Is Vaping Marijuana More Harmful to Lung Health Than Other Forms of Smoking?

The health impacts of vaping marijuana, as compared to smoking cigarettes or marijuana, or using e-cigarettes, are a topic of growing concern. Recent studies suggest that vaping marijuana may be associated with more respiratory symptoms indicative of lung damage.

Vaping involves heating a liquid, which turns into an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs. Devices like e-cigarettes, mods, and vape pens are used for this process. The liquid, often referred to as vape juice or e-liquid, can contain various substances, including THC, the main psychotropic ingredient in marijuana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported almost 3,000 cases of hospitalization due to lung injuries from vaping, including 68 deaths, particularly from products containing THC. Some of these products may also contain other harmful substances, like vitamin E, which can cause acute lung injury.

Inhaling smoke from burning marijuana can irritate the lining of the lungs, potentially making it easier for bacteria and viruses to cause infections. Although some research suggests that the way marijuana is smoked – with deep inhalation – could potentially have pulmonary benefits, such as stretching lung tissue and expanding lung volume, the overall consensus points towards the risks. Marijuana smoke, like any smoke, can inflame the lungs.

Moreover, the long-term effects of vaping are still not fully understood. While some patients may recover quickly from lung injuries caused by vaping, the lasting impact on lung health is uncertain. Symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, and nausea are common among those who have suffered lung injuries from vaping.

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For cannabis users, safer alternatives to smoking or vaping are recommended, such as using under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers. It’s advised not to hold smoke in the lungs for more than a second or two during smoking, as this doesn’t increase the effect but can irritate the lungs.

As research continues, there remains an element of doubt regarding the full extent of the health risks associated with vaping marijuana compared to other forms of smoking. For individuals with heart disease, the risks are even more pronounced, as marijuana can cause the heart to beat faster and raise blood pressure.

For more detailed information on this topic, you can read further at the following sources:
University of Michigan,
Mayo Clinic Health System,
Harvard Health,
Harvard Health,
Northwell Health,
University of Michigan,
Harvard Health,
University of Michigan,
Harvard Health,
Ohio State Medical Center.

Is Vaping Marijuana More Harmful to Lung Health Than Other Forms of Smoking?

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