Is smoking weed less dangerous than smoking cigarettes?

People commonly compare smoking marijuana with puffing cigarettes, thinking these are similar. They believe that these practices are harmful to the lungs. 

This article will help you grasp the difference between smoking weed and smoking tobacco, as well as the other ways of ingesting Cannabis.

Is smoking weed less dangerous than smoking cigarettes?

How does cigarette smoking affect our lungs?

Smoking cigarettes has severe health complications to your respiratory system. Such a fact is especially true for your lungs.

Smoking cigarettes can have a pressing negative impact on your health. Cigarette smoke comprises a complex mixture of about 7,000 compounds in each puff. When you inhale this, the smoke hits your lungs immediately. And the poisonous compounds are transmitted via your bloodstream to the rest of your body.

The fundamental function of the lungs is to transfer oxygen-rich blood from the air you breathe into the rest of your body and remove carbon dioxide as waste when you exhale. While no tobacco product is entirely safe, consuming combustible products, such as cigarettes, are particularly harmful to the lungs.

Here are some of the health consequences of smoking tobacco/cigarettes according to the 2010 Surgeon General’s Report:

  1. Smoking damages your airways and the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs, leading to lung disease. Source:
  2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is one of the lung diseases induced by smoking.
  3. Cigarette smoking leads to most cases of lung cancer.
  4. If you have asthma, tobacco smoke can either cause or exacerbate an attack.

How is marijuana smoking different from cigarette smoking?

Although the two materials, marijuana and tobacco, include many of the same components, a large-scale national study reveals that low to moderate marijuana usage is less damaging to users’ lungs than tobacco.

This 20-year study, led by UCSF and the University of Alabama in Birmingham, gathered data from over 5,000 persons in the United States. Mark Pletcher, associate professor in the Division of Clinical Epidemiology at UCSF, was the leading author.

Researchers looked at the link between current and lifetime marijuana use and lung function in a published publication by the American Medical Association (JAMA). From 1985 through 2006, the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study gathered medical information from 5,115 men and women in four U.S. cities.

The researchers measured airflow rate, how quickly a person can blow out air, lung volume, and how much air a person can hold, generally around six liters for an adult male. A spirometer, popular medical equipment that monitors airflow when breathing in and out, was used to assess lung function.

One of the paper’s authors identified tobacco smoke’s harm by saying, "Essentially with tobacco, the more you use, the more loss you have with both of the indicators, airflow rate, and lung volume." He even added, "There’s a straight-line relationship: the more you use, the more you lose."

The same is not the case with marijuana consumption. When exposed to marijuana at a specific level, the airflow rate increased rather than decreased.

The reasonable explanation for this is that marijuana users only smoke weed two to three times per month, on average. On the other hand, cigarette consumers do take 10 to 20 cigars a day.

"Our findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana for these or other purposes may not be associated with adverse consequences on pulmonary function," Pletcher said. "On the other hand, our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavier use – either very frequent use or frequent use over many years – and a resulting need for caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered."

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How to consume cannabis healthily?

There are many ways to consume cannabis healthily. I have listed below four means of consuming marijuana which you can choose according to your preference.

  1. Inhalation
    Smoking and vaping are known methods to inhale cannabis. Smoking Cannabis can only be classified as safe when done very infrequently, and no existing health issues are present.
    For frequent use, Vaping is much safer than smoking cannabis.
    a. Smoking marijuana includes using joints, blunts, pipes, and bongs.
    • Joints refer to marijuana rolled in a paper just like cigarettes. You can also use a filter to keep your fingers from burning while smoking.
    • Blunts are usually bigger and last longer than joints, but they are prepared in the same way. The distinction is that instead of rolling paper, blunts are made from a blunt or cigar wrap.
    • Marijuana pipes, often known as spoons or bowls, are one of the most basic smoking methods. A pipe comprises a hollow bowl, a "stem," and a mouthpiece that you inhale through.
    • Bongs, often known as water pipes, are smoking devices that chill and filter smoke using water. People tend to take larger hits and produce more smoke while using joints, blunts, or bowls since the smoke is cooled. This online store has amazing selections of bongs for your unique cannabis experience.

    b. Nowadays, vaping is becoming a more common way to ingest cannabis. Its popularity is mainly owing to the higher potency it provides and the health benefits associated with it compared to conventional smoking.
    Unlike a joint or bong, vaporizers heat cannabis to temperatures that release cannabinoids – the excellent compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that get you high and provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation—in a fine mist without creating the toxins associated with combustion.

  2. Tea
    This cannabis-infused drink is another alternative to healthily consuming cannabis. Cannabis tea is one of the world’s healthiest beverages. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
    Your stomach will digest weed tea first before being processed in your liver. This process takes far longer than smoking pot, which takes only a few minutes to take effect through your lungs. You may have to wait for an hour or two before you start to feel the benefits.
    To learn more about the benefits of cannabis tea drinks, I recommend this related blog.
  3. Topicals
    If you do not find the first two methods appealing, topical CBD solutions are an option. Applying CBD balms, ointments, or lotions on your skin is known as a topical application. For painful muscles, skin issues, and even migraines, this treatment is ideal. Apply the balm to any sore spot, such as the neck, feet, or back. You can also massage your temples if you have a migraine.
    In this article, I have included some valuable guidelines on choosing the best cannabis topicals in the market today. Be sure to check it out.
  4. Edibles
    In terms of popularity, edibles are one of the fastest-growing ways to consume CBD. If you don’t like the flavor of CBD oil on its own, you can add it to your food. CBD edibles, such as CBD gummies or lollipops, are also excellent choices. They’re not only delicious, but they’re also the most inconspicuous method to consume CBD, particularly if you need to take a dose at work.
    If you find marijuana edibles interesting, this blog section will satisfy your curiosity.

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