Smoking marijuana has toxic effects on cells

In a finding that challenges the increasingly popular belief that smoking marijuana is less harmful to health than smoking tobacco, researchers in Canada are reporting that smoking marijuana, like smoking tobacco, has toxic effects on cells.

Their study is scheduled for the Aug. 17 issue of ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.

Rebecca Maertens and colleagues note that people often view marijuana as a "natural" product and less harmful than tobacco. As public attitudes toward marijuana change and legal restrictions ease in some countries, use of marijuana is increasing. Scientists know that marijuana smoke has adverse effects on the lungs. However, there is little knowledge about marijuana's potential to cause lung cancer due to the difficulty in identifying and studying people who have smoked only marijuana.

The new study begins to address that question by comparing marijuana smoke vs. tobacco smoke in terms of toxicity to cells and to DNA. Scientists exposed cultured animal cells and bacteria to condensed smoke samples from both marijuana and tobacco. There were distinct differences in the degree and type of toxicity elicited by marijuana and cigarette smoke. Marijuana smoke caused significantly more damage to cells and DNA than tobacco smoke, the researchers note. However, tobacco smoke caused chromosome damage while marijuana did not.



  1. Paul Lagoon Paul Lagoon United States says:

    I did a little research on the ACS (American Chemical Society). They are the ones publishing this study. I can't say I was surprised by who funds the ACS. Here's a few of the companies.

    Merck and Co.
    Eli Lilly and Company
    Bristol-Myers Squibb
    Millennium Pharmaceuticals
    Abbott Labs

    Are you surprised? These companies DO NOT want to see marijuana legalized. Why would they want a safer alternative to their patented, often dangerous drugs.
    Open your eyes, people!

    Like it or not, legalization is on the horizon. Hence the reason for these new "studies" being funded by the legal drug pushers. More and more people are educating themselves on the real marijuana issue. This is 2009, we are able to easily do our own research on virtually any subject. We no longer need to be spoon fed information. It is there for the taking. I strongly urge every American to do a little research on the history of marijuana and how it became illegal. A good starting point would be to google "Harry J. Anslinger".

  2. john rambo john rambo United States says:

    Post above is correct, "ere is little knowledge about marijuana's potential to cause lung cancer due to the difficulty in identifying and studying people who have smoked only marijuana." that line in this paragraph (not article) proves it's full of BS

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
You might also like... ×
Combination therapies are the most effective smoking cessation medicines, review finds