Cannabis vs. Tobacco Smoke: A Closer Appear


As any severe medical doctor or well being care worker will inform you, inhaling smoke is – in a strictly health-related sense – not 100% terrific for your physique. Right after all, this is no longer 1950s America. Back then, your medical doctor may prescribe you Fortunate Strike cigarettes to soothe your sore throat and also make your youngster taller. These days, every person knows that cigarette smoke is damaging and tobacco corporations have stopped attempting to inform anybody otherwise. Having said that, there is nonetheless a extended-operating debate more than no matter whether inhaling cannabis smoke is actually as terrible for you as inhaling tobacco smoke. But does the science back this hypothesis up? 

Cannabis Smoke and Tobacco Smoke: Are They Unique?

As cannabis legalization continues gaining traction, this query will be coming up extra and extra amongst legislators and the public: Is weed smoke much less unsafe than tobacco? Ahead of delving into this query, it bears repeating that inhaling any smoke into your lungs – or any substance in addition to fresh air – can trigger harm to the sensitive tissues of your alveoli more than time and other well being troubles. More than the extended term, heavy use of any inhalant can lead to damaging consequences and cannabis is no exception. With that stated, let’s dive in.


More than time smoking tobacco can lead to a wide variety of severe well being circumstances. photo credit

Think about you are lighting up a joint or a cigarette. As you inhale the burnt plant matter, the combusted plant matter and terpenes hit your alveoli and are absorbed straight into your bloodstream. The nicotine in tobacco or the cannabinoids in weed are then carried swiftly carried to the brain, exactly where they release neurotransmitters such as dopamine to make optimistic feelings. 

Having said that, when you are feeling great, you are not noticing the modest, ragged bits of carbon, tar, and other chemical compounds that are left in your throat and lungs. More than time, these chemical compounds can trigger a quantity of well being challenges, such as cancer. There is a wide chasm separating what these particulates and tars include and what they do to your lungs when it comes to weed versus tobacco although

What’s in Cannabis and Tobacco Smoke?

Smoked tobacco consists of about 7,000 damaging chemical compounds and up to 70 carcinogens. Some of that is due to the additives and other chemical compounds tobacco corporations add to their cigarettes through curing and processing. These additives make them extra enjoyable to smoke – and by a “total coincidence” extra addictive as nicely. 

Even the most naturally grown and cured tobacco nonetheless consists of about 40 carcinogens, generating it a tiny far better but not by a great deal. Also, the nicotine alone will constrict blood vessels and can trigger a host of well being challenges more than time, such as coronary troubles.

Of course, cannabis smoke also consists of carcinogens, but strangely the harm to the lungs and physique appears to be offset. Research have shown minimal influence on lung function as far as lung capacity goes, and the prices of lung cancer amongst extended time pot smokers is almost equal to the typical for non-smokers. All this regardless of the reality that on typical, pot smokers hold the smoke in their lungs 4 occasions as extended as a cigarette smoker. Although scientists are not pretty confident why this is, there are lots of theories. 

Some scientists speculate that cannabis customers may well have healthier lungs for the reason that, on typical, most individuals that consume marijuana do not smoke the exact same quantity as cigarette smokers. Although there are higher amounts of use in health-related sufferers, specially these with chronic discomfort, smoking a bowl right here and there all through the day does not examine to a pack-a-day cigarette habit.

A comparison of a non-smoker's lung and a smoker's one

The shocking comparison of a non-smoker’s lung versus a smoker’s. photo credit

Other people speculate that the cannabinoids may well have some variety of anti-inflammatory effects on the lungs which may well limit the smoke’s harm. Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, inflames the alveoli and damages the cilia, the modest hair-like structures in the throat that assistance to clear out contaminants. Cannabis and CBD may well also have some impact on hindering the development of cancer cells, even though this also remains mainly anecdotal at the time.

What’s Most effective for Your Physique?

Of course, as stated at the starting of this short article, there is practically nothing far better for your physique than not inhaling any smoke at all. Weed smoke nonetheless consists of a plethora of chemical compounds and particulate matter. Lengthy term use of cannabis can lead to a situation identified as chronic bronchitis. Although this is not as serious an challenge as extended term smoking of tobacco can trigger, you are nonetheless stuck with a cough that will not go away. There’s also wheezing, shortness of breath, and further phlegm to deal with, which benefits from the inflammation of your bronchial tissues. Even in this scenario, THC is nonetheless deemed much less damaging to your physique than nicotine, and applied a great deal much less regularly due to its longer effects and lack of addictive properties.

A study performed by the Harm Reduction Journal even showed that cannabis and tobacco smoke are not equally carcinogenic.

So, in brief: Is smoking weed as unsafe to your lungs and basic well being as smoking tobacco? Although there are not numerous distinct research comparing the two, by way of examination of the proof at hand cannabis appears to be the much less damaging solution. Having said that, moderation is significant with anything and cannabis is no unique. Heavy marijuana use can lead to lung and throat troubles, but far much less serious than the troubles from smoking cigarettes. Also, it goes with no saying that if you have by no means attempted smoking cigarettes, do not commence.

What do you assume? Is cannabis smoke much less unsafe than tobacco smoke? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments under!

Photo Credit: Chuck Grimmett (license)


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