Effect of cannabis smoke condensate on human nasal epithelial cell adhesion, growth, and migration

Am J Otolaryngol. 2023 Jul-Aug;44(4):103890. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2023.103890. Epub 2023 Apr 7.


Objective: When inhaled, cannabis smoke interacts with airway tissues, including the nasal mucosa, which may lead to nasal pathologies. We examined the effect of cannabis smoke condensate (CSC) on nasal epithelial cell and tissue behaviors.

Methods: Human nasal epithelial cells were exposed or not to CSC at different concentrations (1, 5, 10, and 20 %) and for different durations. Cell adhesion and viability were assessed, as well as post-wound cell migration and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release.

Results: The nasal epithelial cells showed a larger cell size and a faint nucleus following exposure to CSC, compared to that observed in that control. This was supported by fewer adherent cells present after exposure for either 1 or 24 h to 5, 15, and 20 % CSC. CSC also had a significant toxic effect by reducing cell viability after both 1 and 24 h of exposure. This toxic effect was significant even at a low concentration (1 %) of CSC. The effects on nasal epithelial cell viability were confirmed by the decrease in cell migration. After the scratch and subsequent exposure to CSC for either 6 or 24 h, a complete inhibition of nasal epithelial cell migration was observed, compared to that found in the controls. CSC was toxic to the nasal epithelial cells, as the level of LDH significantly increased following cell exposure all CSC concentrations.

Conclusion: Cannabis smoke condensate had a negative effect on several nasal epithelial cell behaviors. These findings indicate that cannabis smoke could be a threat to nasal tissues and ultimately lead to nasal and sinus disorders.

Keywords: Adhesion; Cannabis smoke; LDH; Migration; Nasal epithelial cells; Viability.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Nicotiana
  • Smoke* / adverse effects


  • Smoke