Marijuana Smoke Could Have Similar Effects on Lungs as Tobacco

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stefania I. Papatheodorou, MD, PhD Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health Limassol, Cyprus

Dr. Stefania Papatheodorou

Stefania I. Papatheodorou, MD, PhD
Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health
Limassol, Cyprus

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Despite increasing use and acceptance of marijuana, both medically and recreationally, gaps remain in our knowledge regarding potential health effects.

In this study, we aimed to evaluate associations between recent marijuana use, exhaled Nitric Oxide (eNO) and pulmonary function. We performed a cross-sectional study of 10,327 US adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the years 2007 to 2012.

Exhaled Nitric Oxide was lower among participants who used marijuana in the past 0 to 4 days and those who last used marijuana 5 to 30 days before the examination compared with the never users. FEV1 was higher among participants who used marijuana within 0 to 4 days before the examination compared with those who never used marijuana, while FVC was higher in both past and current marijuana users compared with never users. The FEV1/FVC ratio was significantly lower among those who used marijuana in the 0 to 4 days before the examination compared with never users.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: There is evidence that marijuana smoke could have effects similar to those of tobacco smoke, if the detrimental effects of tobacco on nitric oxide production are due to the combustion products in inhaled smoke.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Given that nitric oxide plays a role in inflammatory and immune defense pathways in the respiratory system and is a mediator of vasodilation in the pulmonary and systemic vasculature, it would be useful to further explore the associations between marijuana use and vascular and pulmonary function in randomized trials.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Recent marijuana use and associations with exhaled nitric oxide and pulmonary function in US adults
Stefania I. Papatheodorou, MD, PhD; Hannah Buettner, BA; Mary B. Rice, MD, MPH; Murray A. Mittleman, MD, DrPH
Chest. 2016;149(6):1428-1435. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2015.12.033

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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