Marijuana Use Linked With Elevated Blood and Urinary Metal Levels

Category Health

tldr #

Marijuana use is correlated with metal contamination in the blood and urine, which could lead to long-term health problems. A survey of over 7,000 people revealed that marijuana users had higher levels of lead and Cadmium in their blood and urine than non-users. Despite numerous states legalizing marijuana, this substance is still prohibited at the federal level in the United States.

content #

Marijuana is the third most often used narcotic on a global scale. A recent study revealed that marijuana users have much higher levels of heavy metals in their blood and urine than non-users. Researchers discovered greater amounts of lead and Cadmium related to long-term health problems.

The cannabis plant is considered a metal hyperaccumulator, which means it can absorb and accumulate particular metals present in soil, fertilizers, water, and pesticides. These metals can also end up in human bodies when they are consumed in the form of drugs.

Marijuana is the third most commonly used drug globally

This result was reached after studying approximately 7,200 persons. A team of researchers, including those from Columbia University, meticulously evaluated blood and urine samples gathered between 2005 and 2018. The samples were taken as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an initiative of the National Center for Health Statistics.

Reportedly, around 358 people who reported using marijuana in the previous 30 days had blood lead levels that were 27 percent higher than those who claimed not to use either marijuana or tobacco. On the other hand, marijuana users' blood was discovered to be tainted with 22 percent greater amounts of Cadmium. Higher quantities of metals were also detected in their urine samples.

Lead and Cadmium are two of the metals found to be higher in marijuana users that can cause long-term health risks

Long-term lead exposure in humans can lead to various adverse health effects, including neurological problems (cognitive and behavioral issues), high blood pressure, joint discomfort, and kidney damage. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Cadmium as a human carcinogen. Even minor exposure to this metal — through tobacco smoke — can cause renal problems and weaker bones. These metal traces linger in the body for prolonged periods, even after a person has ceased using marijuana.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was used to survey over 7,000 participants

However, the survey did not specify whether marijuana was consumed as edibles or joints. However, the authors warn that due to the substantially increased absorption rate associated with inhalation, breathing lead is more dangerous than consuming it through food.

Despite numerous states legalizing recreational and medical marijuana use, this substance remains prohibited at the federal level in the United States. The findings have been reported in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Urine samples were used as part of the NHANES study

hashtags #
worddensity #