New Evidence Of Health Threat From Chemicals In Marijuana, T
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A team of scientists has uncovered new evidence of the potential health risks of chemicals in tobacco and marijuana smoke. The researchers report that people who smoked only marijuana had several smoke-related toxic chemicals in their blood and urine, but at lower levels than those who smoked both tobacco and marijuana or tobacco only.

Two of those chemicals, acrylonitrile, and acrylamide are known to be toxic at high levels. The investigators also found that exposure to acrolein, increases with tobacco smoking but not marijuana smoking, and contributes to cardiovascular disease in tobacco smokers.

The findings suggest that high acrolein levels may be a sign of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and that reducing exposure to the chemical could lower that risk. This is particularly important for people infected with HIV, given high rates of tobacco smoking and the increased risk of heart disease in this group.

This is the first study to compare exposure to acrolein and other harmful smoke-related chemicals over time in exclusive marijuana smokers and tobacco smokers and to see if those exposures are related to cardiovascular disease.

The study involved 245 HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants. The researchers collected data from participants’ medical records and survey results and analyzed their blood and urine samples for substances produced by the breakdown of nicotine or the combustion of tobacco or marijuana.

Combining these datasets enabled them to trace the presence of specific toxic chemicals to tobacco or marijuana smoking and to see if any were associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, the concentrations of these substances were lower in marijuana-only smokers than in tobacco smokers.