CHEST 2012: Marijuana Smoking & Asthma Exacerbations


The Particulars: Research suggests that short-term marijuana exposure is associated with brochodilation. Long-term exposure has been shown to increase respiratory symptoms. The effects of marijuana smoking on long-term outcomes for patients who present to EDs with severe asthma exacerbations is not well known.

Data Breakdown: Researchers compared outcomes at 12 weeks following asthma-related ED visits for marijuana smokers with those of non-marijuana smokers. Marijuana smokers were more likely to experience one or more exacerbations than non-marijuana smokers (59% vs 29%). Marijuana smokers also had an average exacerbation rate of 3.98 per year, compared with 1.96 per year for non-marijuana smokers.

Take Home Pearl: Patients who smoke marijuana appear to experience more asthma exacerbations following asthma-related ED visits than those who do not smoke the illicit drug.


  1. Can you provide a link to the actual study? Was tobacco smoking controlled for in this experiment? Were any of the “marijuana smoking” group also tobacco smokers?


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