Marijuana

Respiratory tract effects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug of abuse in the USA. It is commonly abused through inhalation and therefore has effects on the lung that are similar to tobacco smoke, including increased cough, sputum production, hyperinflation, and upper lobe emphysematous changes. However, at this time, it does not appear that marijuana smoke contributes to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Marijuana can have multiple physiologic effects such as tachycardia, peripheral vasodilatation, behavioral and emotional changes, and possible prolonged cognitive impairment. The carcinogenic effects of marijuana are unclear at this time. Studies are mixed on the ability of marijuana smoke to increase the risk for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and cervical cancer. Some studies show that marijuana is protective for development of malignancy. Marijuana smoke has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the immune system. Components of cannabis are under investigation as treatment for autoimmune diseases and malignancy. As marijuana becomes legalized in many states for medical and recreational use, other forms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been developed, such as food products and beverages. As most research on marijuana at this time has been on whole marijuana smoke, rather than THC, it is difficult to determine if the currently available data is applicable to these newer products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-81
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Fingerprint

Cannabis
Respiratory System
Smoke
Dronabinol
Prostatic Neoplasms
Food and Beverages
Aptitude
Street Drugs
Sputum
Cough
Tachycardia
Vasodilation
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Inhalation
Autoimmune Diseases
Tobacco
Immune System
Lung Neoplasms
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Immune system
  • Malignancy
  • Marijuana

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

Cite this

Marijuana : Respiratory tract effects. / Owen, Kelly; Sutter, Mark E; Albertson, Timothy E.

In: Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology, Vol. 46, No. 1, 02.2014, p. 65-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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