With the legalization of marijuana, people all over the United States have pondered whether marijuana should have been legalized much sooner, with more restrictions place on alcohol because of it’s addictive properties and damaging consequences. Live Science states that both can take a toll on the body in both short and long-term effects. Does this mean they are both equally dangerous? Let’s take a look at the differences:
Marijuana effects the cardiovascular system, which can cause a person to experience increased heart rate and blood pressure, but they cannot overdose like one can with alcohol. Furthermore, researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder found that alcohol can cause long-term damages to brain structure, whereas marijuana cannot. Medical News Today states that researchers have been trying to pinpoint more of the health benefits and dangers of marijuana since it’s legalization for medical and recreational use.
Marijuana has been linked with psychosis, and many studies are even linking marijuana with schizophrenia. Sir Robin Murray, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London, stated,
“Even I, 20 years ago, used to tell patients that cannabis is safe. It’s only after you see all the patients that go psychotic that you realize – it’s not so safe”.
The National Public Radio (NPR) further explained that according to several studies, the earlier you smoke marijuana, the greater the chances you will develop a mental disorder such as schizophrenia.
Since scientists have been studying alcohol for years; there’s no doubt the repercussions of its use: heart problems, liver problems, pancreatitis, cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast, and more. Drinking too much can also weaken the immune system, leaving you more susceptible for disease. What about marijuana?
Healthline notes that marijuana can irritate the lungs and can increase your risk for lung cancer; it can weaken your immune system and can slow your reaction time and decision making capabilities. Overall, this means that alcohol has been shown to be more dangerous than marijuana, but researchers are still exploring marijuana’s effects to uncover any harmful consequences of us that we weren’t aware of before. Always be careful when taking any type of substance and seek a doctor’s attention immediately if you experience any concerning side effects.
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