What’s Worse for Your Brain Alcohol or Marijuana?

He emphasized that the effect was very individual, with some people harmed by much lower alcohol intake than others. Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association.

The possibility of new cannabis-based treatments

It can lead to impaired judgment, decreased reaction times, and difficulty concentrating. It can also lower your inhibitions making you more likely to make riskier or rash decisions that can lead to an accident. Considering the statistics you just read about marijuana-based crashes, 40 percent of car crash deaths in the US involve alcohol, and 30 percent of deaths involve alcohol above the legal limit for driving. the effects of prices on alcohol use and its consequences pmc However, this is low compared to 40% of all car crashes that directly involve alcohol. Alcohol and marijuana are both intoxicants, but one study from Columbia University researchers estimated that alcohol multiplies the chance of a fatal traffic accident by nearly 14 times, while marijuana nearly doubles the risk. Sian Ferguson is a freelance health and cannabis writer based in Cape Town, South Africa.

  1. „That’s going to have consequences in terms of the amount of time you spend not fully functional. When that’s hours per day times years, that’s bad.“
  2. That being said, alcohol still faces all of the same aforementioned tolls on your health and risks of addiction.
  3. “My research group is currently working to discover which cannabinoids or cannabinoid formulations will provide the best therapeutic benefits for specific liver diseases,” Bukong said.
  4. A major reason for this lies in the difficulty of obtaining adequate (or any) mental health care and/or medications for adolescents.

Weed Vs. Alcohol Feeling

Plus, a similar (but equally small) 2010 study found that alcohol consumption didn’t have much of an effect on THC concentrations. This is because alcohol increases the absorption of weed’s main psychoactive ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis is a drug, and like any other drugs, has the potential to cause harm if misused. The fact remains that cannabis is illegal in many parts of the United States and the world. It’s also important to remember that cannabis, like almost all drugs, is not harmless.

The Reality of Teens and Weed

Alcohol and cannabis are vastly different but often get lumped together because they are intoxicants. The way they make you feel may make them seem similar but their impact on your body and any lasting damage are not remotely the same. There ecstasy detox symptoms timeline medications and treatment probably isn’t a perfect way to evaluate and present all drug harms. Researchers will always need to balance making information simple and accessible for policymakers and the public with the inherent complexity of drugs and their effects.

Reducing Risk for Psychosis From Marijuana

Alcohol detox can take a significant amount of time and have heavy withdrawal symptoms, while cannabis withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. It can also be completely out of your system in 1-3 months with you returned to normal levels and function. It can damage brain cells and lead to deficiencies in neurotransmitters. It affects gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which can cause relaxation but long term use of alcohol can affect your levels of GABA or glutamate in the nervous system. Alcohol can lower inhibitions but it can also impair judgment, coordination, and memory.

Finally, Baler said, because the drug is typically smoked, it can bring on bronchitis, coughing and chronic inflammation of the air passages. Alcohol is everywhere yet we are well aware of the risks and dangers of alcohol use and abuse. The cannabis industry is making marijuana as readily available thanks to recreational legalization; it could be as common as alcohol. While there are some issues to the abuse of cannabis they are nowhere near as hazardous as alcoholism and the toll of alcohol on the body.

This also skews any data because someone engaged in an accident or having a health issue may have more than cannabis in their system. It can be challenging to ascertain how many deaths are caused by cannabis. While there can be the odd allergic reaction or bad interaction or even a child may inadvertently consume cannabis, there isn’t sufficient data to point towards any deaths caused by cannabis. Additionally, while you can have a cannabis overdose it’s not remotely fatal while an overdose of alcohol can cause lasting damage and even death. Weed is not without its pitfalls but alcohol is by far more problematic.

A lot of research has also linked adolescent marijuana use with a range of negative consequences, including cognitive deficiencies and worse educational outcomes. While it’s not clear whether marijuana’s role with these outcomes is cause-and-effect, experts generally agree that people younger than their mid-20s should avoid pot. „The main risk of cannabis is losing control of your cannabis intake,“ Mark Kleiman, a drug policy expert at UCLA, said. „That’s going to have consequences in terms of the amount of time you spend not fully functional. When that’s hours per day times years, that’s bad.“ It’s possible to develop an emotional and/or physical dependence on both substances.

Edibles are cannabis-infused foods like gummies, brownies and muffins. They get their buzz-promoting properties from a substance in the cannabis plant called tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC), explains the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “But if overconsumed, edibles may cause anxiety, panic, paranoia, dizziness, rapid heart rate and altered perception,” she says. Like alcohol, cannabis can also impair your ability to drive, doubling the risk of having a car accident, according to the UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Based on these findings, the researchers believe that drinking alcohol is likely to be much more harmful to brain health than using marijuana.

The researchers reported that combining THC and alcohol consistently impaired driving performance, with worse performance during nighttime simulations. For example, a 1992 study had 15 participants alcohol and weed smoke a placebo, a high dose of THC, or a low dose of THC on three occasions. On each occasion, they’d rank a different dose of alcohol, including a placebo, as a low dose or a high dose.