Cannabis contains 50 cancer causing carcinogens (the same as tobacco)
One of the carcinogens is ‘benzyprene’. Benzyprene is found in tar of tobacco and cannabis and it has been proven to cause cancer as it alters the p53 gene. The p53 gene is a tumour suppressor gene and 3 out of 4 (75%) diagnosed lung cancers have been found to have the disrupted p53 gene.
Cannabis cigarettes can be more lethal than tobacco cigarettes
Cannabis cigarettes do not have a filter, thus more concentration of tar reaches the lungs. Cannabis smokers tend to inhale and hold the smoke in the lungs for longer than cigarette smoke, in order experience the maximum effect of the cannabis, hence – the smoke is in contact with the lungs for much longer.
Drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis
According to statistics – people who smoke cannab is tend to combine the habit with alcohol, and research evidence suggests that the combination of smoking cannabis and alcohol together poses even a higher risk of cancer. Cannabis also contains the substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the substance that alters mood and behaviour. Far higher concentrations of THC are found in cannabis today compared to 20 years ago and it is THC – combined with benzpyrene that disrupts the p53 gene.
So can smoking give me lung cancer?
There is no concrete scientific evidence available that offers a conclusion.
Conflicting evidence – results from a 2007 scientific study involving approx 300 participants – found that smoking just one cannabis joint may cause as much damage to the lungs as 5 cigarettes.
Whereas – another study carried out in 2006 involving 2,000 patients concluded that there was no link between smoking cannabis and lung cancer.