Occasional marijuana use 'boosts lungs'

Marijuana plant. Picture: AP Source: AP

PEOPLE who occasionally smoke marijuana do not suffer long-term lung damage the way cigarette smokers do and may actually experience a slight improvement, according to a US study published today.

Since the research includes more than 5000 people over 20 years, the authors say it should help clear up some of the confusion about the risks of marijuana smoking, which is increasingly common in the US.

However, they warned that the risks of heavy marijuana use were difficult to assess and cautioned against regular or frequent smoking.

"Marijuana is still an illegal drug, and it has many complicated effects on the human body and its function," says Stefan Kertesz, senior author of the research in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"In our findings we see hints of harm in pulmonary function with heavy use, and other studies have shown that marijuana...

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