The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Damn, They Have All The Luck

I have never had the pleasure of trying marijuana, but as you all know, I greatly relish pipe tobacco. Below is a new study showing that indulgers in the green leaf may (at low doses) experience IMPROVED lung function. I wish a study would show that to be the case for my beloved brown leaf (pipe tobacco). I guess, maybe I should switch? Just kidding, but what does it actually feel like when a person indulges in the greener leaf?

Light Pot Smoking Easy on Lungs: For Those Who Did Inhale Infrequently, 20-year Study Shows Minor Pulmonary Improvement

By Nathan Seppa in Science News
Web edition : Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
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People who smoke marijuana for recreational or medical purposes might now breathe easier. Scientists report in the Jan. 11 Journal of the American Medical Association that occasional cannabis users don’t experience any loss of lung function.

In a 20-year study that included lung tests and a specific accounting of marijuana use, scientists also found that people who smoke more than 20 times a month and accumulate many years of use might have a slight drop in lung capacity over time. But the researchers are unsure of that finding since it was based on scant data.

The study is the longest ever conducted that measures cannabis smoking and lung function, uses standard lung measurements and includes thousands of volunteers, says Donald Tashkin, a pulmonologist at UCLA who wasn’t involved in the study. “That makes it important,” he says.

The data, he says, also suggest that marijuana is not a significant risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema. COPD is marked by loss of lung function and is typically caused by tobacco smoking.

The researchers tapped into a health study of 5,115 young adults recruited in 1985 and given lung tests periodically until 2006. The volunteers revealed whether and how often they smoked tobacco, marijuana or both. Most marijuana users in the study reported light use — a few times a month on average during the two decades.

After accounting for tobacco use, sex, race, body size and even pollution and secondhand smoke exposure, the researchers found that these light marijuana users had above-average scores for their age on lung function tests where they blew air into a gauge. People averaging somewhat higher use fared no better or worse than peers their age, while those who used cannabis at least 20 times a month for years showed hints of slightly reduced lung capacity, says study coauthor Stefan Kertesz, an internist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Jeanette Tetrault, an internist and addiction specialist at Yale University School of Medicine, says the study is methodologically sound and the results are believable. But the potential for lung damage from frequent use makes a cautionary point, she says. “My concern is that giving the green light on light smoking might lead to heavy smoking.”

Besides, Tetrault says, a lung function test “doesn’t describe the entire picture.” Cannabis smoking causes increased coughing, phlegm production and wheezing, she says.

Kertesz agrees but notes that the large airways, the ones primarily irritated by marijuana smoke, seem to bounce back well. “Our bodies have evolved to recover from such short-term insults,” he says.

Marijuana has been approved for medical purposes in 16 states. Pharmacologist Karen Wright of Lancaster University in England says that while the new findings are reassuring for low-dose users, people who use medical marijuana regularly might be better off if they don’t have to inhale combustion fumes to do so. Researchers have made some progress on that front, having developed a spray containing two active cannabis components (SN: 6/19/2010, p. 16). “We should find better ways to administer cannabis compounds that are proven clinically to have a therapeutic benefit,” Wright says.

Very interesting.



Blogger (M)ary said...

improve lung function?

i don't think so, not when it is smoked!!

i have indulged and i think it helps with migraines, anxiety and pain relief but i cannot imagine how it could improve lung function.

Friday, 03 February, 2012  
Blogger BBC said...

I've just dabbled in it a bit but I can't agree with that study because I know a hell of a lot of pot smokers with bad lungs, hearts, you name it.

Not that pot was the cause of their problems, we do so many things trying to destroy ourselves.

Hum, maybe we enjoy trying to destroy ourselves?

Friday, 03 February, 2012  
Blogger siryoz0 said...

Have you heard about this product that can help you battle and manage marijuana withdrawal symptoms? A friend just directed me to this corner because he is aware our family needs it most.

Wednesday, 02 May, 2012  

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