Generally speaking, smoking isn't the best thing for your health. But marijuana is, it seems, vastly preferable to tobacco when it comes to bladder cancer.

An 11-year study by Kaiser Permanente of California indicates smoking marijuana may decrease your chance of developing bladder cancer, which is extremely difficult to treat. Patients who reported cannabis use were 45% less likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than patients who didn't smoke at all, according to urologist Dr. Anil Thomas.

Thomas described the findings as "very exciting" - but cautions there is no proof smoking marijuana cures the disease, and more research is needed.

Smoking tobacco, on the other hand, has been established as the best established risk factor for developing bladder cancer.

Dr. Thomas told Medscape Medical News there's other research suggesting cannabis may kill other types of cancer cells, but, "the full mechanism is [not] known."

h/t Medscape