In a new study, researchers found that people who vape cannabis are at greater risk for respiratory symptoms indicative of lung injury than people who smoke cigarettes or marijuana, or vape nicotine.
The result challenges conventional wisdom about vaping nicotine.
The research was conducted by a team at the University of Michigan.
In the study, the team explored the association of unhealthy respiratory symptoms among U.S. adolescents currently using cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cannabis and who had vaped cannabis within their lifetime.
Adolescents who reported vaping marijuana were roughly twice as likely to report “wheezing and whistling” in the chest than those who did not.
Current use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and cannabis were linked to some respiratory symptoms, such as dry cough, but most associations were not significant after controlling for vaping cannabis.
The researchers also found that an asthma diagnosis was most strongly associated with symptoms of future lung injury than cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cannabis use and vaping cannabis.
The findings challenge the assumption that smoking cigarettes or vaping nicotine is the most harmful to the lungs.
The team stressed that the findings do not mean that vaping nicotine or smoking cigarettes or marijuana is not bad for you.
These products also produce symptoms of lung injury, but not to the same degree as vaping marijuana.
In short, it is all bad, but if you also vape cannabis you will have a greater number of unhealthy respiratory symptoms than if you just smoke cigarettes or marijuana, or vape e-cigarettes.
Without a doubt, cigarettes and e-cigarettes are unhealthy and not good for the lungs. However, vaping marijuana appears even worse.
One author of the study is Carol Boyd, the Deborah J. Oakley Collegiate Professor Emerita.
The study is published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
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