Secondhand Marijuana Smoke

Health risks of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke: Peer-reviewed and published studies do indicate that exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke may have health and safety risks for the general public, especially due to its similar composition to secondhand tobacco smoke.

  • Secondhand smoke from combusted marijuana contains fine particulate matter that can be breathed deeply into the lungs, which can cause lung irritation, asthma attacks, and makes respiratory infections more likely. Exposure to fine particulate matter can exacerbate health problems especially for people with respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, or COPD.
  • Significant amounts of mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead, hydrogen cyanide, and chromium, as well as 3 times the amount of ammonia, are found in mainstream marijuana smoke than is in tobacco smoke.
  • In 2009, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment added marijuana smoke to its Proposition 65 list of carcinogens and reproductive toxins, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. It reported that at least 33 individual constituents present in both marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke are Proposition 65 carcinogens.
  • More Risks

No Smoke. “Secondhand Marijuana Smoke” Web. 12 November 2018

Young Canadians face heightened crash risk after consuming cannabis, new study finds

Young Canadians are more at risk of a vehicle crash even five hours after inhaling cannabis, according to results of a clinical trial conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and McGill University, and funded by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

The research found that performance declined significantly, in key areas such as reaction time, even five hours after inhaling the equivalent of less than one typical joint.

Medical Xpress. “Young Canadians face heightened crash risk after consuming cannabis, new study finds” 15 October 2018 Web. 8 November 2018

One Minute of Marijuana Secondhand Smoke Exposure Substantially Impairs Vascular Endothelial Function

One minute of exposure to marijuana SHS substantially impairs endothelial function in rats for at least 90 minutes, considerably longer than comparable impairment by tobacco SHS. Impairment of FMD does not require cannabinoids, nicotine, or rolling paper smoke. Our findings in rats suggest that SHS can exert similar adverse cardiovascular effects regardless of whether it is from tobacco or marijuana.

NCBI. “One Minute of Marijuana Secondhand Smoke Exposure Substantially Impairs Vascular Endothelial Function” 27 July 2018 Web. 6 November 2018

Children whose mothers use marijuana are more likely to try it at younger age

When mothers use marijuana during the first 12 years of their child’s life, their cannabis-using children are more likely to start at an earlier age than children of non-using mothers, according to a new study. This study is the first to establish a relationship between maternal cannabis use during a child’s lifetime and earlier initiation in a nationally-representative, longitudinal cohort.

ScienceDaily. “Children whose mothers use marijuana are more likely to try it at younger age” 24 Sept 2018 Web. 1 November 2018

Cannabis May Be Worse for Teen Brains Than Alcohol

Exactly what does marijuana do to a young person’s brain?

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that cannabis may actually have a more negative impact on teens’ cognitive development than alcohol.

The study’s results put up a warning sign to teens that regular use of marijuana, for instance, could have long-lasting effects on their brains.

Health Line. “Cannabis May Be Worse for Teen Brains Than Alcohol” 11 Oct 2018 Web. 30 October 2018

Commercialized Marijuana is a Bad Idea, Says Peoria Doctor

With the legalization of recreational marijuana practically a foregone conclusion in Illinois, a retired Peoria doctor is trying to put the brakes on the process.
Dr. Ray Bertino, a retired interventional radiologist who is on the board of the Illinois Society for Addiction Medicine, has been on a campaign since March to educate doctors, legislators and the public about the dangers cannabis presents to the developing brain. Legislation which would allow sellers to make the drug more attractive to consumers — even if adolescents are not the intended audience — is a bad idea, he says.
“They want to sell marijuana candy, and they want to advertise it, but at what risk to public health?” said Bertino.
Legalization is not as concerning to Bertino as the idea that legislators are crafting a bill which would allow commercialization of the drug. Commercialization creates an industry whose sole purpose is to sell more of the product, said Bertino. That industry would create attractive products and advertising to bring in more customers.

The Pantagraph. “Commercialized Marijuana is a Bad Idea, Says Peoria Doctor” 14 Oct 2018 Web. 25 October 2018

What are the effects of secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke?

People often ask about the possible psychoactive effect of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke and whether a person who has inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke could fail a drug test. Researchers measured the amount of THC in the blood of people who do not smoke marijuana and had spent 3 hours in a well-ventilated space with people casually smoking marijuana; THC was present in the blood of the nonsmoking participants, but the amount was well below the level needed to fail a drug test. Another study that varied the levels of ventilation and the potency of the marijuana found that some nonsmoking participants exposed for an hour to high-THC marijuana (11.3 percent THC concentration) in an unventilated room showed positive urine assays in the hours directly following exposure; a follow-up study showed that nonsmoking people in a confined space with people smoking high-THC marijuana reported mild subjective effects of the drug—a “contact high”—and displayed mild impairments on performance in motor tasks


The National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are the effects of secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke?” June 2018 Web. 23 October 2018

Neighbors file federal lawsuit to shut down Sonoma County cannabis grower

A group of Petaluma neighbors is suing a nearby cannabis grower in what may be the first case in California using a federal racketeering and corruption law to seek to bar cultivation of marijuana since it was legalized for recreational use.

They claim the growers, including Carlos Zambrano and his partners in Green Earth Coffee, are raising cannabis without local permits or state licenses and have prevented residents from enjoying their homes because of noxious odors and noise.


The Press Democrat. “Neighbors file federal lawsuit to shut down Sonoma County cannabis grower” 31 August 2018 Web. 18 October 2018

Breast-Feeding Mothers Should Avoid Marijuana, Pediatricians Say

Marijuana is more widely available than ever, but what does it do to babies?

There’s no answer to that yet, but nursing mothers are being warned to avoid it: Traces of the drug can show up in breast milk, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gets people high, can be detected in breast milk up to six days after use of the drug, according to a study published on Monday by the journal Pediatrics.


The New York Times. “Breast-Feeding Mothers Should Avoid Marijuana, Pediatricians Say” 27 August 2018 Web. 16 October 2018

Horrible Child Abuse Death In Texas Highlights Links To Marijuana

A Texas man fatally stabbed his 16-month-old son, yelling “Jesus is coming,” in Lewisville, outside of Dallas, on August 19. Authorities say 27-year-old Blair Ness is charged in the death of his toddler son Ashton Ness.

Police say they found “fresh burnt marijuana as well as a haze of smoke in the apartment,” and blood in multiple areas of the apartment.  Ness started his attack inside and then continued outside in a courtyard.  A neighbor shot the father in his leg to stop the killing.


Parents Opposed to Pot. “Horrible Child Abuse Death In Texas Highlights Links To Marijuana” 29 August 2018 Web. 11 October 2018