Researchers Dive Into Finding Whether Marijuana Use Can Cause Cancer


The use of cannabis around United States is increasing with more and more state governments giving their approval to it. Now not only is the drug in more and more use for medical purposes; people are also using it recreationally. When it comes to recreational use, which people engage in for clearing their head and having a good time, most smoke the herb.

Joints remain in the top ways people use cannabis recreationally despite the presence of many other ways to consume it. But is smoking cannabis not cancerous like smoking cigarettes is? Some past studies show that cannabis can up risk of lung cancer and testicular cancer. Now researches have dug deeper to study this link. Scientists from various institutions have conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing studies on the matter.

Cannabis Smoke Contains Carcinogens

Published in the JAMA Network Open journal, this new research work has found that many of the carcinogens found in cigarette smoke can also be found in cannabis smoke. If both share similar toxic substances, most likely cannabis smoke can also cause cancer.

“Marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke share carcinogens, including toxic gases, reactive oxygen species, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzo[alpha]pyrene and phenols, which are 20 times higher in unfiltered marijuana than in cigarette smoke,” wrote the authors of the study.

Link Between Cannabis Smoke And Cancer

For the purpose of this research, scientists looked at 25 studies. Of these, eight were on lung cancer, nine on head and neck cancer, seven on urogenital cancer, and the rest of the four were on other types. These studies focused on the link between chronic cannabis use and different types of cancer.

Researchers found:

  • There were mixed results on link between cannabis use and lung cancer
  • Smoking one cannabis joint a day didn’t increase head and neck cancer risk
  • Link between heavy use of cannabis and head and neck cancer was mixed
  • Regarding urogenital cancers, marijuana use for 10 years was found to raise risk of testicular cancer
  • There was not enough evidence to see how cannabis use affected risk of other types of cancers

Limitations Of The Research

Study researchers noted that there were several limitations. Studies analyzed had many methodological issues as well as few participants who identified as heavy users. Therefore, researchers need more evidence in this regard. Since use of cannabis is increasing, and people are getting legal access to the substance it is essential to understand the risks of consuming the plant.

Sum Up

Many studies show that cannabis can cause certain cancers which goes against evidence that it can halt the growth of the disease. Now a new research work dived in to study the link between cannabis smoking and cancer. Though it didn’t find substantial evidence and results were mixed for most cancers, researchers did find that many toxins found in cigarette smoke can also be found in cannabis smoke.


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