Marijuana is one of the few illegal substances remaining that can still arguably be less harmful than other legal substances, like tobacco. Until now, little research had been conducted to prove that cannabis smoke could have detrimental effects on the health of those who inhaled it.
Research by Professor Rajinder Singh from University of Leicester has finally shown that smoke from marijuana, much like that of tobacco, directly affects our DNA. This research used new technology called modified mass spectrometry to determine the relationship between cancerous cells and presence of Vitamins A, C, and E.
Decreased levels of these vitamins were found to have a direct correlation with the presence of fragments of DNA called DNA adducts. These DNA adducts bind to chemicals that are known to cause cancerous cell growth.
Non-smokers who took vitamins had few DNA adducts. However, smokers (both tobacco and cannabis) showed an increased number of DNA adducts. Further, the group of smokers that took vitamins did not show lower DNA adduct levels. This finding indicates that oxidation destruction measured in marijuana smokers was significant enough to negate the effect of vitamins.
This research is groundbreaking because it demonstrates that marijuana smoke can be linked to cancer, and because it shows that irreversible damage occurs in the DNA of smokers.
Discussion Question: Why might smoking prevent vitamins from affecting DNA?
News Article: http://www.livescience.com/health/090613-marijuana-dna-cancer.html
Research Article: http://en.scientificcommons.org/41699010
Research Article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_
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