Is Vaping Marijuana More Harmful Than Smoking Cigarettes or Using E-cigarettes?


Vaping marijuana has been linked to more symptoms of lung damage than vaping or smoking nicotine, as pointed out by a University of Michigan study. This raises concerns, especially considering the popularity of vaping among youth. Vaping marijuana may appeal to this demographic due to its perceived safety compared to traditional smoking methods and its less noticeable odor.

However, experts like Dr. Boyd emphasize the risks associated with vaping marijuana. “In short, it is all bad, but if you also vape cannabis, you have a greater number of unhealthy respiratory symptoms than if you just smoke cigarettes or marijuana or vape e-cigarettes,” Boyd stated. While it’s clear that cigarettes and e-cigarettes are not beneficial for lung health, vaping marijuana seems to pose even greater risks.

For safer cannabis consumption, Harvard Health advises against smoking cannabis, which can inflame the lungs. They suggest alternatives like under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers. Furthermore, if smoking cannabis is the chosen method, it should not be held in the lungs for more than a second or two, as this does not enhance the effect but rather irritates the lungs.

Besides respiratory issues, marijuana use has heart-related risks. It can cause the heart to beat faster and increase blood pressure, which is particularly dangerous for those with heart disease. Research indicates that the risk of heart attack is significantly higher in the hour after smoking marijuana. Other studies have found a link between marijuana use and atrial fibrillation, as highlighted by Harvard Health.

Interestingly, a Stanford study found a correlation between marijuana use and heart-attack risk, suggesting that a molecule in soybeans may counteract these effects. This comparison of marijuana legalization to vaping, which was initially marketed as a safe smoking cessation method but later linked to lung damage, underscores the evolving understanding of these substances’ impacts on health.

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Moreover, both e-cigarettes and marijuana share similar harmful effects on the heart as tobacco cigarettes. According to a study published in the journal Heart Rhythm by researchers at UC San Francisco, these substances can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, reinforcing the idea that they are harmful to heart health.

In conclusion, while it might be tempting to view vaping marijuana as a safer alternative to traditional smoking methods, current research suggests that it may actually be more harmful, particularly to the lungs and heart. It’s crucial to weigh these risks when considering marijuana use, especially in forms like vaping that might seem less harmful at first glance.

Vaping Marijuana and Lung Damage

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