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Progressive Dentistry: Does Cannabis Smoking Cause Oral Cancer?

In a recent DentistryIQ article, Dr. Iman Sadri explains that in the wake of state-by-state marijuana legalization and health care/drug reform policies, many in the health care community are concerned medical and recreational use of cannabis poses a real health threat...


So, does marijuana use cause oral cancer development? To put it blatantly, the answer is no. According to Norml.org, "cannabis smoke - unlike tobacco smoke - has not been definitively linked to cancer in humans. Marijuana smoke does contain many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Ironically, those carcinogens are not cancer causing. In fact, cannabis also contains cannabinoids, such as THC, which contain anticancer properties, including the slowing of inflammatory aspects of the immune system that slow the growth of  free-radicals (unstable atoms which lead to cancer progression)."

Personally, I do not believe Dr. Sadri conveyed this research as a pass for patients or anyone else to go out and get stoned. Instead, it's safe to say he finds it important to be honest with ourselves and patients (in terms of research developments). If so, I agree. The reality is that society and our ideals are changing, and will continue to evolve. As healthcare professionals, I contend we recognize and embrace these changes under the scope of sound medical/dental practice. Nevertheless, medical marijuana use is still a relatively taboo subject. Likewise, many are reluctant to the evidence. With that said, I appreciate Sadri's article and DenistryIQ for its objectivity on the matter. All things considered, ANY drug (be it organic or manufactured) should be rightfully tested and scrutinized by the Food & Drug Administration. 

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