A new study says that marijuana use may not have so many adverse effects on physical health, with the exception of teeth. People who smoked marijuana had a risk of gum disease. However, the overall repercussions on health were less severe than those associated with smoking tobacco.
The 20 Years Long Study
The research followed 1,037 people from New Zealand, from the moment they turned 18 until they turned 38. The scientists carefully selected individuals that did not have previous issues of health during childhood and that were not tobacco users.
In order to measure the regularity of marijuana use, the subjects were asked to self-report the frequency of use at the ages of 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38.
The purpose of the study was to analyze the differences in health conditions for marijuana smokers and tobacco smokers and to compare them to those of non-smokers.
The team assessed dozens of indicators for physical health, among which lung function, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index, glucose control, and systemic inflammation.
Marijuana Use vs. Tobacco Smoking
The results showed that people who smoked pot did not have health problems others than the ones related to periodontal health.
Over 55% of individuals who used marijuana regularly for more than 15 years had gum disease. Among the people who did not use it, the percentage of gum disease was only 13%.
The tobacco users in the study also had gum disease. However, they had other health issues that were not found in pot users, such as systemic inflammation, reduced lung function, and poor metabolism.
The researchers did not find the reasons for this high frequency. They found that marijuana smokers were less careful when it came to dental hygiene, but the lack of dental care could not be kept accountable for the negative effect.
Gum disease is a condition that can provoke tooth loss and it is associated with other serious health problems. The most common periodontal affection is the plaque-induced inflammation. The plaque contains millions of bacteria, protozoa, and leucocytes.
Other clinical studies have shown that marijuana use is often associated with IQ decline, increased risk of psychotic illness, and a descending socioeconomic movement.
However, when it comes to physical health, pot smokers risk less than tobacco smokers.
Image Source: YouTube