Docs Express Concerns About Side Effects of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana cigarette

Although medical marijuana is gaining more and more acceptance throughout the country, a growing number of doctors are expressing concerns about the likelihood that smoking weed harms lungs. While marijuana may possess some medical benefits, some medical experts say there are other ways to take cannabis that minimize the side effects.

For example, it’s difficult for the lungs to absorb enough of the cannabis, Mikhail Kogan, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., told CBC. And if a person eats it, such as in a pot brownie or gummie, the stomach’s gastric acids interfere with it.

He says it’s more effective to take weed either under the tongue or rectally, though many people may not prefer the latter.

“We have so many other products now, so many modes of delivery, that smoking in my opinion is very archaic and has very little clinical applicability,” he said.

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is a freelance writer and former MedShadow content editor. He has been an editor and writer for multiple pharmaceutical, health and medical publications, including BioCentury, The Pink Sheet, Modern Healthcare, Health Plan Week and Psychiatry Advisor. He holds a BA from Tufts University and is earning an MPH with a focus on health policy from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.

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