Study Shows Regular Marijuana Use Not Associated with Lung Cancer

May 10, 2013

American Association of Cancer Research, California Pacific Medical Center, Harvard, lung cancer, Temple University, tobacco, UCLA, Zhang

Regular marijuana use does not increase one’s chances of developing lung cancer, reported UCLA’s Dr. Li Rita Zhang during the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research.

Dr. Zhang dually analyzed data from six case-control studies conducted from 1999 to 2012 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, which, when combined, tallied a subject pool of 2,159 lung cancer cases and 2,985 controls.

Dr. Zhang’s examination found that when compared with marijuana smokers who also used tobacco, habitual users (i.e., individuals who smoked one joint a day per year) had no notable increase in cancer risk. There were also no significant differences among marijuana-only smokers.

Pulmonologist and chief medical officer of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla. Dr. Michael Alberts stated that although other published studies have shown a correlation between smoking marijuana and lung cancer “the conventional wisdom is that cannabis smoking is not as dangerous as cigarette smoking."

He then argued that while smoking anything is not ideal for the respiratory system, when it came to medical marijuana, the benefits could outweigh the risk, a sentiment supported by multiple studies such as those conducted by the Temple University School of Pharmacy, researchers at Harvard, and the California Pacific Medical Center.