Secondhand marijuana smoke may be three times more harmful to the arterial walls than cigarette smoke, according to a new study.
Marijuana has been legalized in some form in more than 20 states in the US, however, scientists are still studying the potential negative effects stemmed from the drug.
Matthew Springer, a biologist, and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco, believes that passive marijuana smoke is more dangerous than tobacco.
“People think cannabis is fine because it’s ‘natural’. I hear this a lot. I don’t know what it means,” Springer said.
Professor Springer decided to use the same tests that he performed when he researched the health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke on rats, but this time, the smoke would come from marijuana.
The researchers exposed mice to marijuana smoke as well as fume from tobacco. According to the study, cigarette smoke affected the expanding arteries for 30 minute whereas marijuana fumes damaged the blood vessels for 90 minutes.
Springer had also mentioned other researchers who are exploring the possible link between long-term cancer risk and marijuana smoke. He believes that people might think that the absence of research on secondhand marijuana might translate to the drug being healthier than tobacco.
The active ingredient in marijuana, known as THC, affects brain areas that influence pleasure, concentration, thinking, coordination, time perception, and movement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that smoke from cigarettes contains over 7 thousand chemicals out of which 70 are known to cause cancer.
“We have not been telling them to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana, and that’s not because it’s not bad for your—it’s because we just haven’t known.” Springer said.
Image Source: MaxPixel