The Dangers of Smoking Marijuana For the issue of marijuana smoke vs. Trying to Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
The safety of marijuana versus booze is not a new claim but, for the first time, researchers measured the potential harm of these drugs in a more quantitative way — that is, by comparing a lethal dose to how much of the substance is typically consumed socially.
The report , published in Scientific Reports at the end of January, compared the potential of death from the typical, recreational use of 10 drugs: marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, amphetamine and methadone. Marijuana was, by far, found to be the safest, even when compared to alcohol and cigarettes. The new study comes as more Americans push for the right to smoke weed legally. Alaska has joined two other states in legalizing recreational marijuana.
An additional 23 states allow for medical marijuana prescriptions and use. Oregon passed a legalization initiative that will go into effect in July. A law to legalize marijuana in the Washington D. The U. Because alcohol and tobacco are legal, they are not controlled substances, and not subject to DEA scheduling.
For years, medical-marijuana proponents and legalization advocates have deployed the battle cry that cannabis is far safer than alcohol. Tobacco use is considered the leading preventable cause of death in the U. According to the CDC, one in 10 deaths among working-age adults can be attributed to excessive alcohol use and alcohol poisonings account for more than 2, American deaths every year. One would wonder why tobacco is legal while it has taken years to legalize cannabis. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , tobacco causes almost half a million deaths every year in the United States.
This includes more than 40, deaths for passive smokers. On the other hand, there are very few deaths recorded as a result of using marijuana. The cases are always isolated and not solely related to use of the drug. CDC also reports that, in the United States, there are over 16 million people living with a tobacco-related illness.
What is worrying, this is almost half of the total number of cigarette smokers in the USA. The drug is the leading cause of both preventable diseases and deaths. Though there is consistent decline, maybe due to availability of substitutes like cannabis, the statistics of people who use tobacco and its adverse effects is anything but low.
Just like in the deaths caused marijuana, there is no certainty about the exact number of marijuana illnesses. Apart from a recent report that indicated there were several illness and death as a result of fake cannabis vapes. However, the drug is said to cause mental, heart, and lung-related illnesses but there are few recorded statistics. Tobacco is the primary cause of almost all lung cancer deaths. When it comes to addiction, both pot and tobacco are addictive and it remains the primary reason opposing their use.
However, it might be more difficult to quit cigarettes because of the high amounts of nicotine which is the addictive component in tobacco. Though scientists claim it is difficult to do comparative addiction analysis, there are several pointers that tobacco is worse than marijuana in comparison. For regular smokers, it is difficult to do almost anything without a cigarette every hour. On the other hand, regular cannabis users can go a day, or at least a few hours, without a puff.
Tobacco has less psychoactive effects compared to marijuana. Cannabis is more likely to cause impaired judgment in comparison to tobacco. However, there are some strains which can increase your focus and concentration. In that case, it all depends on the strain you use and the purpose of using the drug. The adverse effects of alcohol seem to outweigh those of cannabis. How many people drink to excess in the US each day?
This is not rhetorical, we all know several. We have not yet gone into the effects this habit would cause to the user as well as those who interact with them. Unlike alcohol, it is almost impossible to overdose on marijuana. It would take you more than joints to have a cannabis overdose.
According to CDC, there are almost 90, alcohol-related deaths in the US every year, with men the most affected. The number makes alcohol the 3 rd highest cause of preventable deaths after tobacco and accidents. The number could even be higher because driving under the influence of alcohol also causes deaths due to accidents. The ripple effect of alcohol abuse goes beyond the direct consumer to those around them especially family members.
According to WHO , alcohol causes over diseases and injury conditions. Interestingly, cannabis is used in treatment for some of these conditions such as chronic pain. The most prominent alcohol-related illness is liver cirrhosis while, for cannabis, it is lung-related illnesses. Every day we hear of accidents from motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. Though it is not safe to drive under the influence of cannabis, it is not as fatal as drink-driving.
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