Let’s see if we can cast a shadow over this new reefer madness story, “Cannabis alters human DNA“.
A scientific study was recently conducted to prove some harmful use of Cannabis. The group focused their study specifically around ONE carcinogenic called Acetaldehyde which may or may not be found in burning cannabis and at unknown levels.
Acetaldehyde is an organic chemical compound and can be found in coco, coffee, fruit, wheat, (bread), and is produced by plants as part of their normal metabolism.
Acetaldehyde is toxic when applied externally for prolonged periods, an irritant, and a probable carcinogen. So what’s the big deal? It’s in my coffee, my sandwich, and my apple! It’s a naturally occurring substance. The study group claims that Cannabis has a measurable amount of Acetaldehyde inside of the smoke; and hergo, you inhale the smoke then you inhale Acetaldehyde.
What the group doesn’t tell you is that even higher levels of Acetaldehyde can be found in the air in cities around the world, and even in your own home. Are they suggesting we stop breathing? Of course not, the study was focused specifically on Marijuana and nothing else. Therefore, it’s a study taken completely out of context from the rest of the world.
Let’s put this into perspective; If you knew only the horrors of Sugar and none of the benefits, then if you were like me, would you choose to eliminate sugar from your diet entirely. The same can be said with anything that is good for you.
What really brings their study into question is this next statement:
“The smoking of 3-4 cannabis cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day,” the team adds.
This last sentence demonstrates this group’s real agenda. You see, their claim is in the face of real scientific research. Just recently, UCLA pulmonologist Dr. Donald Tashkin, who has studied marijuana’s effects on the lungs for three decades, studied heavy marijuana smokers to determine whether the use led to increased risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
“What we found instead was no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect,” says Tashkin, whose research was the largest case-control study ever conducted. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Tobacco smokers in the study had as much as a 21-fold increase in lung cancer risk. Cigarette smokers, too, developed COPD more often in the study, and researchers found that marijuana did not impair lung function.
Tashkin, supported by other research, concluded that the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has an “anti-tumoral effect” in which “cells die earlier before they age enough to develop mutations that might lead to lung cancer.”
However, the smoke from marijuana did swell the airways and lead to a greater risk of chronic bronchitis.
“Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects,” Tashkin says. “But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.”
This is just another reefer madness claim disseminated at the coattails of those in England who continue to sing the reefer madness song against the popular “Skunk” Marijuana. Between the lines of words, you’ll find a system that has recently propped Marijuana back up from a lower scheduled narcotic to a more serious level thus instituting more serious punishment against the citizens of Great Britain and they need a reason to keep it there. This study, along with other bogus blogs and stories will likely be used in Parliament as points of the argument.
Even after the mounting evidence that suggests this story is bogus, if you are still concerned about the carcinogenic Acetaldehyde; then vaporize and bake some cookies instead — and avoid my ham and swiss sandwich.