It’s common knowledge by now that frequent and excessive alcohol consumption can have negative impacts on the human body. Liver damage that can lead to cirrhosis and decreased mental/physical faculties are common occurrences for those who routinely abuse alcohol. With more and more US states and other areas of the world progressing-either slowly or rapidly-toward cannabis legalization, some are choosing to smoke for a buzz instead-and some facilities are suggesting the use of cannabis in treating alcoholism.
The plant is often compared to alcohol, and most people support it being regulated as such despite the many differences between the two substances. Recently, the findings of a study were reported in the Journal Addiction. The study, which compared alcohol and cannabis’ effects on grey matter, found that while alcohol can cause significant damage to brain structure, the same cannot be said of cannabis.
“Alcohol use severity is associated with widespread lower gray matter volume and white matter integrity in adults, and with lower gray matter volume in adolescents,” was the conclusion arrived at by researchers. They also added, in contrast, “No associations were observed between structural measures and past 30-day cannabis use in adults or adolescents.”
This is not the first study of its kind, and these findings do align with the information achieved in previous endeavors. A brain imaging study conducted in 2015 by the Journal of Neuroscience made similar discoveries, stating that alcohol “has been unequivocally associated with deleterious effects on brain morphology and cognition in both adults and adolescents.” Of cannabis users, they saw no adverse changes to the brain.
The British Medical Journal reported that “alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with adverse brain outcomes including hippocampal atrophy” in data that was released in June.
It seems like this is becoming a quickly-established fact, and gives cannabis lovers who also drink a reason to choose a blunt over a bottle every now and then.