Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries and is now being legalized in many places around the world. With its increasing popularity, there are many people who are wondering about cannabis’ effect on the lungs. In this blog post, we will explore the effect of cannabis on lung function and look at the risks associated with using cannabis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's definitely bad for your lungs
There's no other way around it. Smoking anything will almost always have harmful effects on the human lungs and cannabis is no exception. The effect of cannabis smoke on the lungs is similar to that of tobacco smoke. Both contain harmful chemicals that can damage lung tissue and lead to respiratory problems. Existing research has shown that smoking cannabis can lead to the following long-term effect on your lung function:
- Cause bronchitis
- Injure the cell linings of large airways
- Lead to chronic cough, phlegm production, wheezing, and acute bronchitis
Cannabis smokers are more likely to suffer from bronchitis and have a higher risk of developing lung cancer. A 40-year cohort study has also found initial longitudinal evidence that cannabis use might elevate the risk of lung cancer.
Is it as bad as smoking tobacco though?
Cannabis smoke contains many of the same toxins that are present in tobacco smoke which means they will likely have similar negative effects on your lung function. Some people also argue that cannabis smokers tend to inhale more deeply and hold their breath for longer when smoking, resulting in a greater amount of tar being deposited in the lungs which can lead to more damage.
With that being said, there are still research and evidence that argue otherwise. A large scale study led by UCSF and University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that low to moderate use of marijuana is less harmful to users’ lungs than exposure to tobacco, even though the two substances contain many of the same components.
Cannabis and COVID-19
This is a tricky one. Cannabis certainly has its negative effects on lung functions and it's hard to believe that it could prevent COVID-19 or alleviate its symptoms. However, a cohort study has found that cannabis consumption is associated with lower COVID-19 severity among hospitalized patients. In this study, active cannabis users hospitalized with COVID-19 had better clinical outcomes than non-users, including a decreased need for ICU admission or mechanical ventilation.
But don't jump to conclusions just yet. We know that this study has often been used to support the idea that smoking weed can help with COVID-19, but that's not the whole picture. The results of this study still need to be interpreted with caution given the limitations of a retrospective analysis. There is just not enough conclusive evidence yet to define cannabis' effect on COVID-19.
So, in short, no, don't smoke your entire stash thinking that cannabis could prevent COVID-19 or alleviate its symptoms. Do it only because it's fun and will get you really high.
Is smoking in a bong better for your lungs?
Again, there are two schools of thought on this topic and there is no clear-cut conclusion just yet. Some people argue that using a bong filtrates the smoke and makes it less harmful to your lungs. Others believe that the water in the bong actually cools down the smoke and makes it easier for you to inhale more deeply, which could be more harmful in the long run.
Some existing research does suggest that smoking weed with a bong could have fewer negative effects on your lungs. A study by Dr. Gary Huber at the University of Texas suggested water filtration can be effective in removing components from marijuana smoke that are known toxicants, while allowing the THC to pass through relatively intact.
Conclusion: What should you do?
Smoking cannabis certainly has negative effects on your lungs and probably does nothing to prevent you from catching COVID-19 or alleviate its symptoms. However, regardless of what the research says, we believe you are going to smoke weed anyway and you might as well do it right. Make the most out of this potentially harmful endeavor by getting as high as you possibly can. Smoke every bit of your weed with a truly premium and top-quality bong.
Made from non-porous laboratory-grade Borosilicate glass that will not absorb odors or chemical residues, Vitae Glass’s wide collection of build-a-bongs takes no effort to clean and offers unbelievably smooth hits that will elevate your entire smoking experience. Enjoy free U.S. shipping for orders over $200.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post on how cannabis affects your lungs and COVID-19 risks! Be sure to check back soon for more great content like this! Until then, happy trails!
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