As evidence continues to mount on the efficacy of medical marijuana, questions mount on its long term effects on patients. Questions about the impact of marijuana on the user’s health have lingered for some time, and so has questions concerning other disorders. Studies continue with the aim to establish whether weed has adverse effects on its users or not and how the results, if they exist, can be remedied.
One of the main concerns is whether marijuana causes cancer; we shall look into it in this article.
Marijuana vs. Tobacco
Cancer has been a scary subject in healthcare for a long time. In many instances, the cause of cancer is not clearly understood, but tobacco is a known source of cancer. The tobacco plant contains carcinogens and other toxins. It is known to be a risk factor for throat cancer, lung cancer, and many other cancers.
Any similarities between weed and tobacco are, therefore, a matter of great interest. It is due to these similarities that people are wont to ask questions like, “Does smoking marijuana cause lung cancer?” “Does smoking marijuana cause throat cancer?” Or, “what kind of cancer does marijuana cause?” Among other questions.
Before delving into the details of precisely what marijuana contains compared to tobacco. We should first mention that all smoke, tobacco, weed, or otherwise is harmful to the lungs. Smoking weed, therefore, already exposes the user’s throat and lungs to toxic substances even before whatever toxins there may be in pot take effect.
Besides just the smoke, certain toxins are common to both weed and tobacco. These include;
- Vinyl chlorides
- Benz (a)anthracene
The above list is the answer to the question, “what chemicals that cause cancer are in marijuana?” Some of the toxins mentioned above appear in higher quantities in marijuana than they do in tobacco.
Does smoking marijuana cause cancer? The manner of smoking marijuana exposes the user to greater danger for lung and throat cancer than the method of smoking tobacco. Marijuana smokers typically inhale deeper, which leaves a greater surface area of their lungs exposed to smoke and toxins.
Weed smokers also hold in the smoke for longer, and this means that lungs are exposed to smoke, tar, and all the toxins mentioned above for longer than they would be exposed when smoking tobacco.
When smoking a joint, you burn it to the end where tar and other sticky residue gathers as you smoke. This residue contains many toxins, and they all get into the body. Most cigarettes, on the other hand, have filters, and the tobacco residue doesn’t get into the smoker’s lungs.
What the Studies Show
There are many reasons why research on marijuana has been challenging. One of the challenges is that many of the people who smoke weed also smoke tobacco. This makes it impossible to establish whether whatever cancer that a user may get is are caused by marijuana or by tobacco.
Animal research shows that some chemicals in marijuana inhibit the growth of tumors. These chemicals may counteract the effects of the carcinogens in marijuana and keep weed smokers from getting cancer. This study, however, is still in its preclinical stages, and researchers don’t know whether marijuana would inhibit the growth of tumors in humans.
The body of research available at the moment is not extensive enough to help us conclude that marijuana doesn’t cause cancer. There is, therefore, a need for further research to be conducted on this matter.
In the future, as research continues, the question, “does marijuana cause testicular cancer?” may not be as far-fetched as it now appears.
Vaporizing — is it Safer?
Whether vaporizing is safe is therefore determined by the method you use for vaping. CDC has reported significant health issues associated with vaping marijuana. Reported cases are all associated with the use of vape pens, which might, in some instances, release toxins into the body.
The toxins are especially likely to affect the user if high THC marijuana is used. THC is psychoactive, and its activity on the brain may leave people wondering whether marijuana can cause brain cancer.