Secondhand marijuana smoke may be more harmful than that from tobacco

(FoxNews.com) - Exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke may impair cardiovascular function as much as exposure to tobacco smoke, new research suggests.

The study, which was published Wednesday in the Journal of American Heart Association, found that, in mice, inhalation of secondhand marijuana smoke for one minute diminished blood vessel function to the same degree as inhalation of tobacco smoke for the same amount of time. Researchers also found these cardiovascular effects lasted longer in the mice exposed to marijuana smoke.

Study authors, from the University of California, San Francisco, examined the reduction of flow mediated dilation (FMD) — a process in which increased blood flow forces arteries to open further — in response to secondhand smoke. This reduction, they said, impedes blood flow and puts the individual at risk for various heart problems.

“Your blood vessels can carry more blood if they sense that they need to pass more blood to the tissues,” senior study author Dr. Matthew Springer, a medicine professor at UC San Francisco, said in a news release. “They dilate to allow more blood through. But that’s inhibited by exposure to smoke.”

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