New Study Reveals Higher Levels of Heavy Metals in Marijuana Users
A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives has found that marijuana users have elevated levels of lead and cadmium in their blood and urine compared to non-users. The study analyzed blood and urine tests from over 7,000 marijuana users between 2005 and 2018, revealing significant differences in metal levels.
According to the study, marijuana users had 27% higher levels of lead in their blood and 21% higher levels in their urine compared to non-users. Additionally, users had 22% higher cadmium levels in their blood and 18% higher levels in their urine. Lead and cadmium are known to be harmful substances that can have serious health effects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers any amount of lead in the body to be unsafe, and cadmium has been linked to kidney disease, lung cancer, and fetal abnormalities.
These findings suggest that marijuana may be a source of exposure to heavy metals like lead and cadmium. With marijuana being the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with over 52.5 million people using it in 2021, it is crucial for further research to be conducted to address the public health concerns associated with its use.
The study also revealed some interesting patterns in marijuana use. Substance abuse and substance disorders were found to be more prevalent among young males, with individuals aged 18 to 25 exhibiting the highest drug use. The Gallup Consumption Habits survey showed that half of Americans have tried marijuana, with current use being most common among young adults aged 18 to 34. In addition, people without a college degree were found to be nearly twice as likely to use marijuana compared to college graduates.
It is important to note that the study did not differentiate between medical and recreational marijuana use. Future research should evaluate metal levels in these two groups to further understand the potential risks associated with different forms of marijuana use.
Overall, these findings highlight the need for further research on cannabis use and contaminants, especially heavy metals, to address public health concerns. The increasing number of cannabis users warrants urgent attention to ensure their well-being and safety.