The association between smoking marijuana and the occurrence of lung cancer
It is still unclear if an association exists between the smoking of marijuana and the occurrence of lung cancer although one clearly exists between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. The objective of this study was to systematically review the literature in order to assess the impact of marijuana smoking, which is increasingly becoming a significant public health issue, on the occurrence of the number one killing cancer, lung cancer. Method. Selected studies in the English language conducted on humans that assess the impact of marijuana smoking on lung cancer were identified from EBSCO MEDLINE, PUBMED, and GOOGLE databases. The search keywords were marijuana, cannabis, hashish, kif, and lung cancer with selection criteria including studies in the English language identified from 1950 to April 2008. Excluded were non-research studies such as editorials, letters, and reviews. Also excluded were studies that did not involve humans with direct intentional marijuana smoking or in vivo studies with mice. Case report studies or case series studies involving less than 10 patients were also excluded as well as studies that did not examine lung conditions related to premalignant or cancerous changes. Results. Ten studies met the selection criteria and were analyzed. The ten studies in this review overall offer biological evidence of the potential association between marijuana smoking and premalignant lung findings but no overwhelming conclusive evidence for the association between marijuana smoking and the occurrence of lung cancer. Two of the observational studies [1, 2] failed to demonstrate an association between marijuana and lung cancer, but the remaining studies supported an association between marijuana smoking and premalignant or malignant lung findings. Conclusion. It must, therefore, be concluded that no convincing evidence exists, based on the existing data, for an association between marijuana smoking and the occurrence of lung cancer even though the few observational studies failing to report such an association may be due to certain limitations particularly the relative young age of the participants precluding sufficient lag time for the identification of lung cancer outcome as explained in other sections of this paper. Further research is, therefore, necessary to better evaluate this critical issue, while recommendations against smoking marijuana because of its potential harmful effects, including the potential for premalignant lung changes as noted in this review, should continue to be made. In the future, large prospective studies with study participants representing a much wider spectrum of ages, and longer follow-up periods, with detailed assessment of marijuana exposure and definitive pathologic diagnosis of lung cancer are necessary
Fote, Barnabas Talla, "The association between smoking marijuana and the occurrence of lung cancer" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1457583.