Cannabis vs. Tobacco: 4 Reasons Why Tobacco is the Bigger Risk
Just because you can smoke both of them doesn’t mean they’re even in the same category.
The health hazards and benefits of cannabis and tobacco couldn’t be more different!
Find out four of the main reasons why tobacco is a bigger health risk than cannabis.
1. Cannabis vs. Tobacco: Lung Damage
We’ve all seen those gruesome pictures in school of a healthy lung free of tobacco vs a shriveling, grey tobacco smoker’s lung. When it comes to lung damage, all eyes are on tobacco. 80-90% of lung cancer cases are caused by tobacco smoke. Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer by 25 times if you’re a man, and 25.7 times if you’re a woman. And that’s all just lung cancer. Smoking tobacco cigarettes can also lead to other lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. But what about cannabis?
While more science is always needed when it comes to cannabis research, so far, there have been no signs of correlation between lung cancer and moderate cannabis use. There was even a study published in 2005 that found that if someone smoked a joint every day for 20 days, they probably wouldn’t see any decreased lung function. This is pretty much the opposite of what we’ve seen with tobacco use.
2. Cannabis vs. Tobacco: Skin Health
There are more than 7,000 chemicals produced by burning tobacco cigarettes. Many of these chemicals are affecting your skin’s health and the way it ages. Smoking tobacco cigarettes decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood which then constricts blood vessels. Smoking tobacco cigarettes is also a known cause of premature aging. According to scientific studies, the skin will lose its elasticity and gains small red lines due to the dilation of blood vessels.
Another study shows that moderate smokers were found to have skin wrinkles that were double that of non-smokers, and heavy smokers were three times as likely to develop premature wrinkles. Tobacco cigarettes’ influence on premature aging is more severe than sun exposure.
Cannabis, on the other hand, may be the skincare industry’s next big ingredient. Cannabinoids like CBD are infused into topicals that have the potential to treat acne, itch, eczema, and even psoriasis. There was even a study that was conducted to test the results of a 3% cannabis cream for acne. The results were astounding and showed that the people who applied the CBD cream on one side of their face twice a day saw a significant decrease in redness and in the oil that causes acne itself.
A California-based dermatologist, Dr. Jeanette Jacknin, recently said that cannabis may also be the next big product in anti-aging skin care routines. “There are two recent studies that show the importance of CB1 receptors [cannabinoid receptor] in the skin for healthy basal cell regeneration,” she said. “Basal cells have to regenerate and grow. If they don’t, you look much older.”
3. Cannabis vs. Tobacco: Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
Tobacco cigarette smoke contains nicotine which is commonly associated with an increased risk of thyroid problems, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Cannabis, however, contains cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are currently being studied as possible treatments for type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. In this blog about cannabis and how it influences weight-loss, you can learn about the details of how cannabis can potentially better regulate insulin levels, lower your body mass index (BMI), and even lower your waist circumference.
The blog follows a 2013 survey conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination and compared cannabis users to nonusers to get their information. Click here if you’re interested in reading the study itself.
4. Cannabis vs. Tobacco: Addiction
Cigarettes, and specifically the nicotine in tobacco, are responsible for one of the most common addictions in the world at over 1.1 billion people who are smokers, according to the World Health Organization. Much like “harder” drugs like heroin or cocaine, nicotine changes the way our brain works and causes intense cravings. The physical dependence on the drug nicotine can result in a long list of nasty physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Cannabis doesn’t contain any physically addictive ingredients. Therefore, it’s technically impossible to become physically addicted to cannabis.
While it is possible to become psychologically addicted to both cannabis and nicotine, a psychological addiction can occur for anything pleasurable including food, TV, and sex. It all comes down to moderation and not going overboard with anything that changes our state of mind.