The medicinal side-effects of marijuana have been the subject of many scientific studies in the past. A recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association states that people who smoked an average of 2-3 marijuana joints a month did not suffer from any lung problems as compared to cigarette smokers. It is a well-established theory that marijuana has therapeutic potential for relieving pain, stimulating appetite, controlling nausea as well as improving mood.
Dr Stefan Kertesz, study co-author and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said:
“Marijuana may have beneficial effects on pain control, appetite, mood, and management of other chronic symptoms. Our findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana for these or other purposes may not be associated with adverse consequences on pulmonary function.”
Dr Kertesz further added:
“Marijuana is like any complex substance that affects many different parts of human biology and human functioning. For some people it’s going to be the impact on social life or legal issues or intellectual functioning that might be harmful. Some people really do develop severe addictions to marijuana.”
But while this study suggests that smoking marijuana once in a while does not cause any damage to lung function, engaging in long term use raises serious concerns about its adverse impacts on health. A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
Also, some experts do not completely agree that marijuana has absolutely no impact on a healthy person’s lungs. Their skepticism is not unjustified as the study subjects were only given two kinds of pulmonary function tests that assessed their ability to inhale and exhale. Also, the study did not take into account the prevalence of lung cancer among marijuana smokers.
According to Vitals, Dr Stefan Kertesz is a board certified internist and preventive medicine specialist who received his education at the Harvard University School of Medicine in 1993.