Join for Free!
122509 members

Home » Biology Articles » Molecular Biology » New tests: Marijuana damages DNA and may cause cancer

New tests: Marijuana damages DNA and may cause cancer

Using a highly sensitive new test, scientists in Europe are reporting “convincing evidence” that marijuana smoke damages the genetic material DNA in ways that could increase the risk of cancer. Their study is scheduled for the June 15 issue of ACS’ Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.
Rajinder Singh and colleagues note that toxic substances in tobacco smoke can damage DNA and increase the risk of lung and other cancers. However, there has been uncertainty over whether marijuana smoke has the same effect. Scientists are especially concerned about the toxicity of acetaldehyde, present in both tobacco and marijuana. However, it has been difficult to measure DNA damage from acetaldehyde with conventional tests.

The scientists describe development and use of a modified mass spectrometry method that showed clear indications that marijuana smoke damages DNA. “In conclusion, these results provide evidence for the DNA damaging potential of cannabis [marijuana] smoke, implying that the consumption of cannabis cigarettes may be detrimental to human health with the possibility to initiate cancer development,” the article states. “The data obtained from this study suggesting the DNA damaging potential of cannabis smoke highlight the need for stringent regulation of the consumption of cannabis cigarettes, thus limiting the development of adverse health effects such as cancer.”  

-- News release courtesy of American Chemical Society 

rating: 3.80 from 5 votes | updated on: 17 Jun 2009 | views: 3480 |

Rate article: