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Regular smoking of marijuana by itself causes visible and microscopic injury to the large airways that is consistently associated with an increased likelihood of symptoms of chronic bronchitis that subside after cessation of use. On the other hand, habitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function when assessed either cross-sectionally or longitudinally, except for possible increases in lung volumes and modest increases in airway resistance of unclear clinical significance. Therefore, no clear link to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been established.
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Marijuana and lung diseases.

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Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is used throughout the world, and its use is increasing. In much of the world, marijuana is illicit. While inhalation of smoke generated by igniting dried components of the plant is the most common way marijuana is used, there is concern over potential adverse lung effects.

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Based on previously published studies, this review describes the pulmonary consequences of marijuana smoking. Smoking of marijuana is significantly associated with chronic bronchitis (cough and phlegm), but it has not been firmly established whether it also leads to a reduction in lung function. Both epidemiological studies and case reports suggest that regular smokers of marijuana have a higher risk of developing malignancies in both the upper and lower airways.

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Effects of smoking cannabis on lung function.

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