You inhale up to 6000 different chemicals when smoking. Interestingly, no matter what you smoke, tobacco or marijuana, the substances are the same. Are there any other things you don’t know about the weed and tobacco impact?
Social media, YouTube and adds hardly advertise against nicotine, though the effects of marijuana stay in the shade of indifference and uncertainty. We’ve decided to cast light on the marijuana vs. tobacco opposition and finally answer the question “Is weed worse than cigarettes?”
Marijuana vs. Cigarettes: Bans and Law
Starting from the next year, all cigarette packs in Australia will be of uniform olive color with no brand marks. In this way, the government hopes to kill the smoking-associated glamor. Strangely enough, in past people were blind-eyed about smoking hazards. In the 1960s half of the adult US population were smokers. In 1963 a person averaged at 4,345 cigs a year.
This freedom of past resulted in the shocking statistics of modernity: yearly tobacco causes 440 K deaths in the US only, and 50 K of those are passive smokers. The WHO announces 600K people die yearly because of the exposure to the second-hand smoke.
We have no similar stats on marijuana. When the cigarette industry was at high in 1960’s marijuana business was in the deep shade since 1937. Worldwide bans were tightened by the United Nations in 1961, then in 1971 and finally in 1988.
We don’t have any official statistics on the death of marijuana overdose, and all weed death tolls are usually attributed to stoned driving and other accidents.
An exciting trend in weed vs. cigarettes ban is to be faced today: more and more countries are legalizing weed when banning smoking. For now, the countries where marijuana is completely legal for sale and use are Uruguay and Canada. 13 countries allow for the medical use of weed, and their number grows.
At the same time, the countries that legalize weed, like Canada and the Netherlands are harsh tobacco banners. In general, 127 countries ban smoking now, and their measures are sometimes more than strict. In Zambia, you get into jail for 2 years for smoking in public places.
Marijuana vs. Tobacco: Cancer
The 3C rule each child knows: Cigarettes Cause Cancer. This fact was proven by numerous studies and the loss of great people, like Walt Disney, a heavy smoker with a famous cough that marked his presence in a room and was a signal of lung cancer. Unlike tobacco, weed is showing the anti-carcinogenic properties.
The professor of University in Madrid, Spain, Dr. Christine Sanchez exposed cancer cells to THC (a chemical present in marijuana) in the Petri dish, and they died! The experiments on mice showed the same adverse effect of cannabidiol on brain cancer.
It is worth mentioning that these experiments are about pure chemicals like THC and CBD, not paired with the dangerous by-products of weed combustion we inhale when smoking.
Weed vs. Cigarettes: Combustion
Inhaling smoke of any kind, people consume carcinogenic tar which results in a higher risk of cancer and other disorders. Luckily, the research provided in the Emory University in Atlanta proved that inhaling weed smoke is not associated with substantial injury to the lung functioning. Yet, smoke is smoke.
The American Lung Association warns against the safety feeling regarding weed. Marijuana smokers tend to inhale more deeply and keep the smoke longer, exposing their lungs to prolonged contact with toxins.
So, we are to expect the possible adverse effects in the future. Looking for a weed smoker’s lungs vs. cigarettes user’s lungs comparison you are to find tons of info on the tars and toxins.
As for the cigarette smoke, there are no questionable points, it is undoubtedly dangerous. The findings of the American Cancer Society reports that smokers are 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. Interestingly, the nicotine itself was deemed a dangerous stimulant leading to nervous disorders, but the amount of tar per cigarette is higher than that of nicotine.
The research of 187 cigarette samples from all over the world shows that the average smoke contains 6.8–21.6 mg of tar and 0.50–1.63 mg nicotine. The contents of CO, a poisonous gas is also higher than the contents of nicotine and makes and 5.9–17.4 mg a cigarette.
Perhaps, the different effects on lung exposed to weed and tobacco smoke can be explained by different duration and occurrence of smoking session. Due to different psychedelic effects weed smokers resort to their relaxant less often than tobacco smokers, who sometimes use one or two cigarettes a day.
Tobacco vs. Weed: Psychedelic
Both compared products are stimulants, though they act differently. The thing is that marijuana’s active component THC is similar to the naturally occurring chemicals cannabinoid, a substance that influences memory and cognition as well as the perception of pleasure.
Therefore, weed has a mild stimulating effect but doesn’t develop addiction as it contains the material similar to those we already have in the body.
Nicotine is also a stimulant that increases the level of dopamine and gives a smoker a feeling of pleasure and reward. But it features the strong nicotine hits, not naturally occurring in the body and causing addiction.
The tobacco vs. marijuana opposition can be described in different effects a person experiences after use. Smoking marijuana brings about mild euphoria and changes in cognitive functions, as well as visual perception and sense of time. Nicotine, on the contrary, gives a feeling of increased energy and ability to focus.
Despite different stimulating effects, the prolonged, frequent use of both brings about very similar symptoms. Nicotine is accused of higher irritability, sleeplessness, difficulties in the perception of new info and focusing, while weed is incriminated depression and anxiety, psychosis, memory loss, and lowered cognitive functions. Seems in both cases the body has to pay the price for the moments of relaxing and pleasure.
Weed vs. Tobacco: Verdict
Due to the long history of tobacco studies and not so long research on marijuana, we lack evidence to build a clear cigarette vs. weed comparison. Both means serve for relaxation and have stimulating effects. Cancer studies prove the favor of THC and CBD use, while the psychedelic effects that develop through long and extensive use can grow intolerable to the normal body functioning.
Despite the vague results of weed studies the tobacco harm is not upon discussion. The answer to the question: “Is weed worse than cigarettes?” looks “no” meanwhile nothing says it is better. It is the task for the future to find the lesser of two evils.