Good news: marijuana’s not actually bad for your lungs

Pin it

Zach Galifianakis smoking weed

In case acute health-consciousness has been the only thing holding you back from going through life pleasantly stoned, you can finally start living the dream: new research indicates that not only is smoking weed not damaging to your lungs, it may actually improve certain aspects of lung function. 

While lung performance predictably deteriorated the more a subject in the study smoked cigarettes, the same did not hold true for pot smokers, whose lung volume and air-flow rates actually improved with every "joint-year" smoked, i.e. a cumulative 365 joints or pipe bowls. "This particular potential complication of marijuana smoking doesn't appear to be an important risk," explained one of the researchers. "Therefore, people who are using marijuana for medicinal purposes or recreationally at least could be reassured that they're not harming their lungs in this way."

Theories differ on why this may be the case, and some suggest that all that practice with deep inhalation would skew lung-test results in favor of stoners. Any improvements were minimal though, and the researcher said, "It's a very real increase… but it's so small that I don't think that a person would feel a benefit in terms of their breathing […] We don't know exactly what's happening inside all of the airways of the individuals who are measured." 

Okay, so it's not going help your chances of winning a triathlon, but I'd still call this a pretty big victory for those of you on Team Weed.