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Marijuana Secondhand Smoke Bad For Health, But Denver Might Still Allow Marijuana Use In Bars? [VIDEO]

Update Date: Nov 22, 2016 09:30 AM EST

Marijuana secondhand smoke may soon be an important health concern in Denver as new initiative allows its use in bars and restaurants. A study discovered that people exposed to potent marijuana smoke show traces of the chemical in their bodies and even suffer from mild to moderate cognitive impairment.

Doctors are now raising the alarm at the potential ill effects of allowing marijuana use in Denver even if it is just for bars and restaurants. The 2016 election initiative may allow people to consume marijuana edibles, smoke or vape weed in certain establishments beginning next year.

The tourism industry praised the direction, hoping to attract more tourists like Colorado, which allows marijuana use in selected places. However, health officials and advocates are not happy with the news, raising issues on the risks involved in inhaling marijuana secondhand smoke.

A study on the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke was conducted by researchers from the John Hopkins' School of Medicine and it revealed some important findings. The study involved putting non-smokers with those who smoke weed in an enclosed plexiglass room.

The first group was exposed to a high THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) smoke of around 11.3 percent and then put in an unventilated room. The subjects showed a significant amount of the chemicals in their urines and even experienced cognitive impairment. The study also reveals the subjects had increased heart rates and exhibited effects of being sedated as reported in Live Science.

Meanwhile, the second group was exposed to a low-THC vapor of around 5.3% in an unventilated room. The test subjects had few traces of the chemicals in their urine, but still enough exposure to 33 kinds of cancer-causing chemicals.

The real issue here is that most marijuana sold today are becoming more potent. In 2016, the seized illegal marijuana packed as much as 12 percent of THC when in 1995 it was only at 4 percent. With increasing potency, the risk becomes higher too.

Another issue is that marijuana is still illegal in many states, which limit the number of studies to determine the impact of marijuana secondhand smoke on people's health. Vaping weed through the use of e-cigarettes is a relatively new thing, which is not yet covered by medical researchers as reported in Leaf Science. With so many unanswered questions, the doctors are advising that the safest course of action is to refrain from getting exposed especially for people with an underlying medical condition. 

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