How does burnt tobacco (plant matter) cause cancer when burnt marijuana (plant matter) does not

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help me make sense of this from a scientific standpoint. both release tar and a host of other carcinogens into the lungs, weed is typically held in the lungs for far longer yet not linked to cancers as tobacco most def is

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Both do. Marijuana has two advantages. First, it has a few cancer-fighting chemicals that you also get. Second, tobacco smokers will usually smoke 20-40 cigarettes per day every day for 20-50 years. Meanwhile, even the most hardcore marijuana addicts will likely only do 5-10 per day and most people might just do 2-4 per week.

They both absolutely will cause cancer. The difference is that marijuana has been a schedule I drug for decades now. This makes it hard to find long term smokers whom are willing to admit it. As well as hard for scientific endeavors to even do a human trial. All that combing to say we just don’t have any data to prove it won’t, but reasonably speaking inhaling any kind of smoke is a potential cancer risk.

Both are carcinogenic to some extent – the main differences are in the quantities smoked (usually people consume less marijuana than tobacco) and it’s harder to measure the effects of smoked marijuana accurately because a lot of users smoke tobacco as well, either at the same time or separately, so it’s difficult to assess the separate effect of marijuana.

But the effects of marijuana last a lot longer so the frequency of smoking joints is usually less than the frequency of smoking cigarettes/cigars etc because the effect nicotine wears off quicker – so even if they were equally carcinogenic or even marijuana was overall more carcinogenic, because people use less of it, it’s less likely to cause cancer.

It just hasn’t been studied as extensively as tobacco. But the studies that have been done thus far do show an increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23846283/

First, you are making a lot of assumptions…

A recent review article (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29374567/) states:

>Smoking cannabis has not been proved to be a risk factor in the development of lung cancer, but the data are limited by small studies, misclassification due to self-reporting of use, small numbers of heavy cannabis smokers, and confounding of the risk associated with known causative agents for lung cancer (such as parallel chronic tobacco use).

So we may not know yet if smoking marijuana contributes to lung cancer.

Regular smoking causes lung cancer by introducing particles and chemicals that damage the cells that line the lungs.

As more and more people smoke marijuana and more and more research is performed, we will learn more about the risks (if any) associated with it.