopic injury to the large airways that is consistently associated with an increased likelihood of symptoms of chronic bronchitis that subside after cessation of use. On the other hand, habitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function when assessed either cross-sectionally or longitudinally, except for possible increases in lung volumes and modest increases in airway resistance of unclear clinical significance. Therefore, no clear link to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been established. Although marijuana smoke contains a number of carcinogens and cocarcinogens, findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk for the development of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use, although evidence is mixed concerning possible carcinogenic risks of heavy, long-term use. Although regular marijuana smoking leads to bronchial epithelial ciliary loss and impairs the microbicidal function of alveolar macrophages, evidence is inconclusive regarding possible associated risks for lower respiratory tract infection. Several case reports have implicated marijuana smoking as an etiologic factor in pneumothorax/pneumomediastinum and bullous lung disease, although evidence of a possible causal link from epidemiologic studies is lacking. In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA. dtashkin@mednet.ucla.edu

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23802821

Citation

Tashkin, Donald P.. "Effects of Marijuana Smoking On the Lung." Annals of the American Thoracic Society, vol. 10, no. 3, 2013, pp. 239-47.
Tashkin DP. Effects of marijuana smoking on the lung. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013;10(3):239-47.
Tashkin, D. P. (2013). Effects of marijuana smoking on the lung. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 10(3), 239-47. https://doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201212-127FR
Tashkin DP. Effects of Marijuana Smoking On the Lung. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013;10(3):239-47. PubMed PMID: 23802821.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Effects of marijuana smoking on the lung. A1 - Tashkin,Donald P, PY - 2013/6/28/entrez PY - 2013/6/28/pubmed PY - 2014/2/26/medline SP - 239 EP - 47 JF - Annals of the American Thoracic Society JO - Ann Am Thorac Soc VL - 10 IS - 3 N2 - Regular smoking of marijuana by itself causes visible and microscopic injury to the large airways that is consistently associated with an increased likelihood of symptoms of chronic bronchitis that subside after cessation of use. On the other hand, habitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function when assessed either cross-sectionally or longitudinally, except for possible increases in lung volumes and modest increases in airway resistance of unclear clinical significance. Therefore, no clear link to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been established. Although marijuana smoke contains a number of carcinogens and cocarcinogens, findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk for the development of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use, although evidence is mixed concerning possible carcinogenic risks of heavy, long-term use. Although regular marijuana smoking leads to bronchial epithelial ciliary loss and impairs the microbicidal function of alveolar macrophages, evidence is inconclusive regarding possible associated risks for lower respiratory tract infection. Several case reports have implicated marijuana smoking as an etiologic factor in pneumothorax/pneumomediastinum and bullous lung disease, although evidence of a possible causal link from epidemiologic studies is lacking. In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco. SN - 2325-6621 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23802821/Effects_of_marijuana_smoking_on_the_lung_ L2 - https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201212-127FR?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -