It's no secret that breathing in weed or cigarette smoke probably isn't the best thing for your health.
But if you thought marijuana was the lesser evil of the two, I have some bad news for you.
A new study just revealed that hanging around your friends while they get high can have some serious consequences.
That's right. According to research published in Journal Of The American Heart Association, secondhand marijuana smoke can cause serious damage to your blood vessels.
In the study, researchers compared the blood vessels of rats that had inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke to rats that had breathed in secondhand tobacco smoke.
Matthew Springer, Ph.D., the study's senior author and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco's Division of Cardiology, explained,
Arteries of rats and humans are similar in how they respond to secondhand tobacco smoke, so the response of rat arteries to secondhand marijuana smoke is likely to reflect how human arteries might respond.
After looking at the rat's blood vessel function before and after they were exposed to secondhand smoke, scientists concluded that the blood vessels of the marijuana group took three times longer to recover.
Yep, after just one minute of breathing in secondhand smoke, the marijuana-inhaling rats took a minimum of 90 minutes to recover from blood vessel impairment, whereas the tobacco inhaling rats only displayed a decrease in artery function for 30 minutes.
In regards to the findings, Springer stated,
While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries.
You might find it surprising to know that this blood vessel damage isn't caused by chemicals found in secondhand smoke like THC and nicotine.
Instead, scientists believe that burning plant matter is actually to blame.
According to Springer,
There is widespread belief that, unlike tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is benign. We in public health have been telling the public to avoid secondhand tobacco smoke for years, but we don't tell them to avoid secondhand marijuana smoke because until now we haven't had evidence that it can be harmful.
So yeah, you might want to open up a window next time your stoner squad decides to hotbox the living room.