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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN BC: Column: Negtative Effects Of Smoking Marijuana
Title:CN BC: Column: Negtative Effects Of Smoking Marijuana
Published On:2012-02-02
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Fetched On:2012-02-04 06:01:14
NEGTATIVE EFFECTS OF SMOKING MARIJUANA

Dear Dr. Donohue As marijuana smoking is quite popular, I would like
to know what effect its smoke has on the lungs of the user. Having
been part of the police department and being aware that users inhale
and keep the smoke in their lungs for quite a while, it seems that
this practice could be damaging. Is a marijuana cigarette more harmful
than a nicotine cigarette?

R.M.

Answer It's almost intuitive that deeply inhaling a substance that
has more than 150 compounds in it, as marijuana has, is not going to
be a health boon for the lungs. The pleasant feeling, giddiness and
relaxation that are the attraction of smoking marijuana come from
tetrahydrocannabinol, THC. What the other 149 compounds do isn't known
with great certainty.

Marijuana has three times the tar that cigarettes have. It might lead
to lung cancer. That's an issue that has been speculated about but has
never been proved.

Marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, irritates the airways and, for
chronic users, causes a cough and diminished lung capacity. It also
causes wheezing and shortness of breath.

Most marijuana smokers smoke fewer marijuana cigarettes than nicotine
smokers smoke nicotine cigarettes. That's one plus for pot.

The long-term consequences of marijuana smoking are destructive to the
lungs but apparently less destructive than nicotine smoking, again for
the reason that the number of marijuana cigarettes inhaled per day is
far less than the number of nicotine cigarettes.


Dear Dr. Donohue I have enclosed three X-ray reports. Why is there
such difference? Is it possible that one X-ray company is owned by an
insurance company?

K.P.

Answer All three read pretty much the same to me. One mentions
spondylosis, which is degenerative changes due to arthritis. Another
refers to the same procep

ss as degenerative osteophytosis. "Osteophytosis" is a word not much
used but means bony outgrowths seen in arthritis. Retrolisthesis is a
slight slipping of one vertebra backward over the vertebra below it.
One cites disk narrowing. The others don't, probably because it's slight.

I think the different words with similar meanings are the reason for
your confusion. I never heard of an insurance company owning a
radiology practice.

Will you write back with your address in the letter? I want to return
your check.
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