Medical Research

Are Hemp Cigarettes Dangerous for Your Lungs?

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Written by Paul James

Within the cannabis community, there’s the notion that cannabis products are safer to inhale than tobacco products. But how true are these claims?

We do know that smoking cannabis has the potential to lead to respiratory issues. According to the Harm Reduction Journal, a number of participants self-reported having respiratory problems from smoking both cannabis and tobacco cigarettes. [1] However, it should be noted that the purpose of this study was to find out whether or not vaporizing cannabis helped reduce respiratory symptoms.

It’s important to note that the reason many of these participants self-reported respiratory issues is simply because smoke is harmful to our lungs, regardless of whether it’s cannabis or tobacco. As stated by the American Lung Association, “toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials. Smoke from [cannabis] combustion has been shown to contain as many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.”

Beyond smoking itself, another concern hemp smokers must face is what they’re really inhaling. The Journal of the American Medical Association tested a variety of CBD concentrations purchased online. It discovered that 26% of these products contained less CBD than were labeled on the product. [2]

Since the hemp and CBD industry remain unregulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s been easy for shady companies to market ineffective products. Not to mention, it’s unclear whether these products have any other contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides, which would be dangerous to inhale into the lungs.

This is one of the aspects of the hemp plant that smokers need to understand. Hemp’s roots have the ability to absorb anything within the soil around it. If there’s happens to be contaminants in that soil, the hemp plant and buds it sprouts will become infected with this toxin.

While we wouldn’t suggest smoking hemp on a regular basis, a hemp cigarette here and there will do as much damage as an occasional tobacco cigar. Ultimately, you’re puffing at your own risk. And if you decide to, it’s vital you make sure you purchase hemp cigarettes from a reputable CBD brand that goes the extra length to make sure its buds don’t contain any contaminants.

Reference Sources

  1. [1] Earleywine, Mitch and Smucker Barnwell, Sara. “Decreased Respiratory Symptoms in Cannabis Users who Vaporize.” Harm Reduction Journal. April 16th, 2007. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17437626/
  2. [2] Bonn-Miller, Marcel O. “Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online.” Journal of the American Medical Association. November 7th, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818782/

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Paul James

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