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UCSF Study: Smoking Marijuana (Occasionally) Isn’t Bad For Lungs

Occasional marijuana use isn't bad for the lungs, according to a UCSF study. (Chuck Grimmett: Flickr)

Occasional marijuana use isn't bad for the lungs, according to a UCSF study. (Chuck Grimmett: Flickr)

Smoking an occasional marijuana joint isn’t bad for your lungs. In fact, lighting up once in a while may increase lung function, according to researchers at University of California, San Francisco.

The UCSF study, released today, looked at the pulmonary functions of 5,000 men and women over a 20 year period. It found that those who smoked marijuana for up to seven “joint-years” had a slight increase in lung capacity. What the heck is a “joint-year”? It’s defined as an average of one joint a day for seven years, or about one a week for 49 years.

But that doesn’t mean that marijuana smokers have the lung capacity of “The Thing” in Fantasic Four. The change in lung capacity doesn’t have much of a functional impact, according lead author and UCSF professor Mark Pletcher. “The amount of lung volume that is extra in marijuana smokers at that level versus non-marijuana smokers is very small.”

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