More Than 100 Toxic Chemicals Found in Cannabis Smoke. Here’s What You Need To Know.

By Joy Stephenson-Laws, Managing Partner

There are several reports circulating that say that marijuana use has gone up since the pandemic hit. 

“So many people are staying home, and cannabis is perfect for staying at home and watching Netflix,” said Zachary Pitts, CEO of Ganja Goddess (a marijuana delivery company based in Oakland, California), according to one report.

In many states where marijuana is legal, weed dispensaries are considered essential businesses. So, it may seem that smoking weed is harmless and that now is the perfect time to do it.

But a recent study suggests otherwise.

According to one report discussing the study, engineering researchers from the University of Alberta identified more than 100 toxic chemicals in cannabis smoke.

Among the billions of particles found in a single puff of cannabis smoke, Nishida's [one of the lead researchers] team observed 2,575 chemical compounds and was able to identify 536. Of those, 110 are known to be toxic, whether they be carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic, which are chemicals that can interfere with the development of the embryo or fetus.”

To clarify a bit further:
  • Carcinogenic. An agent that may cause cancer. Tobacco and processed meats are known carcinogens.
  • Mutagenic. An agent that may cause genetic mutation (a change in the DNA of a cell). These DNA changes may cause cancer. You can read more about this here.
  • Teratogenic. An agent that may cause birth defects or a toxic effect on an embryo.

Simpy put, smoking weed is associated with cancer, genetic mutations and birty defects. shows. The fact that the researchers saw all three of these in cannabis smoke should be very concerning to us all.

The results of the study showed that there were more toxic materials in tobacco smoke, however, the particles in cannabis smoke were around 29 percent larger. 

“In all, researchers found 3.4 times more mass from the total particulate matter in a typical cannabis joint than a cigarette,” according to the study report.

"And with some caveats, that mass is what you consider tar," said one of the co-leads on the study.

So if you think smoking cannabis is “all natural,” think again!

Tar is essentially a toxic brown substance. You have likely seen it left behind by burning tobacco. Further research needs to be conducted on the effects of cannabis smoke, but earlier studies suggests that smoking weed may age your brain by almost three years!

Furthermore, smoking cannabis may cause sexual dysfunction in men, and it may be especially harmful to people under the age of 25.

Insteas of smoking marijuana, perhaps try CBD (cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis plants).

CBD products are everywhere right now.

You can find it in lotions, oils, tinctures, sprays, candy and more. Many scientists and medical professionals believe that the cannabinoid CBD may help fight inflammation (which can help treat pain) and manage a wide variety of health issues such as chronic pain, sleep disorders, anxiety and even seizure disorders.

So if you use marijuana to unwind, relieve stress or as a sleep aid or pain reliever, CBD products may be a much healthier way to do this without the potential to expose yourself to so many toxic chemicals.

To be clear, CBD will not get you high like the better known cannabis molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the one that gets you high when you smoke or ingest marijuana.

To learn more about CBD, check out these pH Labs blog. As always, consult your doctor or a competent healthcare professional about using CBD, especially if you have any existing health issues, are currently taking any medications or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

I know times are hard, because the coronavirus is still a threat and not completely behind us. Many businesses are still closed, and many people are still working from home and staying home as much as possible. This may make it tempting to relax with substances such as marijuana and alcohol, but overwhelming evidence suggests that alcohol may actually increase stress levels. Furthermore, marijuana may cause panic attacks.

In reality, the best way to manage stress and anxiety is through a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Find healthy ways to relax whether it be reading a book, calling a friend, coloring with your kids or taking a bubble bath. The options are really endless!


Enjoy your healthy life!


The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


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