The impact of cannabis smoke on the performance of pulmonary surfactant under physiologically relevant conditions

Michael Davies, Jason W Birkett, Olivia Court, Alicia Mottram, Farbod Zoroaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


The principal site for gaseous exchange within the lung is the alveolar space, which is bathed in alipid‐protein blend called pulmonary surfactant. This material is the initial contacting site for orallyinhaled products and environmental toxins. Using the lung biosimulator, this study investigatesthe influence of cannabis smoke on the activity of the lung surfactant replacement product,Curosurf. Initially, 50‐mg cannabis material was pyrolysed and the smoke collected. Cannabissmoke profiling was conducted via gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy, with a mean con-centration of 1% Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol determined. The smoke aliquots were transferred tothe lung biosimulator and expansion—contraction cycles were then initiated to mimic tidalbreathing. Baseline data confirmed that Curosurf works effectively under physiologically relevantconditions. Exposure to cannabis smoke from 2 independent batches reduced the Langmuir max-imum surface pressure values by approximately 20% and increased the compressibility term;interbatch variation was detected. Cannabis smoke impaired the ability of Curosurf to lowerthe surface tension term. This was ascribed to the penetration of the planar, hydrophobic druginto the two‐dimensional film, and destructive interaction with polar functionalities. The neteffect would be increased work of breathing for the individual.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-197
JournalSurface and Interface Analysis
Early online date20 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2017


  • cannabis
  • gas chromatography
  • Langmuir monolayers
  • lung biosimulator
  • pulmonary surfactant


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of cannabis smoke on the performance of pulmonary surfactant under physiologically relevant conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this