Cannabis Smoking and Pulmonary Function

"In this 20-year study of marijuana and pulmonary function, we confirmed the expected reductions in FEV1 [Forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration] and FVC [forced vital capacity] from tobacco use. In contrast, marijuana use was associated with higher FEV1 and FVC at the low levels of exposure typical for most marijuana users. With up to 7 joint-years of lifetime exposure (eg, 1 joint/d for 7 years or 1 joint/wk for 49 years), we found no evidence that increasing exposure to marijuana adversely affects pulmonary function. This association, however, was nonlinear: at higher exposure levels, we found a leveling off or even a reversal in this association, especially for FEV1. Although our sample contained insufficient numbers of heavy users to confirm a detrimental effect of very heavy marijuana use on pulmonary function, our findings suggest this possibility."


Pletcher, Mark J., et al., "Association Between Marijuana Exposure and Pulmonary Function Over 20 Years," Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan. 11, 2012, Vol. 307, No. 2, p. 177.