Cannabis usage, especially for recreational purposes, is still under a lot of scrutiny, as many consider it the worst kind of abuse, with drastic effects on the body. In fact, cannabis is known to be the most commonly abused illegal substance in the whole world. It is still considered an illegal drug in many parts of the world. However, marijuana, as cannabis is popularly known, has several medicinal benefits as well, apart from its use as a recreational drug. It is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, glaucoma, seizures, and lung function and is even believed to kill cancer cells.
The myth that marijuana consumption is worse than drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco has not been completely researched, and the truth is in fact just the opposite.
Alcohol is more addictive than marijuana
There have been no instances reported of overdose due to marijuana consumption, the only complaints being of constipation and lethargy, indicating that cannabis is the least toxic of all drugs. But the same cannot be said about alcohol, with a rising number of deaths being reported due to excessive alcohol consumption. Anyone who consumes ten times the regular dose of alcohol runs the risk of dying sooner.
Cannabis has cell protective properties that alcohol does not
Contrary to the belief that marijuana can lead to the death of brain cells, studies have revealed that marijuana has neuroprotective properties, thus showing less brain damage than that done by alcohol consumption. Fewer signs of damage to the white blood cells are observed in teenagers who used weed along with alcohol than with those who consumed alcohol alone.
Depression is commonly seen in alcoholics
Those who consume alcohol are susceptible to becoming patients of clinical depression. Avid drinkers are in fact most likely to be victims of dementia and psychosis and are also more at risk of harming themselves or even committing suicide, especially regular drinkers.
Side effects with alcohol users are commonly seen
There are no hangovers with marijuana or any hangover symptoms or headaches the next morning. Side effects and hangovers are the norm with regular alcohol drinkers. Bar brawls, drunken driving, and violent behavior are some common negative behaviors seen in regular drinkers.
Smoking causes more harm than weed
Smoking tobacco has a negative impact on the lungs and is considered to be 140 times more harmful than marijuana.
Alcohol and smoking have a number of deleterious effects in comparison to marijuana. In fact, marijuana has certain medical benefits as well. Also, marijuana seldom causes addiction or overdose or leads to side effects. But still marijuana is considered illegal while alcohol is considered an integral part of many societies and there are no strict laws against smoking either. It is time to rethink and re-evaluate the harms caused by alcohol and smoking and restructure the existing laws.
By: Dr. Alexander G. Salerno