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News / July 19, 2016

Marijuana link with gum disease

by Guy Hiscott

Long-term marijuana use has been linked with periodontal disease.

A study of 947 New Zealanders were examined for their marijuana use from birth to age 38; participants showed an increase in periodontal disease from age 26 onwards.

Compared to marijuana users, tobacco smokers showed poor gum health, decreased lung function, systemic inflammation, and lower metabolic health.

‘We can see the physical health effects of tobacco smoking in this study, but we don’t see similar effects for cannabis smoking,’ researcher Madeline Meier told

Long-term smoking

‘Cannabis use for up to 20 years is not associated with a specific set of physical health problems in early midlife. The sole exception is that cannabis use is associated with periodontal disease,’ the researchers concluded.

Researchers found that 12.3% of the participants who never used tobacco daily had periodontal disease, compared with 52.9% of those who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 15 years.

The study was published in JAMA Psychiatry in June.