"Smoking Pot is Harmless....."


| 12 Comments

 

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As one who has never gotten into smoking marijuana, I have heard it from many of my friends that smoking pot is harmless, and much less dangerous than drinking, despite drinking being more accepted by society. A recent study that was conducted by the University of Southern California and published in the journal Cancer had a different opinion on smoking pot.

In an observational study, 163 men who were between the ages of 18 and 35 and diagnosed with testicular cancer between 1986 and 1991 were analyzed. The "control group" was 292 healthy men who did not have testicular cancer. Both groups were interviewed about their past and present usage of different drugs.

The findings of the researchers were that those who smoked pot were 2.4 times more likely to have non-seminoma or mixed germ cell tumors, which are both considered some of the worse testicular cancers. A very interesting finding was that those who smoked pot less than once a week were most likely to develop testicular cancer.

The article concludes by stating a possible flaw in the study that I could not agree more with. They talk about how people who did not develop testicular cancer may not be as likely to discuss their past illegal drug usage. This is also the first flaw in the study that I will point out.

The second is the study size. While it still is not proven that smoking pot tends to lead to testicular cancer, associations are popping up. To confirm this, I think a much larger sample size needs to take part in a common study. Not just more people, but people of a different regions, ages, physical activity backgrounds, and drug/medicine usages. This study may be a bit too bland to jump to this conclusion.

This is difficult to say considering I do not like or encourage smoking pot: "Would a rational person stop smoking pot because of these findings?" (Like Andrew would word on a quiz or exam.) I would honestly say no. I think these assumptions may be premature despite only an association being stated at this time. I would say this study may be important to the debate over whether weed should become legal, but the government does not care if you smoke cigarettes anyways.

Do you think a rational male should take this into conclusion before lighting up next time?

 

http://quitsmokingweednow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/quit-smoking-weed.jpg

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/10/smoking-pot-linked-to-testicular-cancer-risk/

12 Comments

Because these statistics are based on people who have already been segregated, I would be skeptical to take the 2.4 times more likely to have testicular cancer seriously. The size of the study doesn't seem to be very large. However, because there is so much evidence that smoking is dangerous, that could explain the increased chance of testicular cancer. A study in the UK states that smoking increases the chance of getting certain cancers, including cancers of blood, immune system, and the bone marrow. Smoking in general has so many negative side effects, whether it is tobacco or marijuana. Any person saying smoking marijuana is not looking at the full spectrum of effects of smoking.

This is really interesting. I have often heard, like you, that weed is rather harmless but to be honest I have never really looked into it. To answer your question however, I do not believe that this evidence is enough to cause a rational young male to give up his smoking habits because of the concerns about the study that you brought up in your blog. It doesn't seem to have been a double blind experiment and so there could be plenty of third variables that could have an affect on the results. Also, this study could possibly suffer from the Texas Sharp Shooter problem. I googled the study and found an article on the ABC website and at the end of the third paragraph there is a quote by one of the authors of the study,Vitoria Cortessis, saying "So we asked, 'What is it that young men are doing more frequently that could account for the increased risk?'". In my eyes there are most likely several things they could have tested for and may be they did test for several things and just decided that it was most likely the marijuana use. This study could be very interesting and have more of an impact if it were repeated and done with a much larger group of people and the same results were found.

Here is the ABC article that I quoted from: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/CancerPreventionAndTreatment/marijuana-tied-testicular-cancer-risk/story?id=17183711#.UL5ID5PjlRE

I think that it's true you can always find something negative or unhealthy with anything. However, when it comes to medical marijuana I don't think there is any debating on its benefits. I know that it's fiction, however recently I was watching the show, "Parenthood" in which one of the main characters has been diagnosed with breast cancer and started chemotherapy. They showed how painful and excruciating this process is, and no medicine was helping. That is until she got some pot. That was the only thing that could stop the pain and nausea for her, at least for a little bit. Because that is fictional, I thought I should look up the real-life benefits of the drug in situations like this, and I found my answer (http://www.articlefeeder.com/Diseases__Conditions_and_Treatments/The_Benefits_of_Medical_Marijuana_for_Cancer_Patients.html). This article talks all about the many studies and experiments that have proved the benefits of smoking marijuana for cancer patients. Maybe this doesn't change anything, but it definitely shows that marijuana can't be all bad.

I agree with your opinion that to make this experiment more efficient, you would have to increase the size of it. Also, I think you would have to follow or absolutely be sure of the people in the experiment's past. Despite all of this, I have known many marijuana smokers and i have never seen a relation between smoking and any type of cancer.

As i researched the relation between testicular cancer and marijuana use, the only known experiment is the one done by The University of Southern California. So, I would not worry too much if you were a marijuana smoker. This experiment could be wrong for many reasons, such as chance, or maybe just bad scientific process. Either way, I would like to see this experiment be done again.

I think that for in order for the correlation of smoking to testicular cancer to be more believable, there would need to be more people. Also, you have to take into consideration of people's backgrounds. What they did in the past, but also if there is history of cancer, specifically testicular cancer, in a persons family. This correlation could be correct if studied further but also could just be a fluke. medicalmarijuana.org also brought up the interesting point of quantity of smoking compared to cigarettes. It has been proven that smoking cigarettes can increase your risk of cancer, yet they are legal. People who smoke cigarettes, it has been shown, generally smoke 10-20 cigarettes a day. However, on average people smoke marijuana much less, a few times a month. There is much less exposure. Also, some states must think that this correlation is not correct because they are making marijuana legal. It is shown to have health benefits, while cigarettes can cause cancer and are still legal.

Well in my opinion I think that men should consider this before the light up, but considering this article it all depends if the man smoking believes this or not (which probably they won't)
What really interested me was that only a study was based on men. So I looked to see if women have issues with smoking pot as well or if they can immune to it in a way.
Many articles took me to how pregnant women should not smoke marijuana, which should be a no brainer really. But in this article it does say women can get cancer from smoking pot. Pot has 50-70% more cancer causing compounds than tobacco smoke. And apparently intelligent women are more likely to smoke pot than men. I wonder why that could be?

The results of this study are not conclusive in any way. It even states that heavy users of marijuana are less likely to develop testicular cancer. Does that not seem a bit strange that as long as you use a lot of it or none at all you will be fine, but if you puff a joint once or twice you are at a much higher risk.
Since there has only been one study done, no conclusions can be reached yet. Not only does the sample size need to be increased (300 is very tiny and can result in chance), but they need to identify what occurred in each of the patients past (Cancer in the family or hazardous job). On top of all of this, marijuana has been shown to reduce pain, increase appetite, as well as have many other benefits. I think that people should not jump to any conclusions based on this one study. This is an interesting article on the benefits of marijuana

My best friend told me that smoking weed has become an epidemic. She started smoking in high school and hasn’t stop since. I never really got into doing it. I didn’t believe her when she told me that back then but I really do see what she was saying now. To first answer your question, know one is going to stop smoking weed after this study and probably many studies to come. There is too much evidence out there right now saying that weed is harmless other than inhaling in smoke.
This election proves that the push to making weed legal is getting some serious consideration. There are 18 states that have legalized weed for at least medical purposes and Colorado has legalized weed for recreational use. These are really big steps. I think the bigger question is why does the government continue to ignore that fact that alcohol takes and affects so many lives but is still legal but weed is not? Like you said in your blog also, cigarettes are legal, which gives people cancer but nonetheless cigarettes are still legal.
What is it that is keeping the government (state) from just legalizing weed? I think that is the better debate. This is an article that describes the stipulations of the Colorado law.

I agree that the experiment wasn't done thoroughly. The experiment itself is enough to refute the notion that marijuana is as bad for you as we've been taught our entire lives.
Marijuana isn't completely safe but neither are cigarettes or alcohol. The health effects of long term use is known about cigarettes and alcohol, but people continue to use them. I think the topic of marijuana use is just politics. As we learned in class, politics and science should never mix.
http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/siowfa12/2012/12/smoking-pot-is-harmless.html

Well the fact that people who smoke are 2.4 times more likely to have testicular cancer and then people who use it less than once a week are most likely kind of defeats itself. If the 2 are related than people smoking more than once a week should be at a higher risk right? This study is so incomplete and the fact that we KNOW it helps people who have cancer through chemo only works against it even more.

Well the fact that people who smoke are 2.4 times more likely to have testicular cancer and then people who use it less than once a week are most likely kind of defeats itself. If the 2 are related than people smoking more than once a week should be at a higher risk right? This study is so incomplete and the fact that we KNOW it helps people who have cancer through chemo only works against it even more. And people are never going to be able to defend keeping pot illegal while alcohol and cigarettes aren't and known to kill you. Also worth noting that pot doesn't have any addictive chemicals in it. The people who say they can't stop smoking pot are just lazy. It's fun, but it's not addicting. It would be Fox news that pulls something like this.

In response to Dylan; (Remeber I do not think this study was perfect, but I am against pot)

I agree with you that it seems strange that people who smoke less than once a week are more likely to get cancer than those who smoke more, but I do not think you can purely disregard the data like you seem to be saying. I also disagree with you 100% that pot can be addictive. If you take a step back and look at things, there does not need to be any chemical that is considered "addictive" for something to actually be addictive. The example I would give is gambling. There is no chemical in the chips you place playing poker or in the horse you are betting on. While there may not be any known chemical that causes addiction, people see to become obsessed with the act of smoking potand struggle at times to quit, more so than say playing a video game, eating food, or hell even masturbation. Just my take on things.

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