Health Hazards of Smoking Marijuana

Marijuana smoke contains a greater amount of carcinogens than tobacco smoke. In addition, marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, further increasing the lungs exposure to carcinogenic smoke. Marijuana use is not only associated with adverse physical effects, but also mental, emotional and behavioral changes.

People who smoke marijuana frequently, but do not smoke tobacco, have more health problems and miss more days of work than nonsmokers. Many of these extra sick days are due to respiratory illnesses.

Patients considering using marijuana for medicinal purposes should make this decision in consultation with their doctor, and consider means of administration other than smoking.

Updated November 27, 2012


References: National Institute on Drug Abuse. DrugFacts: Marijuana. Revised November 2010.