[Cannabis smoking and lung cancer]

Rev Mal Respir. 2014 Jun;31(6):488-98. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2013.12.002. Epub 2014 Feb 16.
[Article in French]


Cannabis is the most commonly smoked illicit substance in the world. It can be smoked alone in plant form (marijuana) but it is mainly smoked mixed with tobacco. The combined smoking of cannabis and tobacco is a common-place phenomenon in our society. However, its use is responsible for severe pulmonary consequences. The specific impact of smoking cannabis is difficult to assess precisely and to distinguish from the effect of tobacco. Marijuana smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and carcinogens at higher concentration than tobacco smoke. Cellular, tissue, animal and human studies, and also epidemiological studies, show that marijuana smoke is a risk factor for lung cancer. Cannabis exposure doubles the risk of developing lung cancer. This should encourage clinicians to identify cannabis use and to offer patients support in quitting.

Keywords: Cancer bronchique; Cannabinoïdes; Cannabis; Lung cancer; Marijuana; Tetrahydrocannabinol; Tétrahydrocannabinol.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoke / adverse effects
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tobacco


  • Smoke