Smoking is the typical method of inhaling dried cannabis. While smoking remains popular among recreational users, many people have been moving away from smoking as a method of administering medical cannabis.
Why isn’t it recommended to smoke medical cannabis?
There are several good reasons not to smoke medical cannabis, including the potential for breathing issues and lung disease, the risk of heart disease, and the dangers associated with secondhand smoke, among others.
1. Smoking Medical Cannabis Increases Your Risk of Lung Disease
Some people say it is perfectly safe to use medical marijuana. Other people, including many doctors and researchers, are a little more skeptical. The problem right now is a lack of research.
Current scientific studies suggest most methods of administering medical cannabis, including smoking, are relatively safe in the short term. However, smoking does produce benzes, and studies show it increases the risks of coughing and bronchitis. There is also the potential for severe long-term risks. No one knows what the long-term effects of smoking cannabis are because no studies have been completed.
Many doctors and researchers agree smoking medical marijuana is likely to have similar effects to smoking tobacco, especially over time. While cannabis is not harmful, the smoke is an irritant and can cause inflammation in your throat and lungs. After prolonged use, you may develop difficulty breathing or lung disease, such as lung cancer or emphysema.
2. There May Be a Risk of Heart Disease
This is another thing that has yet to be definitively proven in the research, but there are some early indications smoking medical cannabis could also pose a risk to your heart. In addition to being bad for your lungs, smoke also irritates your blood vessels and your heart.
Over the long term, this could increase a patient’s risk of developing related health conditions, such as heart disease.
3. You Don’t Know What’s in Your Cannabis
If you purchase your medical cannabis from one of Canada’s licensed producers, you’re getting a high-grade product that has met strict medical standards.
Generally speaking, medical cannabis has fewer chemicals and additives than tobacco, which makes it less harmful than smoking cigarettes. When you light up, however, any chemicals or moulds in your cannabis will also burn, which can cause irritation and increase your risk of developing other health issues. Smoking or heating some chemicals, such as pesticides, can cause serious harm.
4. It’s Bad for the People Around You
Do you have young children living at home? Maybe you’re living with an elderly parent who is already ill. Even if you step outside and smoke in a crowd of people, you’re doing harm to those around you.
Early research suggests second-hand smoke from medical cannabis has similar risks to second-hand tobacco smoke. If you smoke medical marijuana around your loved ones, you could be putting their health at risk.
5. You Have Other Options
Given all the risks associated with smoking cannabis, it’s little wonder why physicians don’t recommend it to their patients. Another major reason they don’t recommend smoking is that there are other options available for patients.
Medical cannabis can also be administered as an oil or as prescription cannabinoids. There are even other safer methods of inhaling medical marijuana, such as vaporizing, which reduces the risks associated with smoking medical marijuana.
Ask your doctor or a medical cannabis expert about the different options available to you. Smoking medical cannabis isn’t your only option. Switch to a safer method of administering medical cannabis to help your health.