Is Smoking Cannabis Safer Than Smoking Cigarettes? | Growers Choice Seeds

Is Smoking Cannabis Safer Than Smoking Cigarettes?

is smoking pot better than tobacco


Is Smoking Cannabis Safer than Smoking Cigarettes?

Is smoking cannabis just as harmful as smoking tobacco? What’s the deal with smoking, anyway?

Many people are asking these questions because they want to know the potential health-related effects of weed smoke. Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to them, so we’ll try to explain them by breaking down the latest scientific research.

Marijuana vs. Tobacco Health Effects

smoking marijuana smoking cigarettes
Smoking holds numerous risks, regardless of what’s inside the roll-up.

Cannabis smoke contains many of the same elements as tobacco smoke, so there is a legitimate concern about its adverse health effects. The only way to find an answer to this concern is to look at the body of the current scientific evidence.

  • Tobacco as One of the Top U.S. Killers

    While smoking anything is not necessarily “good” for you, tobacco takes the cake in its propensity to really do a number on human health. For instance, smoking is a leading cause of numerous health issues, particularly respiratory and cardiovascular diseases (source 1). Tobacco smoking is strongly associated with lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory problems that are anything but harmless.

    For those who prefer daunting statistics, smoking tobacco accounts for nearly one in five deaths in the United States annually due to its severe impact on lung function and its tendency to cause heart disease. These diseases result in substantial mortality, with smoking-related illnesses causing over 480,000 deaths per year in the United States. No joke, right? Too bad they’re so good, but thankfully there are alternatives to the tasty substance… one of which, is cannabis! Let’s take a peek at the effects of marijuana and if they’re just as sinister as tobacco.   

  • Pulmonary Function with Cannabis Use

    A 2012 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the effect of cannabis exposure on pulmonary function. The researchers measured the impact for 20 years and concluded that occasional and minimal marijuana smoking wasn’t associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function (source 2).

  • Risk of Cardiovascular Disease with Cannabis

    Good news for medicinal marijuana users, right? Well, yeah, but it’s a bit too early to celebrate. A team of researchers at Georgia State University in Atlanta recently reported that marijuana smoking was a great factor in cardiovascular disease risk. Moreover, the effect of marijuana smoke was even greater than that of cigarette smoke!

    Specifically, the researchers stated that cannabis users were 3.43 times more likely to die from hypertension. In fact, each year of cannabis use increases the risk of death from high blood pressure, increased by 1.04 times (source 3).

    These results suggested that cannabis smokers may carry even more serious implications on cardiovascular health than those known for tobacco smoking, although keep in mind that all of this research is not yet conclusive.

There are many alternatives to smoking marijuana!

How to Quit Smoking Cannabis

If you’re going to put away your papers and pipes because you want to quit smoking cannabis, it’s a fairly easy thing to do (although, of course, each person is different and their draw to substances varies). The following are some methods that might help you if you’re thinking about quitting: 

    1. Set Clear Goals: Define your reasons for quitting and set a quit date. Based on experience, I can confidently say that this is the most important step! If you know why you want to quit and fully believe in the reasons behind the desire, then you are very likely to succeed. 
    2. Cold Turkey: Simply halting is an option if you have strong willpower. Often, it’s the physical act of smoking that people become “addicted” to. Still, if it’s the effects of cannabis that have you hooked, you can also try a different ingestion method that can give you the same effects without the carcinogens and smoke. If it’s a combination of both issues, try chewing gum, toothpicks, or an endless supply of snacks.
    3. Seek Support: Having a supportive community around you, who are on the same journey themselves, or who can merely offer encouragement and accountability can be incredibly powerful.
    4. Develop Healthy Habits: Engage in physical activities, hobbies, and stress-relief techniques like meditation or yoga. Physical movement can often be ideal because you can increase those happy brain chemicals that might feel lacking after giving up the sensation of smoking or decreasing your cannabis use overall. 
    5. Professional Help: Consider counseling or therapy to address underlying issues and receive structured support. Many state insurances cover mental health services and there are often nonprofit groups that can offer free or discounted therapeutic services, as well. 
    6. Avoid Triggers: Don’t minimize this one! Do your best to avoid situations, people, or places that tempt you to smoke. If you want to consume cannabis around your friends, why not bring some weed-infused cookies and make it fun?
    7. Stay Positive: Focus on the benefits of quitting and remind yourself of them regularly.
    8. Relapse Prevention: Have a plan in place to handle relapses, and don’t get discouraged if they happen (this is also very important). “Relapsing” can be reframed by thinking of these instances as testing out whether you still like smoking and confirming that you absolutely do not. These times can give you rock-solid conviction!

Potential Benefits of Cannabis

benefits of smoking marijuana
Cannabis is so impressive!

Keep in mind that there are potential benefits of using cannabis, as we are by no means saying otherwise! Of course, the method of ingestion can vary from smoking to consuming edibles, so there are lots of options other than lighting up. While the benefits of cannabis are still undergoing scientific research, there is lots of anecdotal evidence that attests to its therapeutic prowess! 

The Bottom Line

At this point, more knowledge is needed to provide a definitive answer to whether smoking cannabis is safer than smoking tobacco, but we can safely conclude that smoking either cannabis or tobacco can have detrimental effects on our health. Consider switching to consumable marijuana, and start making your own cannabis-infused confectionaries today!

External References

  1. CDC. (2024). Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Retrieved from the CDC website.
  2. Science Daily. (2012). Marijuana smoke not as damaging to lungs as cigarette smoke. Retrieved from the Science Daily website.
  3. Georgia State University. (2017). Use of marijuana increases risk of metabolic syndrome. Retrieved from the GSU website.

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