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Is smoking pot bad?

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It doesn't cause lung cancer, according to a new study:

 

http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/05/24/pot.lung.cancer.reut/index.html

 

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Marijuana smoking does not increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer, according to the findings of a new study at the University of California Los Angeles that surprised even the researchers.

 

They had expected to find that a history of heavy marijuana use, like cigarette smoking, would increase the risk of cancer.

 

Instead, the study, which compared the lifestyles of 611 Los Angeles County lung cancer patients and 601 patients with head and neck cancers with those of 1,040 people without cancer, found no elevated cancer risk for even the heaviest pot smokers. It did find a 20-fold increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day.

 

The study results were presented in San Diego Tuesday at a meeting of the American Thoracic Society.

 

The study was confined to people under age 60 since baby boomers were the most likely age group to have long-term exposure to marijuana, said Dr. Donald Tashkin, senior researcher and professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.

 

The results should not be taken as a blank check to smoke pot, which has been associated with problems including cognitive impairment and chronic bronchitis, said Dr. John Hansen-Flaschen, chief of pulmonary and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia. He was not involved in the study.

 

Previous studies showed marijuana tar contained about 50 percent more of the chemicals linked to lung cancer, compared with tobacco tar, Tashkin said. In addition, smoking a marijuana joint deposits four times more tar in the lungs than smoking an equivalent amount of tobacco.

 

"Marijuana is packed more loosely than tobacco, so there's less filtration through the rod of the cigarette, so more particles will be inhaled," Tashkin said in a statement. "And marijuana smokers typically smoke differently than tobacco smokers -- they hold their breath about four times longer, allowing more time for extra fine particles to deposit in the lung."

 

He theorized that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a chemical in marijuana smoke that produces its psychotropic effect, may encourage aging, damaged cells to die off before they become cancerous.

 

Hansen-Flaschen also cautioned a cancer-marijuana link could emerge as baby boomers age and there may be smaller population groups, based on genetics or other factors, still at risk for marijuana-related cancers.

 

Copyright 2006 Reuters.

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And saying it doesnt cause cancer is ridiculious, it releases carcinogens which turn on oncogenes.
Tell that to the UCLA researchers...

 

Though it's likely that others will now to duplicate the results.

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Tell that to the UCLA researchers...

 

Though it's likely that others will now to duplicate the results.

Carcinogens are let out every time you light butane... strike a match, every time you burn something... you inhale them, they turn on oncogenes. In paper alone there are 21 carcinogens. I don't know about the pot itself, but if it's done in a joint theres 21+ carcinogens.

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...the presence of carcinogens is telling, but it appears that statistically this does not increase your chances of lung cancer. although i do think the sample is pretty small, i suppose further studies will provide more conclusive data one way or the other.

 

in the end Mr/s. Zoot, you are right, there are carcinogens present, but they haven't been shown, yet, to statistically increase the risk of lung cancer.

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i think marijuana generally has a different effect on each user. some people experience an increase in productivity whereas others turn into couch potatoes. we all can testify to our own expereiences which is why i don't think we can truly support a broad statement of 'pot is bad' or 'pot is good' because it varies so heavily. not only the user but the dose, the potency. the blend etc.

 

just my thoughts that i decided to share...

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agreed, to some extent. but there are fairly objective standards that one can judge it by, such as medical effects.

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If you are not a responsible and careful person, yes smoking pot can have far reaching consequences. But if your careful and portray yourself in a manner of "ideal citizenship" than you really don't have much to worry about. Oh yeah, If you get brown shitty weed do yourself a favor and give it back or make it into brownies so at least it doesn't all go to waste! And as far as productivity goes, I think if you have any bit of self control you can shake off the fatigue and it can influence you to be productive in many aspects. This is especially true when it comes to reading or making music. It can make a person get into a mental state that yields much creative and intellectual productivity. Of course, thats not to say that limits shouldn't be observed. If you smoke all the time its only logical that you will burn yourself out. Temperance is a very good thing if you wish to enjoy the herb.

 

Thats just speaking from a wee bit of experience though....

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first off, one study issuing results of pot not causing cancer is not definitive by any means. as someone else mentioned... other scientists will now attempt to duplicate. theories and methods are tested for robustness and ruggedness. (how the results vary under identical conditions and slightly varying conditions).

second off, you must remember that they are looking for statistical significance. without reading the study, one never knows what threshold they use for their significance value. some medical studies use 5% or more. others use 95%. so really, the study could say you have a 80% greater chance... and still the results are "not significant." although i do not think such is the case.

third, the language of the article is not very precise. it doesnt say whether a third population of pot smokers was used in comparison. it doesnt really explain how the camparison between the smokers and nonsmokers was made. were the people with head neck and lung cancer all smokers? was the population of pot smokers lumped in? or were pot smokers all the healthy non-cancer patients? its not very informative.

 

as a scientist, i award zero points to reuters for this piece of journalism or negative one million to the researchers... depending on which is the idiot in reporting.

 

also as a scientist, i think its just a bunch of bullshit that smoking pot isnt bad for your health. but most of you know my reasons for that.

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