Marijuana swaths are unhealthier than tobacco smoke

Passive smoking of cannabis damages the vessels longer term

Marijuana swathes damage the vessels more sustainably than tobacco smoke. © Agafapaperiapunta / thinkstock
Read out

Harmless: Even passive marijuana smoking can damage your health. As an experiment with rats suggests, the cannabis swaths may even be unhealthier than tobacco smoke. Accordingly, even a minute passive smoking significantly affects the vascular function. And: The arteries recover much more slowly than passive tobacco smoking. It takes three times as long to regain their full performance. This could also have long-term consequences, the researchers warn.

No illegal drug is more popular than cannabis. The hemp plant is the most consumed banned substance in the world - and is increasingly being used legally for medical purposes. Because the drug contained in it has a calming effect, relaxes the muscles and relieves pain. But despite its healing potential, cannabis is not without its risks. The drug is addictive, can cause psychosis, among other things and should also affect cognitive abilities.

Scientists led by Xiaoyin Wang of the University of California, San Francisco, now warn that the passive smoking of marijuana should not be underestimated. "There is a widespread belief that marijuana smoke, unlike tobacco smoke, is completely harmless, " say the researchers. However, a study by the team reveals now: the smoke seems to be even more harmful than the equivalent of conventional cigarettes.

Vessels are recovering more slowly

For their study, the scientists observed how passive smoking affects the blood vessels of rats. For this they exposed live rodents to both marijuana and tobacco - and in similar amounts as they would inhale as a passive smoker in everyday life. Before and after the experiment, the researchers studied the vascular function of their animal subjects: How well could the blood be pumped through their arteries?

The results showed that after just one minute of rats inhaling marijuana, the arteries were significantly less effective at transporting the blood. The extent of the impairment was similar to the size of the experiment with tobacco smoke. However, the animals needed at least three times as long to recover from the marijuana swaths: After the one-minute tobacco smoke smoking, the function of the vessels was restored after 30 minutes on average, and marijuana after 90 minutes. display

Wang's team was also able to prove that neither toxic substances contained in cannabis, such as nicotine, nor the psychoactive cannabinoids such as THC or the cigarette paper are responsible for the harmful effect. Because the burning of the plant material affected the Gef auche even if these substances were removed and no paper was used. Even the pure plant material seems to cause the negative influence on the Gef deme.

Higher risk of heart attacks?

For the scientists, the study indicates that passive marijuana smoking can harm health. "The arteries of rats and humans are very similar to tobacco smoke. We can therefore assume that this also applies to marijuana, "says co-author Matthew Springer.

Although the observed effect is temporary. "But the problems can become long-term if you are exposed to the smoke too often, " says Springer. As a result, the risk of hardened or clogged arteries may increase, and thus the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The researchers therefore recommend avoiding passive smoking whether from tobacco, marijuana or other sources. (Journal of the American Heart Association, 2016; doi: 10.1161 / JAHA.116.003858)

(American Heart Association, 29.07.2016 - DAL)