Alcohol Does More Damage to your Brain than Marijuana


 With the recent legalization of marijuana, a lot of research has been carried on various drugs and how do they affect our health. Yet, a study shows that alcohol is more harmful to the brain than does marijuana.

Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have recently conducted a review of imaging data obtained from the effect of alcohol, marijuana, or cannabis on the brain. And hence came to the conclusion that use of alcohol may do some long-term alterations to the white and grey matter of the brain. On the other hand, use of marijuana does not seem to have any long-term alterations associated with the brain. Thus, marijuana is way less harmful than alcohol.

Another study conducted by Rachel Thayer of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder and his colleagues recently reported their research in the journal Addiction. According to an estimate, 22.2 million people from the USA have been exceedingly reported to use the forbidden drug marijuana yet making it the most common of all the drugs. But now all across the U.S, this drug is legalized for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Due to this, researchers are now keen to discover the actual benefits that it causes to your body instead of knowing how much damage it does to your body.

As an example, last year Medical News Today reported a study that claimed marijuana to cause a greater risk of psychosis in teenagers. Another study carried in the same year claimed it as “a drug worse than the cigarettes” and thus doing a great harm to the cardiovascular system of your body.

On contrary researchers have found that cannabinoids which are an active component of the marijuana can really help to relieve a migraine and another study has shown it to increase the sex drive.


Which One of the Both Drugs is Worse?



Thus, these latest studies have produced an urge in modern researchers such as Thayer and its colleagues to find out the benefits that marijuana cause to your body. And somehow confuses the researchers to find out which one of the both is worse for your body.

Another co-author from the same Department of Psychology and Neuroscience named Kent Hutchison has concluded that till now various researchers have produced mixed results. Thus, nothing can be concluded with certainty.

He explains the point by correlating all the researchers by saying “if you go back to several years you will find only one study saying marijuana use is related to the reduction in the volume of hippocampus”. As the next comes in, it says that marijuana use is related to changes in the cerebellum. Yet the point is there is no consistency seen in the changes that marijuana actually make to your brain.”

Well, to find out the reality the researchers have decided to go through the imaging details of brain structures of those using the marijuana compared with those using alcohol. Grey matter is the tissue present on the brain’s surface and primarily composed of nerve cell bodies. White matter, on the other hand, is the deeper brain tissue that contains myelinated nerve fibers which are the branches of nerve cells and functions as transmitting the nerve impulses from the brain to the other cells and tissues of the body. The team finds out any reduction in the size of either white or grey matter or any loss of their integrity can lead to an impaired brain.

Hutchison made a point that about alcohol we’ve known for decades that it is bad for the brain but for cannabis so little is known to date.


Marijuana-known to have no impact:



Thus, the study included brain images of total 853 adults aged between 18-55 years and 439 teenagers between the age 14-18 years.  Though all the participants varied in their use of marijuana or alcohol.

The researchers found that adults who have been drinking alcohol for many years are associated with a reduction in their volume of grey matter and also the integrity of white matter.

On the other hand, marijuana is found to have no association in the reduction of the volume of either grey or white matter neither in adults nor in teenagers.

Based on these results, researchers concluded that drinking alcohol definitely causes much more damage to your brain health than the marijuana.

According to Kent Hutchison, “while marijuana may also have some negative consequences, it definitely is nowhere near the negative consequences of alcohol.”

Though when it comes to the uses of marijuana, Thayer and her team says that jury is still carrying out the further research and yet have not reached any conclusion.


What should you do?

So, when it comes to you choosing between marijuana or alcohol, definitely marijuana is a better choice than alcohol. But still, you must not take it on its own unless recommended or prescribed by your doctor. You must always consult a doctor before taking any drug either it is alcohol, marijuana or cannabis. After all, all drugs do harm your body in one way or another but about marijuana, it won’t take much longer to reveal the actual truth. We’ll see what uses it carry for the human body and how does it help to treat psychosis in near future. You should wait for the right time before making any preferences or consult any expertise in the domain of drugs.

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