Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
180 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction

Does cannabis smoking cause silicosis?

Answered by
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar


Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14615 Questions

Posted on Wed, 15 Jun 2016 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: I am a 33 year old man looking for much needed piece of mind, please can you help.

I am suffering with severe anxiety following the passing of my mother last year from Lung Cancer, she was a smoker of 26 years.

Regretfully, I previously smoked cannabis for 9 years intermittently but have now quit for 1.5 years and absolutely will not be doing this again, I am now teetotal due to my past. I used to smoke on average 8-10 joints per week, but did have long periods of abstinence.

I have read a historical articles in the newspaper regarding potential 'contaminated' cannabis in circulation throughout the UK, aptly given the street name 'grit weed'. The contamination specifically involved small glass particles and silicone spray. There are some really scary stories that this could result in users developing Silicosis in the lungs .

However, experts from the Imperial College London state that these particles are too large to be ingested.

Also, when this substance was smoked, there were noted symptoms of tight chest, coughing and mouth sores, all of which I have not had. I am actually in good health and have never had any persistent coughs to speak of.

Do you suggest that I need to arrange an X-Ray or CT scan? Or given my limited exposure, and the length of time and level of exposure required to acquire silicosis, there is no need. I certainly hope the latter is the case!

My anxiety is very high at the moment and I'm really hoping you can help as I don't know where to turn.

Thank you so much
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No need to worry for sillicosis.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
No need to worry for sillicosis.
You are not having this.
You are not having cough or any other symptoms.
So no need to worry for sillicosis.
For occurrence of sillicosis, large amount of silica dust should be exposed to prolonged time.
This kind of exposure is nor possible with cannabis smoking.
So no need to worry for sillicosis.
But if you really want to reduce your anxiety then get done chest x ray. Once chest x ray report is normal, your anxiety will also subside.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 30 minutes later
That is fantastic Doctor, thank you so much.

So in your opinion, there is no need to have a chest x-Ray? These are not offered on the NHS under these circumstances so I would prefer not to have to pay privately.
Plus, I hugely trust your judgement
And this will be sufficient for my anxiety doctor

Am I right I thinking that the exposure to this dust poses a risk when on a daily basis over a number of years?
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
No need for chest x ray.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Yes, no need for chest x ray.
It will come negative only.
Better to avoid anxiety regarding this.
You are not having sillicosis.
And yes, your understanding is right.
For development of sillicosis, prolonged exposure of sillica dust daily is must.
Since you are not having this so no worries.
Hope I have solved your query.
If you are not having further queries, then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  

Recent questions on  Lung cancer

doctor1 MD

I take care of my mother who has stage IV lung cancer. My 3 year old son woke up in the middle of the night with a croupy cough and very tight...

doctor1 MD

My Dad has stage 4 lung cancer and 3 tumors in his brain. Among the other problems, he is having trouble urinating. He is incontinent but will...

doctor1 MD

Yes, thank you. About 6 weeks ago my mother had a neupogen injection following chemo for lung cancer. She had neupogen several times prior to this...

doctor1 MD

I am a carcinoid patient, had a small bowell resection 6 years ago and I am being treated with sandostatin lar 20 mg. each month. I am considering...

doctor1 MD

I have diverticulitis and usually take Bactrim but now I am on Keytruda for lung cancer . I have a prescribed bottle of Metronidazole and don't...

doctor1 MD

My wife is 77 years old. In 2016, she had 1/2 of right lung removed due to lung cancer . She then had a-fib and later chemo for cancer. In march...

doctor1 MD

Hello I am 65 yr old medical history of osteo arthritis brain tumor removal non cancerous acoustic neuroma which left me deaf in my right ear;...