Goodbye, Mary Jane!

One joint could cause as much damage as up to five cigarettes. Courtesy:
One joint could cause as much damage as up to five cigarettes. Courtesy:

I don’t smoke at all – but folks around me do. Californians, being Californians, often opt for what is believed to be a “healthier” alternative to tobacco. A new study puts that belief to smoke – Mary Jane, sweet as her name sounds, is far from innocuous, causing more lung damage than its evil cousin, tobbaco.

In the study researchers from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wakefield Hospital and the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, studied 339 volunteers, and found cannabis damaged the large airways in the lungs causing symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. It also damaged the ability of the lungs to get oxygen to, and remove waste products from tissues.

Bottomline, lighting up is never the smart way to lighten up!


  1. The article also starts with –
    A single cannabis joint could damage the lungs as much as smoking up to five tobacco cigarettes one after another, scientists in New Zealand have said.

    [Although I don’t know any smoker who does that]

    And Dr Keith Prowse of the British Lung Foundation also espouses that –

    “This research confirms that cannabis poses a serious health risk to the lungs, and smoking a joint can be more harmful to the lungs than smoking a cigarette”

    Bottomline: “Lighting up is never the smart way to lighten up”


  2. The title of the article is very misleading. Key paragraph:

    “However, in this study, people who smoked only cannabis were not found to suffer from emphysema, a serious and crippling lung disease which was previously thought to be linked to the drug.”

    And tobacco (including 2nd hand smoke) is the major risk factor for emphysema. I think the public is largely ignorant as to the extent and diverse ways in which tobacco is harmful.


  3. That it is less harmful than smoking is an arugment that’s often been thrown out – even when I was back in India. Although I do agree that no one is ignorant of the effects of smoking – anything!


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