What's the Rush, RI?

Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy

Category Archives: Cancer

Heavy Marijuana use may double risk of lung cancer

Marijuana use and risk of lung cancer: a 40-year cohort study

Russell C. Callaghan • Peter Allebeck • Anna Sidorchuk
Cancer Causes Control (2013) 24:1811–1820

Published online: 12 July 2013, copywrite Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013


Purpose Cannabis (marijuana) smoke and tobacco smoke contain many of the same potent carcinogens, but a critical—yet unresolved—medical and public-health issue is whether cannabis smoking might facilitate the development of lung cancer. The current study aimed to assess the risk of lung cancer among young marijuana users. Methods A population-based cohort study examined men (n = 49,321) aged 18–20 years old assessed for cannabis use and other relevant variables during military conscription in Sweden in 1969–1970. Participants were tracked until 2009 for incident lung cancer outcomes in nationwide linked medical registries. Cox regression modeling assessed relationships between cannabis smoking, measured at conscription, and the hazard of subsequently receiving a lung cancer diagnosis.

At the baseline conscription assessment, 10.5 % (n = 5,156) reported lifetime use of marijuana and 1.7 % (n = 831) indicated lifetime use of more than 50 times, designated as ‘‘heavy’’ use. Cox regression analyses (n = 44,284) found that such ‘‘heavy’’ cannabis smoking was significantly associated with more than a twofold risk (hazard ratio 2.12, 95 % CI 1.08–4.14) of developing lung cancer over the 40-year follow-up period, even after statistical adjustment for baseline tobacco use, alcohol use, respiratory conditions, and socioeconomic status.

Our primary finding provides initial longitu- dinal evidence that cannabis use might elevate the risk of lung cancer. In light of the widespread use of marijuana, especially among adolescents and young adults, our study provides important data for informing the risk–benefit calculus of marijuana smoking in medical, public-health, and drug-policy settings.

Marijuana may double the risk of testicular cancer in young males.

WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team note:  The three articles referenced below relate results of studies published in the journal Cancer.  They indicate that marijuana use in puberty and adolescence may double the risk of testicular cancer, a condition that is reported to have a usual prevalence rate of .5% in the general population. 

Population-based case-control study of recreational drug use and testis cancer risk confirms an association between marijuana use and nonseminoma risk

John Charles A. Lacson MS, Joshua D. Carroll BA, Ellenie Tuazon MPH, Esteban J. Castelao MD, PhD, Leslie Bernstein PhD and Victoria K. Cortessis MSPH, PhD

Cancer Volume 118,  Issue 21pages 5374–53831 November 2012

Marijuana use and testicular germ cell tumors

Britton Trabert PhD  et. al.

Cancer Volume 117,  Issue 4pages 848–85315 February 2011

Association of marijuana use and the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors

Janet R. Daling PhD et al.

Growing Evidence Of Marijuana Smoke’s Toxic Effects on Cells.

Growing Evidence Of Marijuana Smoke’s Potential Dangers

Source:  American Chemical Society. (2009, August 5). Growing Evidence Of Marijuana Smoke’s Potential Dangers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090805110741.htm
ScienceDaily Summary::
In a finding that challenges the increasingly popular belief that smoking marijuana is less harmful to health than smoking tobacco, researchers in Canada are reporting that smoking marijuana, like smoking tobacco, has toxic effects on cells.
Journal Reference:
Rebecca M. Maertens, Paul A. White, William Rickert, Genevieve Levasseur, George R. Douglas, Pascale V. Bellier, James P. McNamee, Vidya Thuppal, Mike Walker, Suzanne Desjardins. The Genotoxicity of Mainstream and Sidestream Marijuana and Tobacco Smoke CondensatesChemical Research in Toxicology, Online July 17, 2009 DOI: 10.1021/tx9000286

Cannabis Smoke Is Less Likely To Cause Cancer Than Tobacco Smoke

Cannabis Smoke Is Less Likely To Cause Cancer Than Tobacco Smoke

Source:  BioMed Central. (2005, October 19). Cannabis Smoke Is Less Likely To Cause Cancer Than Tobacco Smoke. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051019003339.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:  Cannabis smoke is not as carcinogenic as tobacco smoke. In a review article published today in Harm Reduction Journal, Dr. Melamede from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA, writes that although cannabis smoke and tobacco smoke are chemically very similar, evidence suggests that their effects are very different and that cannabis smoke is less carcinogenic than tobacco smoke.
%d bloggers like this: