Vaping marijuana has been associated with increased symptoms of lung damage compared to other forms of smoking or vaping. According to a University of Michigan study, adolescents who vape cannabis are at a higher risk for respiratory symptoms indicative of lung injury than those who smoke cigarettes, marijuana, or vape nicotine. This finding challenges the conventional belief about the safety of vaping nicotine.
Harvard Health emphasizes the importance of using cannabis safely. They suggest avoiding smoking cannabis, which can inflame the lungs, and instead opting for alternatives like under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers. If smoking cannabis is the only option, it’s advised not to hold the smoke in the lungs for more than a couple of seconds, as this does not enhance the effect but rather irritates the lungs. Additionally, Harvard Health advises against driving for at least four hours after cannabis use due to its potential effects on cognitive and motor skills.
A study highlighted by Stanford scientists found a correlation between marijuana use and heart-attack risk. Interestingly, a molecule in soybeans may counteract these effects. This finding is compared to the evolving understanding of vaping, which was initially marketed as a safer alternative to smoking but has since been linked to lung damage and other health risks.
The Mayo Clinic Health System also points out that inhaling smoke from burning marijuana can irritate the lining of the lungs, making it easier for infections to occur. Vaping marijuana, though often seen as a safer alternative, still poses significant health risks. Northwell Health adds that vaping has been linked to almost 3,000 cases of hospitalization for lung injuries, including 68 deaths, particularly involving products containing THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Heart-related risks associated with marijuana use are also a significant concern. Harvard Health reports that marijuana can cause the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise, which can be dangerous for people with heart disease. The risk of heart attack is several times higher in the hour after smoking marijuana than it would be normally, and other studies have found a link between marijuana use and atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat.
Overall, while the debate on the safety of vaping versus smoking continues, current evidence suggests that vaping marijuana may pose even greater risks to respiratory and cardiovascular health than smoking cigarettes or marijuana or vaping e-cigarettes.