Cannabis(marijuana) is the most commonly used drug, and consists of the dried leavesand flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Due to environmental influences on plant growthchemical potency varies (National Institutes on Drug Abusefor Teens, 2017). Cannabis is a complex plant with over 400chemical entities of which more than 60 of them are cannabinoid compounds, someof them with opposing effects (Atakan, 2012). Most common among thesecannabinoids is THC (1-?-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is believed to be the primarycannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects produced from consumption.The primary differences between cannabis smoke and cigarette smoke are thecannabinoids in marijuana and the nicotine in cigarette smoke. Nicotine isknown to be the addictive substance of cigarette smoking. With the illicitnature of cannabis, less research has been undertaken on the constituents ofthe smoke and on the respiratory effects of the inhalational of cannabis(Bradford, 2017).
People in general smokecannabis cigarettes less often than tobacco cigarettes. Nevertheless the waythey inhale is very different. When smoking cannabis, people take in a puffvolume (the amount taken into the mouth) two-thirds larger than if they weresmoking tobacco.
The inhaled volume (the amount that reaches the lungs) islarger too (Henry et al. 2003). Cannabis smokers also hold the smoke in theirmouths four times longer, and end up with five times the amount ofcarboxyhaemoglobin in their blood per cigarette smoked (Aldington et al. 2007).This means it’s likely that the body retains much more of the products ofcannabis smoke, leading to a greater respiratory burden of carbon monoxide andsmoke particles than when smoking a similar quantity of tobacco.
It’s estimatedthat someone smoking a cannabis cigarette inhales four times more tar comparedwith smoking a tobacco cigarette. They also retain one third more tar in therespiratory tract (Hancox et al. 2010).The use of cannabisis now fixed within many societies, mostly used by the younger population andwidely perceived to be safe with regards to health. The potential for cannabisto cause mental health problems has dominated the research completed around theeffects of the illicit drug, therefore the prospective of respiratory effectshave received relatively little attention (PT Reid, J Macleod, JR Robertson,2010). Current evidenceshows that smoking cannabis is harmful to our lungs.
We know far less about theeffects of cannabis smoke than the impact of tobacco smoke. However, there isevidence that cannabis smoke causes many adverse effects, including: chroniccoughing, wheezing, sputum (phlegm) production, acute bronchitis, airwayobstruction and lung cancer (British Lung Foundation, 2012). Studies on cannabis are challenging and are relatedto the use of tobacco and other social factors, and while many of the studiesreferred to in this assignment are weighed down by the natural difficultiesin undertaking the study of disease correlated to the effects of cannabis, thereis concern that habitual smoking of