FEB 26, 2018 07:50 AM PST

Which is More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol?

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In most parts of the United States, alcohol is legal, and marijuana is not. While some states have laws that allow the medicinal use of pot for certain conditions, it remains a federal crime to grow, possess or use it. While some claim that cannabis is dangerous and results in brain damage, there is no similar outcry about alcohol, the dangers of which have been studied and known for years. A new study shows that many should be more worried about a few drinks rather than a few puffs.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder looked at brain scans in previous research studies to see if there was a connection between marijuana use, alcohol use, and brain damage. There were a total of 853 study participants between 18 and 55 and 439 younger volunteers between the ages of 14 and 18. Patients that reported alcohol use was associated with a loss of grey matter volume in the brain. Also, white matter, which is the tissue through which electrical signals pass, was also negatively affected. In cannabis users, there was no such damage to the white or grey matter. It's important to note that because of federal regulations, it's nearly impossible to study marijuana use other than by using self-reported data which is not always accurate. The team in Colorado hope more research can be done to settle the question the impact of marijuana on the brain
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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