JAN 13, 2021 7:30 AM PST

Cannabis and Tobacco Smoke Contain Same Toxins

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Cannabis and tobacco smoke are known to share some of the same toxins. Now, researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have found that cannabis smokers exhibit elevated levels of certain toxins typically linked to tobacco-smoking in their blood and urine. 

“[Increasing use of cannabis] has renewed concerns about the potential health effects of marijuana smoke, which is known to contain some of the same toxic combustion products found in tobacco smoke.” says Dana Gabuzda, MD, lead author of the study. 

“This is the first study to compare exposure to acrolein and other harmful smoke-related chemicals over time in exclusive marijuana smokers and tobacco smokers, and to see if those exposures are related to cardiovascular disease.”

For the research, the scientists examined 245 participants over the age of 40, of whom 76% had HIV. All in all, they screened for 33 plasma and 28 urine metabolites via liquid or gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry. These were then compared to exposure and health outcomes taken from surveys and medical records. 

In the end, the researchers found that participants who only smoked cannabis had higher levels of several smoke-related compounds, including naphthalene, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile metabolites present in their blood and urine than those who did not smoke cannabis. The concentrations of these substances in their blood, however, were lower than those who smoked tobacco. 

The researchers also found that acrolein metabolites were elevated in those smoking tobacco, although not those exclusively smoking cannabis. Increased levels of these metabolites were then associated with an increased chance for cardiovascular disease. 

As such, the researchers say that reducing exposure to acrolein from tobacco use and other sources may be a good strategy for reducing cardiovascular risk. They also stress that these findings are of particular relevance for those infected with HIV, who typically have high rates of tobacco use and an increased risk of heart disease. 

 

Sources: SciTech DailyNewswiseThe Lancet

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Growing Cannabis Indoors is Not Eco Friendly
AUG 21, 2020
Growing Cannabis Indoors is Not Eco Friendly
Indoor cannabis cultivation is considered to produce the highest quality cannabis available, but the elephant in the roo ...
SEP 03, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Could Help Reduce Diabetes Risk in Hepatitis C Patients
SEP 03, 2020
Cannabis Could Help Reduce Diabetes Risk in Hepatitis C Patients
It’s known that patients with hepatitis C have an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes. &n ...
SEP 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
SEP 20, 2020
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
Currently, the consensus on whether cannabis may be used to treat autism is mixed. While some papers show signs of its p ...
OCT 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Legal Cannabis Does Not Increase THC Overdose in Dogs
OCT 20, 2020
Legal Cannabis Does Not Increase THC Overdose in Dogs
Researchers have found that whether or not cannabis is legal does not affect the rate at which dogs are hospitalized for ...
OCT 29, 2020
Health & Medicine
Endocannabinoids Block Pathogenic Bacteria That Cause Gut Ailments in Mouse Study
OCT 29, 2020
Endocannabinoids Block Pathogenic Bacteria That Cause Gut Ailments in Mouse Study
Cannabis users have long reported, anecdotally, that the drug can ease gastrointestinal woes, including irritable bowel ...
NOV 13, 2020
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Oil May Help Burning Mouth Syndrome
NOV 13, 2020
Cannabis Oil May Help Burning Mouth Syndrome
If you’ve ever scalded the top of your mouth with very hot food or drink you'll know the pain it can cause. No ...
Loading Comments...