Research Reveals Cannabis Use Linked to Surging Asthma Rates in High School Students

Cannabis Asthma

A study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York found that asthma is more prevalent among high school students who use cannabis than among non-users. Moreover, the prevalence of asthma increases with the frequency of cannabis use. Credit:

Asthma prevalence is higher in high school students who use cannabis compared to non-users, with increased frequency of use correlating with higher asthma rates.

Asthma is more common among high school students who use cannabis, relative to those who do not, and the prevalence of asthma increases with the frequency of its use among the students, according to a new study at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York. The findings are published in the journal Pediatric Pulmonology.

The paper entitled “Asthma prevalence among US 9th–12th graders who report past 30‐day cannabis use in 2019” sheds light on the correlation between recent cannabis use and asthma prevalence among American high school students, adjusting for demographic characteristics and cigarette use.

Study Findings and Data Analysis

Data were drawn from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, a CDC national high school survey, which collects data from students in grades 9–12 across the U.S. bi‐annually. The research team, led by Renee Goodwin in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia Public Health utilized logistical models to examine the prevalence of asthma with past 30-day cannabis use, current cigarette, alcohol, state-of-residence cannabis legal status, adjusting for sex, race and ethnicity, thus providing a valuable contribution to the understanding of the potential health impacts associated with cannabis use among adolescents.

Demographic Insights and Public Health Implications

Cannabis use was more common among female (17% vs. 14%, male users), Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic youth relative to Non-Hispanic White youth (17% and 16% respectively vs. 14.6%). Cannabis use was much more common among the students who reported any past 30-day cigarette or alcohol use (45% vs. 6.5%, for non-users. Declines in cannabis use were observed independent of state-level cannabis law from 2013 to 2021 and cannabis use prevalence did not differ significantly by state-of-residence cannabis legal status among the 24 participating states in 2021.

Commenting on the significance of the research, Goodwin and colleagues believe that the study adds to the growing body of evidence linking cannabis use to adverse health outcomes among young people. “Understanding these associations is crucial for developing effective prevention and intervention strategies to protect the health and well-being of our youth.”

Goodwin, who is a clinical psychologist and expert in psychiatric and substance use epidemiology, continues: “The findings of this study have important implications for public health, education, and drug prevention programs targeting high school students although more public health and clinical research is needed,” said Goodwin, who is also a researcher in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, The City University of New York.

“Scientific data that can inform clinical guidelines and public health policy, as well as parents and youth, on the potential relationship between cannabis use and respiratory health among youth, is critical and we urge that more studies like this one be a priority.”

Reference: “Asthma prevalence among US 9th−12th graders who report past 30-day cannabis use in 2019” by Kevin D. Silverman, Keely Cheslack-Postava, Deepa Rastogi, Luisa N. Borrell and Renee D. Goodwin, 19 January 2024, Pediatric Pulmonology.
DOI: 10.1002/ppul.26840

Co-author is Kevin D. Silverman, Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, The City University of New York.

3 Comments on "Research Reveals Cannabis Use Linked to Surging Asthma Rates in High School Students"

  1. Editor! This was already covered in SciTechDaily “Cannabis Use Linked to Increased Asthma Prevalence in US Adolescents and Adults” on Feb 2nd. Same school, same authors, same study, different publication.

    And it’s still drugwar nonsense. A simple correlation, as cannabis treats asthma; “Effect of cannabis smoking on lung function and respiratory symptoms: a structured literature review” (Nature, 20 October 2016), found “acute bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis”, fewer asthma symptoms and increased flow volume, which disappeared with discontinuation of cannabis.

    • QUOTE:
      Cannabis use was much more common among the students who reported any past 30-day cigarette or alcohol use (45% vs. 6.5%, for non-users.

      (note the editor of this dis-information forgot to close the parenthesis)
      Note that this article (I’m not wasting my time on the original “research-propaganda paper”) avoids mentioning statistics on the increase of asthma rates. Perhaps the same 45% of cannabis users who smoke those NASTY things that corporate terrorists peddle? Loaded with chemicals, from gunpowder to formaldehyde, releasing micro-particles of fiberglass and microscopic burning particles in the smoke, which together create the conditions for cancer? Those chain-smokers who smoke a pack of cigs a day? Those “party animals” who binge-drink a case of beer, and smoke blunts full of a quarter-ounce of “cannabis” just to show off how strong and cool they are? Are THEY the ones who got asthma? Even drinking 2 or more gallons of water a day is usually NOT good for you (unless you’re in the desert and sweating it all out).
      I smoke less than a gram a day of the magic green herb. All I need for meds, all I want for the “oooh yea”. Filtered through a water pipe, to remove the microscopic burning particles and most tar. Without it, I CAN’T BREATHE in the big CITY because my asthma kicks in. A couple of puffs and I cough out the black-stuff that ONLY ACCUMULATES in my lungs when I’m in the city for a day or more. When I’m in the clean air in the country, I only cough up CLEAR stuff (I’ve had a problem with upper and lower respiratory congestion since I was 8 years old, when I moved into the big city powered by coal, but the idiots who call themselves “doctors” only made it worse. When I took control of my own health as a teen, started eating right – eventually becoming a vegan, quit taking their poison-drugs that they call “medicine”, and started smoking the magic green herb, my health improved greatly. However, I still seem to be infected with a persistent candida fungal strain that “doctors” exasperated with their “antibiotics” that feed the fungus, and kill off the “good bacteria” that would otherwise kill the candida; and this infection creates lots of mucus – good though for protecting me from the environmental industrial pollution that evolution did not have to deal with.)
      In the country, I can breathe fine, whether or not I smoke a small puff.

      I have been reading this site for years, every day. It is more and more apparent that it is a propaganda tool for corporate interests, not a “pure” science notebook. Search for “interstitium” on this site: some of the MOST IMPORTANT news in human biology in the last 7 years. But it’s not there, because corporate medical interests have not yet learned how to exploit money from this new research, and indeed, it may lead to their lessening (drug) profits. Yet I have to use ad-blockers to even use this site at all, because the pop-ups and animated ads are so overwhelming annoying, I can’t even read the articles. With a foundational interest in cognitive psychology, with education in subliminal advertising, I know that anyone legitimately interested in any LEGIT product will have their attention drawn to an ad for it; no need to dance, pop-up, etc. It’s the b.s. stuff that needs to do that to attract the fools. All that b.s. creates so much noise, that legit advertisers don’t want to use a platform like this to advertise.

      The original article was pulled after I posted my personal truth last time, showing the flaws in the editorial b.s.

      • Weizin Ancoffin | February 11, 2024 at 7:16 pm | Reply

        You must be Howard Cosell, iconic voice. The original article is still up, unfortunately.

        I don’t blame SciTechDaily directly for the corporate interest propaganda. It’s a broad symptom in science institutions, from where the site collects articles. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and in this case, the American government paid to imply cannabis causes asthma. Maybe it can, as we certainly can’t tell with this terrible study, but correlating asthmatics with cannabis consumption, when cannabis is well known to dramatically reduce the inflammation and open airways? It’s like they’re finding people who take aspirin have headaches, so that correlation means aspirin must cause headaches. Logically the asthmatics are using cannabis to breathe better. This study is garbage and anyone involved must have known it, as anyone who searches for “asthma cannabis” finds out.

        I like SciTechDaily because it lets us comment on the studies. There often is a comment pointing out the fatal flaw in the article. There’s gibberish comments, easily ignored, but it makes for a scientific conversation that combats the propaganda and finds truth.

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