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2023 Study: Effect of Cannabis Smoking on Pulmonary Disease

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

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Welcome to Cannabis Conclusions, a unique educational series from Higher Learning LV that is targeted at hemp and cannabis industry professionals. This series provides readers with the conclusion and abstract sections from important modern peer-reviewed research studies.

An antique photo of a doctor pointing at a chest x-ray with a nurse
How does cannabis smoking affect COPD?

Effect of Cannabis Smoking on Pulmonary Disease Study

Effect of Cannabis Smoking on Pulmonary Disease. A May 2023 study entitled "Impact of Marijuana Smoking on COPD Progression in a Cohort of Middle-Aged and Older Persons" that was published in the journal Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation explored the potential effect of cannabis smoking on COPD.


"The study involved 2,979 participants who featured ages of 40 to 80 and had no tobacco smoking history or those with more than 20 years of tobacco smoking."

The scientists observed that "limited data are available regarding marijuana smoking's impact on development or progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in middle-aged or older adults with a variable history of tobacco cigarette smoking."


The study involved 2,979 participants who featured ages of 40 to 80 and had no tobacco smoking history or those with more than 20 years of tobacco smoking.

A man lights a cannabis joint in the dark
Study finds that smoking cannabis does not increase risk of COPD

Effect of Cannabis Smoking on COPD Study Conclusions

The following conclusion explains the findings of this peer-reviewed research study.


"In a cohort of ever-tobacco smokers of ≥20 pack-years with established COPD or at risk of developing COPD followed over an average of more than four years, a history of current and/or former smoking of marijuana of any cumulative lifetime amount was not found to be associated with a significantly deleterious impact on progression of COPD.


"Self-reported current and/or former concomitant marijuana smoking, including heavy marijuana smoking, was not found to be associated with an increased risk of subsequently developing COPD."

"Among ever-tobacco smokers in the same cohort without COPD at enrollment, self-reported current and/or former concomitant marijuana smoking, including heavy marijuana smoking, was not found to be associated with an increased risk of subsequently developing COPD.


"However, in view of our study’s limitations and of previously published findings that conflict with our results, additional studies with a larger sample size and longer duration of follow-up that are specifically designed to evaluate this issue are needed for a better understanding of potential long-term effects of marijuana smoking in persons with or at risk of developing COPD."


View the original study.

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