The Respiratory Effects of Smoking Cannabis

A Systematic Review of the Respiratory Effects of Inhalational Marijuana

In Summary

A recent meta-analysis has compiled a list of all known effects of smoking medical cannabis. Smoke is produced when medical cannabis is combusted by a flame, like when users smoke a bowl of flower products. Although fewer carcinogens were found in the smoke produced from cannabis than the smoke produced from cigarettes, those who choose to smoke medical cannabis still put themselves at great risk of developing lung cancer, spontaneous pneumothorax, bullous emphysema, and COPD. The medical benefits like bronchodilation, pain relief, and uplifting feelings are still able to take effect but patients considering smoking cannabis should be made aware of the risks associated with the inhalation of smoke. Other consumption methods such as vaporization, edibles, or topicals pose much less of a health risk to users. This article highlights the importance of choosing an appropriate consumption method depending on your ailment. Those suffering from lung cancer or COPD may be less inclined to vaporize their marijuana because of the lung strain, or more inclined to vaporize marijuana to replace a possible cigarette habit. Vaporization occurs at a much lower temperature than combustion, which requires a flame, which provides more efficient delivery of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present in a flower product. Each cannabinoid has a specific vaporization temperature that optimizes the benefits of that cannabinoid and many vaporizers have been designed with the ability to heat up to specific temperatures so that patients can get the most out of their product. Users should discuss the best options for their ailment with their physicians and budtenders.

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