What’s better for alcohol, cannabis or your health?

What is better for your health, cannabis or alcohol?

Alcohol is one of the most widely-used and recreational drugs in the world. Something similar is said of cannabis, but there are a huge differences between cannabis and alcohol- one of them being the amount of social acceptance, and the other being its legality.

But which one is best for your health?

Researchers in the University of Colorado Boulder reviewed existing image data showing effects of alcohol and cannabis on the human brain.

Their findings linked alcohol consumption to changes in white and gray matter in the brain’s structure. The studies also showed that cannabis use does not have significant effects on brain structure.

Rachel Thayer of the Department of Psychology and Neural Science at the University of Colorado Boulder and her colleagues recently reported their results.

An estimated 22.2 million people in the United States have used cannabis over the past month, which makes it the “most commonly used illegal drug” from the country, and an increasing number of states are legalizing cannabis for both recreational and therapeutic purposes.  Additionally, Canada legalized recreational cannabis across the country and Canadians can now legally purchase marijuana via authorities mail orders- which are basically online coffee stores.

As a consequence of the legislation in Canada and beyond, scientists have attempted to discover more about how cannabis can bring health benefits and how much harm it can cause to the individual using it.

What are some health benefits and harms of cannabis?

‘Medical News Today’ introduced studies while other studies stated that the drug is “ worse in regard to the cardiovascular system that link cannabis use with a greater risk of psychosis in adolescents.

On the opposite side of this coin, scientists have found that cannabinoids – which are active chemicals in cannabis – can help stop migraines, and recent research has linked cannabis use to greater sex drive.

With the increasing numbers of countries legalizing cannabis, more and more scientists are currently investigating the potential harms and benefits it can bring. However, a new study suggests that alcohol is a lot more harmful when it comes to brain health.

Cannabis versus alcohol: what’s worse?

In this study, Thayer and her colleagues tried to discover more about the effect of cannabis. PhD, study co-author Kent Hutchison, from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, notes that studies have so far produced mixed results.

He said:

“When you look at these studies you see that one study reports that cannabis use involves a reduction in the amount of the hippocampus.

The problem with them is that there is no consistency in these studies concerning real changes in the brain structures. ”

They looked at how it compares with another “ drug ” we have become accustomed to, and how the use of cannabis affects gray mass and white matter in the brain: alcohol.

Grey matter is a tissue on the surface of the brain, which consists of bodies of nerve cells. White matter is a brain tissue which contains ground nerve pathways, which are branches protruding from the nerve cells that transmit impulses.

The study notes that any reduction in the size of gray or white matter can lead to many brain dysfunctions.

As Hutchison said:

“We have known for decades that alcohol is bad for the brain. In the case of cannabis, we know little about it. ”

The research included brain pictures of 853 adults and 439 teenagers aged 14 to 18 years. All participants were differentiated concerning cannabis and alcohol use. After analyzing the data, researchers found that alcohol consumption – particularly in adults who had been drinking for several years – was associated with a reduction in the volume of gray matter, in addition to a reduction in the integrity of the white matter.

However, cannabis use does not seem to affect the structure of gray or white matter in both teenagers and adults.

Based on these findings, researchers believe that drinking alcohol can be more detrimental to brain health compared to using cannabis.

“While cannabis can have some negative consequences, it is absolutely not approaching the negative effects of drinking alcohol. ”- Kent Hutchison.

Featured picture courtesy of Greendorphin.

Released at Fri, 16 Nov 2018 04:31:39 +0000

Posted in: News

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