Usually draw deeply on the joint or pipe and hold

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usually draw deeply on the joint or pipe— and hold each puff in, typically for as long as physically possible. “In some ways, marijuana smoking is really a lot like doing a pulmonary function test,” Pletcher says. This “practice” or “exercise” might expand lung capacity and account for the unusual results. He cautions, however, that long term exposure to marijuana smoke at the most extreme doses probably does damage the lungs, although he concedes that the evidence from the study on this point is “weak.” The authors conclude: Marijuana may have beneficial effects on pain control, appetite, mood, and management of other chronic symptoms. Our findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana for these or other purposes may not be associated with adverse consequences on pulmonary function. It is more difficult to estimate the potential effects of regular heavy use, because this pattern of use is relatively rare in our study sample; however, our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavy use and a resulting need for caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered. Since the study focused on cardiovascular disease and even the oldest participants had not yet reached the highest risk ages for lung cancer, it does not provide new information on cancer risk, but it does confirm the link between cigarette smoking and long-term lung function declines. Tashkin, however, has studied this issue extensively. He says, “The largest epidemiologic (case-control) study of the association between marijuana use and lung cancer failed to demonstrate that marijuana increases the risk of developing lung (or, for that matter, upper airway) cancer.”
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