Home » Medicines: a comparison between smoking weed and drinking – a health check

Medicines: a comparison between smoking weed and drinking – a health check

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Alcohol is a popular drug with a long history in Germany. Cannabis has only been popular for a few decades. Which material is worse? Attempt to categorize.

Anyone who smokes weed now and then likes to argue that the drug is legal alcohol Much healthier than marijuana or weed.

still counting cannabis In Germany over illegal drugs, but the parties to the traffic lights are planning a controlled distribution of Weed & Co for those over the age of 18. As a result, “quality is controlled, contamination transfers are prevented, and minors are protected,” according to the coalition agreement.

It was terminated at the same time SPDThe Greens and the FDP have tightened regulations on the marketing and sponsorship of alcohol, nicotine and cannabis. What damage to health does alcohol and cannabis cause? How do scientists assess risks?

Effect: Alcohol is a cytotoxin that quickly reaches the whole body through the bloodstream. Alcohol alters the transmission of information in the brain; Large amounts can cause alcohol poisoning.

The Cannabis sativa plant contains more than 60 cannabinoids, of which THC ranks as the most powerful psychoactive substance. There are receptors all over the body to which the body’s own cannabinoids, but also THC, dock. In general, the effects of alcohol have been best researched, with cannabis an additional difficulty is the THC content in it the plants It could be very different.

Severe negative consequences: both substances act very quickly on the brain. Concentration and memory diminish. The effect of alcohol is one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents, and cannabis also affects the ability to drive. Alcohol increases aggression in some people – nearly every third act of violence occurs under the influence of alcohol. While cannabis has a calming and relaxing effect for many, it can also cause fear and panic.

Long-term harm: Those who drink alcohol often harm their health and reduce their life expectancy. When it comes to the topic, many think only of alcoholism. There are more than 200 known illnesses that alcohol is either preferred or directly caused by, says Ulrich John, a social medicine specialist from the University Medical Center Greifswald. They include many diseases of the liver, cancer and cardiovascular system.

Recent studies also refute the myth that drinking alcohol in moderation has an overall positive effect. For example, the risk of breast cancer increases with three to six glasses of alcohol per week.

In the case of cannabis, there is evidence of a link to diseases such as depression or testicular cancer. Several studies show that the risk of psychosis increases — especially if it starts early marijuana smoking I have started.

Deaths: According to estimates by addiction researcher Jacob Manthe, about 5 percent of all deaths recorded in 2016 — about 44,000 — were due to alcohol consumption. Comparable estimates of the health effects of cannabis are not available in Germany. However, it is reasonable to assume that there will also be deaths from cannabis consumption, says a psychologist researching at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).

In 2019, for example, 52 people were killed in traffic accidents in which cannabis or other drugs played a role. In addition, more than 80 percent of users smoke cannabis with tobacco, putting them at increased risk of developing cancer.

Adolescent risks: Teenage alcohol and cannabis use harms brain development. Child and adolescent psychiatrist Rainer Thomasius warns of brain damage even from occasional cannabis use. Even at the age of 18, brain development is not yet complete, says head of the German Center for Child and Adolescent Addiction at UKE. There is a threat of decreased intelligence, attention and ability to concentrate.

According to a study, the risk of first-time psychosis increases with daily cannabis consumption by three to five times, depending on the THC content. Early detection centers for psychosis are essential, says Andreas Heinz, director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Berlin Charité. “If a community buys property, it has to take care of those who work under the wheels.”

In adolescence, the risk of developing alcohol poisoning in the hospital is greater. Those who start drinking early often drink a lot later, become dependent or have secondary diseases such as fatty liver by age 40 or 50.

Addiction potential: According to the 2018 Addiction Epidemiological Survey, 6.7 million people in Germany between the ages of 18 and 64 consume alcohol in a form that is dangerous to health. About 1.6 million people in this age group are considered alcoholics.

According to the same research, 3.7 million people have used cannabis at least once in the past 12 months and 309,000 people are addicted to cannabis. While alcohol and tobacco consumption among young people is declining, cannabis smoking is becoming more common, according to surveys. Doctors estimate that the addictive potential of both substances is similar. In contrast to cannabis, particularly severe physical withdrawal symptoms are observed with alcohol withdrawal.


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