In 2006 the results of a study funded by the US Governments National Institute of Health (NIH) were released to the public looking into the impact of cannabis smoking on human health in the areas of cancer and lung function. The study took 20 years collecting their data between 1985 and 2000.
Dr Donald Tashkin Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at UCLA (University of California) whose job it was to prove the link between smoking cannabis and increase chance of developing lung cancer said this about his research;
“The heaviest marijuana users in the study had smoked more than 22,000 joints, while moderately heavy smokers had smoked between 11,000 and 22,000 joints.
While two-pack-a-day or more cigarette smokers were found to have a 20-fold increase in lung cancer risk, no elevation in risk was seen for even the very heaviest marijuana smokers.
The more tobacco a person smoked, the greater their risk of developing lung cancer and other cancers of the head and neck. But people who smoked more marijuana were not at increased risk compared with people who smoked less and people who didn’t smoke at all.”
In the UK and most of Europe it is commonplace to mix tobacco in with a cannabis cigarette, this is largely due to the price of cannabis or consumers not being able to source the right strength cannabis for them under a prohibited market. As the research suggests and the head of the study is seen in saying above in the quoted text, it is much less damaging to the lungs to smoke cannabis pure than to adulterate it with tobacco.
A recent (2012) report published by the British Lung Foundation (NGO/charity) caught the attention of the media when it outlandishly and irresponsibly claimed that smoking just one cigarette causes the damage that smoking a whole 20 pack of cigarettes does. It is important to note though that respected scientists from around the world quickly discredited this – though this response was not captured by the same media in any sense of the imagination.
Tobacco consumers are able to choose which tobacco they smoke allowing those conscious of the harm they are doing to their body to reduce that damage to a minimum. These more often than not nicotine dependent consumers are not criminalised for their choice or habit regardless that it costs the UK tax payer on average £12 billion a year according to HM Governments Tobacco Statistics report. The biggest reduction in the number one cause of death in the world has come through sensible education by labeling and warning tobacco smokers of the risks in bold black and white writing. Cannabis consumers should be granted the same respect.
The Government allow and encourage cannabis consumers to be treated completely the opposite and very disproportionately compared with cannabis’ actual consumption harms, the cost to the tax payer through health costs (which is believe it or not unrecorded due to the minuscule number (750) of admissions to the health service), and even the police and criminal justice system who spend a whopping £500 million a year criminalising cannabis consumers, but that don’t come near to the £19 billion the same public funded service spend cleaning up after club and pub goers that have been misusing alcohol.
Interviewing Dr Donald Tashkin is Dr. Robert Melamede of the University of Colorado Springs and also of Cannabis Science Inc. a cannabis medicine company working with natural plant extracts and treating some of the most serious cases of cancer and debilitating illnesses and having remarkable and life changing effects for the patients.