“3-4 Cannabis cigarettes a day are associated with the same evidence of acute and chronic bronchitis and the same degree of damage to the bronchial mucosa as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day.
Cannabis smoking is likely to weaken the immune system. Infections of the lung are due to a combination of smoking-related damage to the cells lining the bronchial passage and impairment of the principal immune cells in the small air sacs caused by cannabis.
The evidence concerning a possible link between cannabis smoking and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has not yet been conclusively established. A number of studies indicate a causal relationship between the two whereas others contradict these findings.
Research linking cannabis smoking to the development of respiratory cancer exists although there have also been conflicting findings. Not only does the tar in a cannabis cigarette contain many of the same known carcinogens as tobacco smoke but the concentrations of these are up to 50% higher in the smoke of a cannabis cigarette. It also deposits four times as much tar on the respiratory tract as an unfiltered cigarette of the same weight. Smokers of cannabis and tobacco have shown a greater increase in cellular abnormalities indicating a cumulative effect of smoking both.
The THC in cannabis has been shown to have a short term bronchodilator effect. This has lead to suggestions that THC may have therapeutic benefits in asthma. However, the noxious gases, chronic airway irritation or malignancy after long term use associated with smoking would seem likely to negate these benefits.”Nov. 2002 - A Smoking Gun