New Telegraph

December 10, 2023

Study links long-term cannabis use to lungs damage

Researchers in New Zealand have said smoking cannabis could lead to lung damage, but in a different way to tobacco.


The study by the new University of Otago in New Zealand tagged ‘Differential Effects of Cannabis and Tobacco on Lung Function in Mid-Adult Life’ is published in the ‘American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine’.


Study co-author Professor Bob Hancox said until  adminisrecently, it was assumed that cannabis would have similar effects to tobacco, but this does not seem to be the case. He said: “Although the effects of cannabis were detrimental, the pattern of lung function changes was not the same.


“The research found that prolonged cannabis use led to over-inflated lungs and increased the resistance to airflow to a greater extent than tobacco. “It was also found that cannabis use may also impair the ability of the lungs to extract oxygen from the breath.


This is a known consequence of smoking tobacco, but has not been demonstrated with cannabis until now,” reported the ‘Science Daily’ The findings come from the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has documented cannabis use and measured lung function throughout adult life up to age 45 in more than 1000 individuals born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972/73. About 75 per cent of the Dunedin study members had used cannabis at some time in their lives.

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