Cannabis smoke less carcinogenic than tobacco smoke
Cannabis smoke is less likely to cause cancer than tobacco smoke, although both are similar chemically, researchers said.
Previous studies linked cannabis with mental health issues and breathing disorders, but scientists recently said cannabis can be beneficial in treating certain serious illnesses.
Cannabis has been associated with an increased risk of psychosis and Schizophrenia among the population.
But cannabis has also been used to treat certain serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and Alzheimer's disease.
Cannabis smoke is not as carcinogenic (cancer causing) as cigarette smoke, according to a review by Dr. Robert Melamede from the University of Colorado in the US. The review was published in the Harm Reduction journal.
Dr. Melamede said although cannabis and tobacco smoke were chemically similar, their effects were different. Cannabis smoke was less carcinogenic than tobacco smoke.
He said the different pharmacological effects of tobacco and cannabis smoke are mainly due to the presence of nicotine in tobacco smoke and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis.
The difference, he explained, is that nicotine increased the cancer-promoting effects of smoke while THC reduced the risk.
Many governments do not allow medicinal use of cannabis because evidence suggests the risk of cannabis outweighs the benefits.