If you think breathing second-hand marijuana smoke is safer than cigarette smoke because it’s natural, think again. Although the effects have yet to be studied in depth, it appears that breathing second-hand marijuana smoke is every bit as harmful as breathing cigarette smoke.
Effects of Cannabis on the Body: Second-Hand Smoke
One study in 2016 indicated that the function of blood vessels in rats exposed to marijuana smoke was diminished as severely as rats that were exposed to cigarette smoke, and the detrimental effects lasted considerably longer.
The marijuana used in the study contained no stems or seeds and hadn’t been exposed to pesticides or toxic chemicals. No rolling papers were used.
Similar results were noted even when CBD and THC, the active chemicals in cannabis, were removed. Researchers are quick to point out that problems caused by second-hand smoke aren’t caused by compounds within the marijuana, but by the smoke produced by burning plant matter.
It’s possible that vaping may be safer, but this hasn’t been established with any certainty.
Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke May Cause Slight Impairment
There are also indications that breathing second-hand marijuana smoke may cause a mild high, and in some cases, might even show up on a routine drug test.
One study performed at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence measured the THC level in the blood of non-smoking individuals who spent three hours in a well-ventilated room with a group of marijuana smokers.