3 Second-Hand Cannabis Smoke Health Risks You Need to Know

The legalization of medical cannabis in 33 U.S. states is a blessing for many patients. Now, more and more Americans benefit from the healing properties from this wonder plant. With many studies supporting its efficacy to help treat a growing list of ailments, even prominent doctors who were once dubious about the plant’s curative powers are now vocal advocates of the plant such as CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.

The Rise of Cannabis Smoking

Adults can ingest medical marijuana in many ways, one of which is by smoking. Once shrouded in stigma, smoking cannabis is now getting more and more common, especially in 10 U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. A survey in 2017 revealed that most of the adult marijuana users in the country prefer smoking than other methods. Of the 14.6 Americans who reported using cannabis, 55% of them said they had smoked the plant.

But while many adults benefit from inhaling the smoke of burning marijuana, it can pose a danger to people around them, particularly their kids. Like in cigarette smoking, second-hand smoke from cannabis can be harmful. Even though only a few studies about the health risks of second-hand smoke exposure, doctors still warn cannabis smokers to consider the impact of this activity on their family and loved ones.

Health Risks of Second-hand Marijuana Smoke

Here are some substances contain in second-hand cannabis smoke:

  • Toxic chemicals and cancer-causing substances – Like in second-hand tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke has significant amounts of toxic chemicals such as acetaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, lead, mercury, and quinoline. These substances can trigger lung cancer and cause damage to internal organs.
  • Particles that can impact the lungs – Cannabis smoke contains minute particles that can trigger asthma attacks, lung irritation, and respiratory infections, especially to those with sensitive lungs.
  • THC – Children and pets have a lower tolerance to the adverse effects of THC, the cannabidiol responsible for making users intoxicated. Exposure even to traces of this cannabidiol can affect their mental and emotional states in the short and long term.

Many doctors, including advocates of cannabis, advise patients to smoke responsibly, even if they do it for medical reasons. Even a brief exposure to cannabis smoke can trigger severe and life-threatening health conditions to children, some adults, and even pets. If possible, switch to safer alternatives like taking CBD capsules, CBD vape oil, and other cannabidiol products that can work wonders in your health without affecting the health of people around you.

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Categorized as Health

By Finn

Finn Oliver Edwards: Finn, a pediatric nurse, shares child health tips, parenting advice, and preventive measures for common childhood illnesses.