Environmental Effects of Marijuana Use


  1. Suzaynn Schick, PhD
Research Fields: 
Secondhand Smoke

As the use and possession of marijuana become increasingly legal in California, there are more public events and places where people are using marijuana.  Very little is known about the chemistry and toxicity of marijuana smoke and the emissions from marijuana e-cigarettes and the vaporization and dabbing of marijuana.  To begin to study this, we are collecting air samples at public events in the Bay Area at which marijuana and tobacco are used.  We use tobacco as a control, because much more is known about it.  The places and events we study are marijuana dispensaries, marijuana trade shows, concerts, classes and other events. We record the tobacco and cannabis products that are being used, the gender and approximate age, race and ethnicity of the people using them and the ways they are being used.  We then measure nicotine, cannabinoids, volatile organic compounds and semi-volatile organic compounds and share the samples with toxicologists so that they can test and compare the toxicity of the chemicals emitted during cannabis use and tobacco use.