An Unexpected Health Risk Associated with Marijuana

While it’s obviously still illegal in most parts of the US, there’s been several promising breakthroughs in cannabis med tech in the last couple of years. Cannabis is being used for experimental treatments of diseases like Epilepsy and is gaining traction as a source of alternative pain relief as well.

Furthermore, the cannabis industry in general is at turning point. It’s a pinnacle moment is history as all new industries are opening up related to marijuana cultivation, sales, and branding. In regards to states and cities that have decriminalized there are still many questions relating to marijuana use and health and wellness.

Legal medical and recreational users are left with a biting question: is consuming marijuana in any fashion healthy or dangerous for us?

A recent study which focused on a mixed bag of cannabis and tobacco smokers from New Zealand aimed to answer this.

After comparing and analyzing 1,000 smokers of both cannabis and/or tobacco, researchers found that those who smoked pot for two decades or longer actually had very few health problems aside from one big issue: gum disease.

Madeline Meier, who is an assistant professor of psychology and researcher at Arizona State University, explains these findings:

“Unlike tobacco smoking, cannabis smoking is associated with few physical health problems in midlife, with the exception of periodontal disease… Our analyses show that this association was not explained by tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse or less tooth brushing and flossing.”

This research doesn’t necessarily prove that cannabis causes gum disease. However, it does address negative health issues that may arise when marijuana is smoked regularly. What we do know is that smoking anything creates a byproduct that is damaging to our lungs: carcinogens. Smoking anything over a long period of time suffocates our long term health.

Avshalom Caspi, co-author of the same study and professor of psychology at Duke University, adds:

“What we’re seeing is that cannabis may be damaging to health in some respects, but possibly not in every way. We need to recognize that heavy recreational cannabis use does have some adverse consequences, but overall damage to physical health is not apparent in this study.”

There are likely some inherent risks associated with smoking weed every day for years and years. But there are still other ways to unlock medicinal qualities of marijuana aside from just smoking. Edibles infused with cannabinoids clearly won’t have the same effect on the health of a person’s gums, and the same can be said about tinctures.

Vaporizing pot also has much promise as a healthy alternative to smoking, although there isn’t enough longterm data on vaping to really paint a cohesive picture of safety. What’s important to remember is to practice moderation. That idea transcends marijuana, and can be connected to most realms of overall health.

So there’s no need to panic about your well-being if you live in an area where medical or recreational pot is legal. There is still a huge range of healthy alternatives to explore; the marijuana industry has evolved rapidly and the health of those who partake certainly will not be compromised.

7/14/2016 4:55:37 PM
Robert Parmer
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Robert Parmer is a health and fitness enthusiast, a freelance web writer, a student of Boise State University and a chef. Outside of writing and reading adamantly, he enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. He considers himself both a health foods and non-s...
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