Neurology – In today’s global context, where the legalization of cannabis is increasingly an issue, a new American study suggests that regarding “brain health” alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana.
The problem of the legalization of cannabis leads the scientific community to conduct more and more studies on the dangers and benefits of cannabis. A team of researchers at the University of Colorado in the United States reviewed all available imaging data to analyze the effects of alcohol and cannabis on the brain. Their results suggest that regarding “brain health,” alcohol causes more harm than marijuana. These were published in the journal Addiction in August 2017.
Brain Effects Comparison
In their study, American researchers show the link between alcohol consumption and long-term changes in the structure of white and grey matter in the brain. On the other hand, about marijuana use, no significant long-term effects on brain structure are observed. In the United States, the number of people who used marijuana last month is estimated at 22.2 million, making it still illicit in most states the most commonly used drug.
In the United States, legalization for medical and recreational use has been expanded through changes in legislation, allowing researchers to conduct broader studies on the health effects of marijuana, both harmful and beneficial. However, the results reported in various studies differ: one establishes the link between marijuana use and increased risk of psychosis among adolescents, another relates to the possible prevention of a migraine by cannabinoids, and a third shows a link between marijuana use and reduced hippocampus volume.
Therefore, there is currently no consistency regarding effects on brain structures in these studies. However, researchers at the University of Colorado still point out that any reduction in the volume of white or gray matter in the brain can lead to changes in brain function.