Smoking marijuana exposes the body to some of the same dangerous cancer-causing chemicals released from tobacco, but at lower levels, study finds.
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the level of dangerous chemicals in blood and urine of 245 volunteers who don't smoke or smoke a combination of weed or tobacco.
Those who only smoke marijuana still had several smoke-related toxic chemicals in their system - but at lower levels than those who also or only smoke tobacco.
Chemicals found in those exclusively smoking marijuana or tobacco include napthalene, acrylonitrile and acrylamide - probably carcinogens that can cause liver damage, are linked to cancer and a range of other health issues, researchers claim.
However, another chemical, acrolein that is known to contribute to cardiovascular disease in tobacco smokers - only increased with tobacco smoking not marijuana.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The team say reducing acrolein exposure from tobacco smoking and other sources could be a strategy for reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Those who only smoke marijuana still had several smoke-related toxic chemicals in their system - but at lower levels than those who also or only smoke tobacco
Marijuana use is on the rise in the US with a growing number of states legalising it for medical and nonmedical purposes - including five more states in the 2020 election.
'The increase has renewed concerns about the potential health effects of marijuana smoke, which is known to contain some of the same toxic combustion products found in tobacco smoke,' said the senior author, Dana Gabuzda, MD, of Dana-Farber.
'This is the first study to compare exposure to acrolein and other harmful smoke-related chemicals over time in exclusive marijuana smokers and tobacco smokers, and to see if those exposures are related to cardiovascular disease.'
The study involved 245 HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants in three studies of HIV infection in the US - HIV infected people were used because of high tobacco and marijuana smoking rates in this group.
The researchers collected data from participants' medical records and survey results and analysed their blood and urine samples for substances produced by the breakdown of nicotine or the combustion of tobacco or marijuana.
Combining these datasets enabled them to trace the presence of specific toxic chemicals to tobacco or marijuana smoking.
They could also see if any were associated with an increased risk of heart disease.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The investigators found that