Cannabis and Tobacco: More Closely Related than You Think
Cannabis and tobacco share many similar qualities. For one, they’re both highly addictive. In fact, tobacco and cannabis are the third and fourth most popular drugs in the world, respectively. Tobacco and cannabis can be consumed in the same way, too, commonly through cigarettes. The similarities between the two plants, however, go a little deeper than that.
Tobacco and weed contain many of the same cancer-causing agents, the most prominent of which is benzpyrene. People with certain genetic markers are more prone to suffer from cancer caused by this carcinogen. You’re not likely to suffer from benzpyrene-caused cancer if you don’t have those genetic markers, but that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer from the negative effects of smoking weed.
Cannabis also worsens the lung and liver damage caused by the over consumption of alcohol and tobacco. And while studies have been inconclusive about the role of cannabis in the development of cancer, smoking weed puts heavy smokers or drinkers are at a higher risk of developing cancer. So if you’re already smoking cigarettes pretty often, it’s probably not a good idea to make a habit of using marijuana, too.
Researchers all over the world are intensively studying cannabis and the possibility that it affects more than just the lungs and the brain. There is currently no strong evidence that marijuana on its own will cause cancer, so further research is needed. What scientists and medical experts are sure of, though, is that marijuana abuse can greatly increase the risk of cancer.
Conversely, you may have come across reports of cannabis being a miracle cure for cancer. Unfortunately, these claims are not backed up by substantial evidence. There is no hard proof that weed helps cure cancer at all, so people should always exercise caution when consuming cannabis.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks of researchers conducting studies on the negative effects of marijuana is that cannabis users tend to smoke tobacco as well. This makes it difficult for researchers to properly identify the effects of each drug. Until sizable groups of people who smoke only cannabis can be found, scientists say we may be waiting on the results of these studies for a while.