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Government Study Finds Moderate Use of Cannabis Does Not Negatively Affect Lung Function

A recent study has found that smoking cannabis on a moderately consistent basis, even in the course of several years, does not damage nor impair lung function.

The study followed over 5,000 individuals in the last 20 years and found that smoking cannabis regularly, which is equal to up to a joint per day over 7 years, did not impair lung function or performance on a test that measured pulmonary obstruction. The test looked at the amount of air an individual can force out in a second after taking a deep breath. Smoking tobacco can usually worsened pulmonary obstruction.

Surprisingly, the researchers noted that compared to non-smokers, cannabis users even performed a little better on the lung function test. Researchers said that this finding may simply reflect the years of “training” that cannabis smokers went through, that is, taking deep inhalations and holding the smoke.

A pulmonologist from UCLA, Dr. Donald Tashkin, studied cannabis for more than 3 decades. He said that the results confirmed findings from other studies presenting “that essentially there is no significant relationship between marijuana exposure and impairment in lung function.” He said that cannabis smoke may not be as harmful as tobacco smoke because its active ingredient, THC, has anti-inflammatory effects.

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