Marijuana: new cancer stick?

If you are someone who believes that marijuana is relatively harmless, then you will want to hear what I recently learned at the UVM College of Medicine.

During a lecture, Dr. Kelly Butnor, an associate professor of pathology, explained that marijuana does, in fact, increase ones risk of developing lung cancer, stating, Smoking a single joint of marijuana is as carcinogenic as smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.

I found this very surprising as you hear so many people defend the harmlessness of smoking marijuana. When you think about it, though, is it really surprising that inhaling something that is burning would be bad for you?

Another carcinogenic is charred meat apparently, the body does not appreciate you ingesting things that are burnt.

A second lecturer from the UVM College of Medicine, Dr. Yolanda Mageto, a medical doctor with a masters degree in public health, went on to note that marijuana contains more tar than cigarettes, which is made even worse due to the fact that marijuana smoke is typically inhaled more deeply than cigarette smoke.

However, she concluded by stating that a marijuana smoker has less chance of developing lung cancer than a cigarette smoker. She attributed this finding to the notion that marijuana smokers tend to smoke less than cigarette smokers do.

I strongly encourage Cynic readers to visit the PubMed website to investigate this controversial issue further. PubMed is a trusted online resource, home to the latest studies regarding all things medical.

Kevin Pelletier, a second year medical student at UVMs College of Medicine and a regular at the gym, intends to share what he has learned about health and fitness. His background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from McGill University.