Marijuana Use Could Raise Asthma Risks

By   |  January 29, 2024

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter  |  Copyright © 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

MONDAY, Jan. 29, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Marijuana has a reputation for being harmless, but frequent tokers are more likely to suffer from asthma, a new study shows.

Asthma is more common among U.S. adults who’ve used weed within the past 30 days, researchers reported recently in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Further, the odds of asthma are significantly greater among people who reported using the drug 20 to 30 days per month, researchers found.

The more frequent the cannabis use, the higher the likelihood of asthma, even after adjusting for the potential effects of concurrent cigarette smoking, they concluded.

“With the growing use of cannabis across the U.S., understanding potential links between cannabis use and asthma is increasingly relevant to population health,” said co-researcher Renee Goodwin, a psychiatric epidemiologist with Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual study of nearly 33,000 people ages 12 and older in the United States. They looked at the relationship of cannabis or marijuana use within the past month among people with asthma.

About 10% of people with recent weed use had asthma, versus about 7% of those who don’t use, researchers found.

The odds rose if people used weed many times a week, results showed.

The study adds to prior research by “being the first to show a link between cannabis use in the community and respiratory health risks; specifically increased asthma prevalence,” Goodwin said.  This, "underscores the importance of understanding the interplay between cannabis use and respiratory health,” she added.

More information

The Allergy & Asthma Network has more about cannabis and asthma.

SOURCE: Columbia University, news release, Jan. 26, 2024