There is a lot of talk about the dangers of tobacco and how it can cause various forms of cancer. Aside from the carcinogenic nature of the tobacco plant, there are a lot of additives involved, and many of them aren’t too friendly. That might be why virtually every smoker that you meet will be “trying to quit.” The keyword here is “trying” because many of them do not succeed.
We already know that Hemp is not addictive in the way that tobacco tends to be. However, we are still talking about the inhalation of smoke here, and some have claimed that Cannabis is also carcinogenic. Are these claims true? Are Hemp cigarettes really a safer alternative to cigarettes? Let’s do some investigation.
Question #1: Is Hemp Carcinogenic?
The term “carcinogenic” is just a fancy way of describing substances that are known to cause cancer. As you’ve probably noticed, there are a lot of these in the world. In order to find out if they are indeed safer than tobacco cigarettes, we have to ask ourselves this question: Is Hemp a carcinogen? Because, if so, that would remove one of its key advantages over tobacco.
We found a pretty good study that addressed this topic thoroughly. After testing the smoke of both Hemp and tobacco cigarettes, these researchers found that Hemp is not nearly as dangerous as tobacco. Although both of them technically contain carcinogens (all smoke does, by the way), the tobacco had a whole lot more. This explains why we have never heard of a cancer case caused directly by Cannabis.
Here’s another important point: The tobacco had a tendency to work with the carcinogens present in the smoke, while the Hemp worked against them. Basically, the cannabinoids inhibit the actions of the enzymes that are necessary for those carcinogens to be taken up by the body. Thus, we can see that Hemp might actually be an anti-carcinogen. The only carcinogenic aspect of Hemp smoking is the Carbon monoxide that is contained in the smoke itself.
Question #2: Does Hemp Have Anti-Cancer Properties?
That study, mr hemp flower examined, is very interesting because it shows us how Cannabis can actually work as an anti-carcinogenic. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it seems that the nature of the plant and its components is able to cancel out the carcinogenic effects of the smoke itself. The question is how far we can go with that conclusion. Let’s see if we can find any hard evidence to show that Hemp has anti-cancer properties.
First, everyone knows that Hemp and its relatives/derivatives are used in the treatment of cancer patients. However, it should be noted that it is not a direct treatment. Rather, it is an anti-nausea measure that is used to combat the side effects of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy patients often suffer from chronic nausea, making it difficult for them to eat enough. Because Cannabis is both an anti-nausea drug and an appetite stimulant, it is a natural choice. However, this is not evidence of direct anti-carcinogenic action.
For that kind of evidence, we have to turn to some clinical studies, such as this one. These researchers used slightly modified forms of Cannabis on cancer cells while also reviewing the work of others on the same subject. The important point is this: They showed that Cannabis could, indeed, kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Researchers said they were quite surprised at the level of sensitivity that they saw, suggesting that Hemp can kill cancer cells effectively.
Here is another interesting point from that research. They tested several variations of Cannabis, including some that were CBD-dominant and some that were THC-dominant. Obviously, legal smoking Hemp is a lot more like the former. THC-dominant Cannabis is still illegal in most states. Anyway, our study found that CBD-dominant varieties were more effective in inhibiting the growth of cancer without negative side effects. Many common cancer treatments will also kill healthy white blood cells and/or healthy bone marrow cells. This is why cancer patients often look thin and emaciated. However, Hemp does not have this problem.
Has Anyone Ever Gotten Cancer From Cannabis?
This is the million-dollar question, of course. To find out if this is possible, we need to find out if it has ever happened. We are not aware of any such cases, but we will do some digging to make sure. This article had a nice overview of the evidence, so it was a good place to start.
It seems that there is some debate among scientists on this question. It is true that Hemp smoke contains some of the same carcinogens that are found in tobacco. That being said, we cannot find a single concrete instance in which someone actually got lung cancer from smoking weed (Hemp, Marijuana, or otherwise). We also think it is very telling that scientists cannot agree on this matter. If there were a plain link between Cannabis and cancer, there would be no need for debate.
So, to answer the question asked in the title: Hemp cigarettes are extremely unlikely to give you cancer. In fact, we would say the chance is slim to none. There are probably 10-20 other things in your daily environment that could give you cancer long before Hemp. The carcinogens that are present in the smoke itself are counteracted by the anti-carcinogenic nature of the plant. Thus, there is no need to worry or be paranoid.