Can marijuana cause cancer? Some studies suggest that it can, at least when smoked. In 2009, after a series of controlled studies, California’s Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA) classified marijuana smoke as a causal factor in over 19 different categories of cancer. The evidence linking to pot to head and neck cancer is almost overwhelming. For numerous others types of cancer—lung, bladder, brain, testicular—more research needs to be done before a conclusion can be drawn.
When comparing marijuana to tobacco, many refer to the former as the innocent, or borderline healthy. However, both plants contain a lot of the same harmful properties, lots of tar and carcinogens. Marijuana smoke actually contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.
The harmful effects of marijuana smoking can be indirect. Paternal marijuana smoking has been linked to all types of childhood leukemia, infant leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and rhabdomyosarcoma.
It has also been suggested that second-hand marijuana smoke—smoke inhaled by somebody nearby the smoker—may also be cancerous, although research into this matter has been somewhat scarce.
This is the part that confuses people. When it comes to drugs and the treatment of ailments and disorders, we want short, simple answers: the drug is either healthy or dangerous. Things are a bit more complicated than that. A lot goes into these equations: dosage, frequency, the route of administration, etc.
Again, we know that smoked marijuana can play a role in the development of cancer. However, you don’t have to smoke marijuana to ingest THC, an active ingredient which may actually help treat cancer. Scientists have found that THC actually inhibits tumor-growth by inhibiting genes from producing certain proteins.
Legal or not, cancer-causing or not, marijuana can be addictive. If someone you or someone you know can’t seem to lay off the pot, give us a call at 844-438-8689