All of what you take into your body comes out somewhere, and that somewhere is often in your urine. Gross thought, but it has some major health implications when it comes to carcinogens like cigarettes and other tobacco products that can increase your risk of bladder cancer.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case cannabis according to a recent Kaiser Permanente study in Los Angeles. In fact, the good herb might lower your risk of developing such problems.
A study of more than 83,000 California men concluded that marijuana smokers are about 45 percent less likely to have bladder cancer than average, while cigarette smokers were about 52 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer. Those who smoked both saw a decreased rate from those who smoked strictly tobacco but still a higher rate than those who only toke the ganja.
According to the American Cancer Society, about one in 26 men will develop tumors on their bladder in their lifetime.
But there is a catch: the study only took a look at men who smoked cigarettes, marijuana or both. There wasn’t a control group of non-smokers taken from the same general population. According to Dr. Karim Chamie, a urology professor at the University of California not involved with the study who spoke with USA Todayover the weekend, smoking cigarettes increases the risk as much as three times that of non-smokers.
And the doctors who conducted the study are distancing themselves from any pro-cannabis perceptions as well, saying the study shouldn’t be used to advocate cannabis use as a preventative measure. They did admit that the findings are worth further examination and that cannabis could have a future role in bladder cancer research.
The study looked at men age 45 to 69 who were Kaiser patients in California. The men were first looked at in 2002, and 11 years later the study pulled them back in for a follow-up. Forty-one percent were ganja tokers, 57 percent smoked tobacco and 27 percent smoked both. In 11 years, 89 pot smokers developed tumors. Cigarette smokers more than doubled that, with 190.