New Study Says Alcohol Is More Damaging to the Brain than Marijuana

One of the common claims made by anti-marijuana advocates is that cannabis use is dangerous to people's brains. But according to a new study, they should be focusing their anger more on breweries than dispensaries.

Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder recently published a study that alcohol use leads to long-term negative effects in a person's brain. Marijuana use, on the other hand, did not produce those same effects. The scientists compared how both substances affected a person's white and gray matter in the brain. Gray matter is the tissue on the brain that consists of nerve cell bodies, while white matter contains nerve cell fibers. Losing either can result in impaired brain functioning. 

The scientists looked at over 800 brain images from adults and over 400 images from teenagers who used various amounts of marijuana and alcohol. According to the scientists, alcohol use, particularly over a long period of time, led to a reduction in gray matter volume, and also a decrease in white matter integrity. However, marijuana use seemed to have no effect on white or gray matter.

In short, alcohol use contributes more to impaired brain functioning than marijuana.

Of course, this doesn't mean that marijuana is necessarily 100 percent safe for the brain. The scientists said more research needs to be done in that area. But it certainly provides more evidence, once again, that alcohol is worse for a person's health than marijuana.

(h/t Medical News Today)


Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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