Calgary researchers investigate effect of second-hand pot smoke
Scientists at the University of Calgary have found that you can feel the effects of marijuana just by being in the same room as a pot smoker even without taking a puff for yourself.
Researchers at U of C’s Cumming School of Medicine conducted a four month study into second-hand marijuana smoke and discovered that in just a short time, non-smokers begin to absorb THC while in close proximity to a marijuana smoker.
The study was comprised of data from eight existing studies that looked at healthy participants in a room with various ventilation levels.
“Exposures as little at 15 minutes, depending on the THC concentration of the marijuana itself, as well as the number of joints being smoked and passed around, and the ventilation of the area you’re in can lead to THC being found in your blood and urine at rates that would fail regular blood tests,” said Fiona Clement, who worked on the study.
She says that the results of the study could end up avoiding some serious sports scandals, like the one that involved snowboarder Ross Rebagliati in 1998.
Rebagliati was the first athlete to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal but he ended up testing positive for THC and was stripped of the award. It was returned five days later.
“[He] was adamant it wasn’t his joint, he wasn’t smoking and maybe there’s more truth to that story. It’s very possible,” said Clement.
The findings of the study have been published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and Clement says people need to be aware of the impacts of second-hand marijuana smoke as legalization draws nearer.
“I think the real message here is; take it outside. It’s well ventilated, the effects will be going out into the atmosphere instead of being absorbed and contained within a confined space like your kitchen, living room or your car.”
Provincial policy makers will be able to use this information to add to the federal cannabis legislation, due to come out on July 1, 2018.
(With files from Kevin Fleming)