Individuals who smoke marijuana regularly are likely to experience cough, increased sputum production and wheezing, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
“Approximately 13.3% of U.S. adults use marijuana, and rates are rising,” Mehrnaz Ghasemiesfe, MD, University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues wrote. “Use by young adults (aged 18 to 29 years) doubled from 10.5% in 2002 to 21.2% in 2014, and an estimated 7,000 persons start using marijuana each day. Smoking remains the main method of consumption. The increasing prevalence of marijuana use, especially by smoking and vaping, raises concerns about effects on pulmonary health.”
Ghasemiesfe and colleagues reviewed 22 observational and interventional studies to determine whether marijuana use increases the risk for respiratory symptoms, changes in pulmonary function and obstructive lung disease among adolescents and adults. Participants smoked marijuana an average of once a week for a year.
Two studies indicated that marijuana use increased the risk for cough (RR = 2.04; 95% CI, 1.02-4.06) and sputum production (RR = 3.84; 95% CI, 1.62-9.07). Additionally, four cross-sectional studies showed that marijuana use increased the risk for cough (RR = 4.37; 95% CI, 1.71-11.19), sputum production (RR = 3.4; 95% CI, 1.99-5.79), wheezing (RR = 2.83; 95% CI, 1.89-4.23) and dyspnea (RR = 1.56; 95% CI, 1.33-1.83).
Individuals who smoke marijuana regularly are likely to experience cough, increased sputum production and wheezing.
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There was insufficient data to determine if there was an association between marijuana use and pulmonary function and obstructive lung disease.
“Given rapidly expanding use, we need large-scale longitudinal studies examining the long-term pulmonary effects of daily marijuana use,” Ghasemiesfe and colleagues concluded. – by Alaina Tedesco
The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.