Which is better for you — cannabis or alcohol? We may finally have an answer to this question, thanks to research conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder.
According to the new study, alcohol damages the brain more than cannabis. The scientists also concluded that years of exposure to cannabis does not affect the size or integrity of white or grey matter in the brain. As The Daily Mail reports, the grey matter enables brain function whereas white matter controls communication.
Said Professor Kent Hutchison: “While marijuana may also have some negative consequences, it definitely is nowhere near the negative consequences of alcohol.” Hutchison added that research into cannabis’ mental effects are still very limited.
“Particularly with marijuana use, there is still so much that we don’t know about how it impacts the brain,” said lead author Rachel Thayer. The team is eager to continue their research, as they believe there is “no consistency across all of these studies.” Said Hutchison, “When you look at the research much more closely, you see that a lot of it is probably not accurate.”
“When you look at these studies going back years, you see that one study will report that marijuana use is related to a reduction in the volume of the hippocampus [a region of the brain associated with memory and emotions],” Hutchison continued. “The next study then comes around, and they say that marijuana use is related to changes in the cerebellum or the whatever. The point is that there’s no consistency across all of these studies in terms of the actual brain structures. We still have a lot of work to do.”
The team agrees that there is a long way to go before cannabis is regarded as a household staple. This is because many people are concerned with how the class-C drug affects people of different ages, manages pain, and causes addition. “Considering how much is happening in the real world with the legalisation movement, we still have a lot of work to do,” said Hutchison.
In the USA, approximately half of all states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use. Recreational marijuana is allowed in Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Colorado.
What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!
Image Credit: Copyright: nomadsoul1 / 123RF Stock Photo