FEB 14, 2024 5:43 AM PST

Risk of Asthma is Higher for Cannabis Users

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A study published in Preventive Medicine found that the risk of asthma increased with frequency of cannabis consumption. Asthma is one of the most common respiratory disorders, and it can be life-threatening. This chronic lung disease affects more than 300 million people worldwide

The researchers analyzed data from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health in the United States. The survey included 32,893 individuals aged 12 and older with current asthma and used regression modeling to understand the association between cannabis and asthma

The study found increased asthma risks among study participants who used cannabis 20 to 30 days per month. The respiratory disorder was more prevalent among participants who reported cannabis use in the past 30 days compared to those who did not (10% vs. 7.4 %). 

Research on asthma prevalence in adolescents and adults is crucial for effective public health initiatives and risk reduction. Study author Renee Goodwin explained the importance of increasing research on cannabis and respiratory health: “With the growing use of cannabis across the U.S., understanding potential links between cannabis use and asthma is increasingly relevant to population health. This relationship is an emerging area and requires thorough collaborative investigation by experts in these fields.” This study is one of the first to demonstrate a link between cannabis use and increased asthma prevalence. The research team believes more research is necessary to inform cannabis policy development. 

Emerging studies are beginning to investigate the elevated risk of asthma among cannabis processing workers. Despite commonly used safety precautions such as masks and dust from ground up cannabis flowers can cause or exacerbate asthma symptoms. Future research will provide much-needed insights into safety precautions for cannabis consumers as well as cannabis industry employees exposed to raw cannabis flowers.

Source: Eureka News Alert, National Institutes of Health, Preventive Medicine


About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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