I can confidently say that pretty much everyone has heard of the risks of cigarette smoke. It can cause cancer, breathing problems, gum disease and the list goes on. But what about marijuana smoke? Are the dangers just as detrimental? Let's look at the facts and determine for ourselves.
Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals with at least 250 of those being labeled as harmful. A few examples would be hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and ammonia. And out of those there are 69 known chemicals to cause cancer. Arsenic, formaldehyde and nickel just to name a few.
As I list these chemicals I truly question how cigarettes are legal, yet cannabis is not. But that's for another article.
If the chemical list wasn't scary enough, cigarette smokers are 3 times more likely to die prematurely than non smokers. More than 450,000 deaths each year are linked to cigarette smoking. Among the deaths, 36% is from cancer, 39% is from heart disease and stroke and 24% is from lung disease.
Cigarette smoking causes harm to almost every organ in the body from the lungs to the bladder to the colon. Besides causing life threatening diseases and cancers it can cause diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts and more!
Now there are literally no positives to smoking tobacco or cigarettes, only negatives. This is where the positives of smoking cannabis may outweigh the negatives. There haven't been nearly as many studies on marijuana smoke as on tobacco smoke so it could be more or less damaging than listed below.
Any type of combusted smoke is bad on the lungs, even that from burning wood. Marijuana smoke actually contains some of the same toxins, irritants and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde are all cancer causing chemicals and are found in both tobacco and marijuana smoke. However, there has been no proof that smoking marijuana causes lung cancer. It does cause damage and precancerous changes to the lungs and may make a person more likely to develope cancer.
When smoking weed, we usually hold the hit in longer than we would with a cigarette. This can cause more damage to the lungs due to the longer smoke exposure.
Marijuana smoke can cause chronic bronchitis and damage the cell lining of the airways. This can lead to chronic cough, phlegm production, wheezing and acute bronchitis. Besides lung damage, smoking marijuana can negatively affect the immune system. A few other effects would be anxiety, depression, fast heart rate and increase risk of heart attack within the first hour of smoking.
There are other less dangerous effects of cannabis, but they aren't strictly because of cannabis smoke but rather the herb itself like drowsiness, hunger or anxiety.
In conclusion, any smoke inhaled into the lungs is dangerous and causes health issues. More research needs to be done before a definite answer can be made but I'm leaning more towards cannabis.
At the end of the day it's your choice but I hope the information listed above will help you make an educated opinion on cannabis versus tobacco smoke.