Can Smoking Marijuana Cause Lung Cancer

November 9, 2020 All Natural

After becoming legal for medicinal use, Marijuana cards administered by Marijuana doctors in Florida were able to be obtained. One of the most common patients prescribed medicinal Marijuana cards are cancer patients. It has been proven in studies that Cannabis can alleviate nausea which is a symptom of chemotherapy.  Studies also show that for patients struggling to eat such as HIV patients, Marijuana has helped. According to, recent studies have shown that smoking. Marijuana can decrease growth in cancer cells, as well.

However, smoking causes cancer, right? So, what about smoking marijuana? Smoking is the most common way people consume marijuana, and there is debate on whether or not it can damage lungs and cause cancer, even when it is prescribed to alleviate cancer side effects. Let’s take a look at this question. The answer is not cut and dry.


Smoking Marijuana

 According to the American Lunch Association, there are concerns with it comes to consuming by smoke. Of all the methods to consume, the easiest and most common ways are through smoking using glass pipes, rolling papers, or larger devices like bongs or vaporizers. All of these methods involve getting the smoke into your lungs to get the benefits. Generally, all smoke is going to be harmful to the lungs even if it isn’t tobacco. Marijuana smoke contains many of the same substances as tobacco smoke that make it harmful. Those include Benzopyrene, Phenols and Nitrosamines.

While smoking marijuana in general will not be the best for you, if it’s a preferred method of consuming it, there are some options that are better than others. If you are going to smoke it out of paper, it is safer to use rolling papers than a hollowed-out cigar that you have removed tobacco from, more commonly known as a blunt. Using rolling papers, or making a joint is slightly safer and will carry less carcinogens since it will have not touched tobacco.

If you’re smoking marijuana, the experience is going to be different than a cigarette. The amount you are inhaling is usually larger, and kept in the lungs for a longer amount of time. If you are smoking with rolling papers, tar builds up and you will inhale more of it as you continue to smoke it. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana can cause bronchitis and chronic cough. Smoking anything comes with a risk to your lungs and has potential to cause damage, so it would be wise to consult with a doctor. Florida medical marijuana doctors can help you make the right choice if marijuana is recommended to you for medicinal purposes.



Another way to ingest marijuana is to vaporize it. Instead of smoke, you inhale vapor into your lungs. Vaping has not been around long enough for there to be concrete evidence on what it will do to your lungs or if it causes cancer, but it has been found to cause a problem called popcorn lung. This creates air pockets in the lungs and the tiniest airways called bronchiolitis obliterans become inflamed. While dangerous, this health problem has not been proven to cause cancer.


Secondhand Smoke

Another worry is of secondhand smoke for people around others who are using marijuana for medicinal purposes. It is well known that tobacco secondhand smoke can have lasting effects, but as far as marijuana smoke goes there’s no concrete evidence. The smoke does in fact release carcinogens, but whether secondhand smoke has caused cancer is still unknown.


Smoking Tips

 If you still intend on smoking marijuana, here are some tips to do it as safely as possible. Again, there is still a risk to smoking but ways to make it a cleaner experience. Did you know that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the primary cannabinoids found in cannabis?


  • Glass Pipes
    • There are many smoking devices out there, but glass is the way to go. It is easy to clean, and has been the tried and true way to smoke marijuana for ages. DO NOT use plastic. Plastic contains chemicals that will be detrimental to your health even if it does not cause cancer.
  • Don’t Inhale for Long Periods
    • Everyone’s first smoking tip with marijuana is usually to hold the inhale as long as possible. In order to avoid potential lung damage, don’t do this. Having smoke sit in your lungs is bad. If you want to smoke more, just take another hit.



 To sum it up, there’s no concrete answer on the subject. Smoking marijuana involves factors that can cause cancer, but since it was not legal until recently, there are not a lot of concrete studies to say one way or another. If you are planning to see a marijuana doctor in Florida for a medical marijuana card, be sure to come with questions. If you are concerned about smoking causing cancer, there are plenty of alternatives.


  • Edibles
    • Edibles are a fantastic alternative to smoking. They come in many varieties. Baked goods, candies, oil to cook with, and so many others. When you are consulting with your marijuana doctor edibles are an excellent choice. They typically come in a variety of dosage amounts, so you can find what works best for you.
  • Tinctures
    • An alcohol-based cannabis extract, this product comes in a bottle with a dropper and can be added to things. Usually the best method for a tincture is to add it to a beverage. Something like a sparkling water might do just fine.
  • Topicals
    • If you are worried about ingesting marijuana at all and want the chronic pain benefits, try a lotion or cream. They can be rubbed on problem areas and this eliminates the entire risk of getting lung cancer.



 While there is no concrete evidence of marijuana causing lung cancer, it is important to air on the side of caution. When discussing options with your marijuana doctor in Florida, consider alternatives and the safest way to smoke it if you choose to. As we move towards a world with complete legalization on the horizon, more smokeless options have become available to avoid this entirely.

If you are interested in getting a medical marijuana card in the State of Florida, contact us today for information on how to get started.