In a new study, experts have shown that smoking marijuana will expose people to the same kind of toxic chemicals, which are found in tobacco smoke. As per the study, people who smoke marijuana have been found with higher levels of many smoke-related toxins in their blood and urine. Scientists have said that people who have been smoking weed have been found with higher levels of toxins such as naphthalene, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile as compared to non-smokers. The findings of the new study have been released in the journal called EClinicalMedicine. As per the report, naphthalene is linked with anemia, liver, and neurological harm. At the same time, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile are linked with cancer and many other health issues. Experts have found that the usage of marijuana is rapidly increasing in the US as a number of states are planning to legalize it for medicinal and non-medicinal use. During the 2020 election in the US, around five states Montana, Mississippi, South Dakota, New Jersey, and Arizona have passed provisions to make marijuana legal.
The senior author of the study Dr. Dana Gabuzda has said that the rise in the usage of marijuana has raised concerns about the fatal effects of marijuana smoke on people’s health. Dr. Dana Gabuzda is a lead investigator in cancer immunology and virology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The lead author of the study has said that marijuana is known to have some harmful toxic chemical compounds, which are found in tobacco smoke. The new research has shown the data from three studies of 245 HIV positive and HIV negative volunteers. Experts have said that they have included HIV positive people in the study as tobacco and marijuana smoking is usually common among them. They have compared the medical records of the participants with the levels of many chemical compounds found in the blood and urine sample. These chemicals are formed by the breakdown of nicotine or the ignition of tobacco or marijuana. At the end of the study, Tobacco smokers and people who have been smoking tobacco and marijuana both have been found with higher levels of naphthalene acrylamide and acrylonitrile as compared to people who have smoked only marijuana. Experts have said that tobacco users have been found to have increased levels of a chemical known as acrolein as well. Acrolein is a known factor, which leads to heart ailments in tobacco users. However, marijuana users have not been found to have higher levels of acrolein in their bodies.
For the first time, this study has compared the health risks linked to the exposure of acrolein and other harmful chemicals in people who smoke marijuana and tobacco. Experts have been studying whether such chemicals contribute to heart-related diseases among people who smoke marijuana and tobacco. Acrolein is a compound, which has a burnt, sweet, and pungent odor. Such type of smell is created by the burning of fuels such as gasoline or oil and unrefined matter like tobacco. This element is not found in cigarettes. Acrolein is generated by the burning of sugar present in tobacco while smoking. Scientists have said that acrolein exposure for a short time can lead to irritation and congestion in the upper respiratory tract. If people are exposed to acrolein for a long time, it can be risky for them. People who have been smoking weed have been identified with higher levels of naphthalene, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile but even higher levels of such toxins are found in tobacco users and people who use both weed and tobacco. Acrylamide is an element, which is used to make papers, plastics, and dyes. It is produced when vegetables like potatoes are heated on a high flame. It is found in tobacco as well. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has said that people are exposed to a high amount of acrylamide via tobacco smoke than from vegetables or food. People who smoke have three to five times higher levels of acrylamide in their bodies as compared to those, who do not smoke. The American Cancer Society has reported that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has termed acrylamide as a possible human carcinogen. The companies, which make plastics and fibers, use acrylonitrile. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that cigarette smoking is a key source of acrylonitrile indoor air pollution. The new study has reported that the symptoms of acrylonitrile poisoning include weak limbs, irregular breathing, nausea, impaired judgment, cyanosis, convulsions, and dizziness. People who are highly exposed to acrylonitrile are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer as well, said the experts. Naphthalene can lead to headaches, nausea, and vomiting. It can be found in mothballs. In severe cases, it can cause jaundice, anemia, confusion, convulsions, and coma as well. Experts have said that a high concentration of Naphthalene can be found in homes of people who are smokers.