Marijuana vs Tobacco

Topics: Tobacco smoking, Cannabis, Tobacco Pages: 6 (1961 words) Published: August 31, 2008
Marihuana Vs Tobacco
Nowadays there is a big dilemma to whether legalize marijuana or not and whether marijuana is really a lot more dangerous than tobacco. There are big differences between the two of them, but there is, without any doubt, one that has a lot more negative effects on the human body and the human brain than the other. Due to research we can compare them and conclude which one is worse. Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). Cannabis is a term that refers to marijuana and other drugs made from the same plant. Other forms of cannabis include hashish, and hash oil. All forms of cannabis are mind-altering drugs (Zimmer and Morgan 1). The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Short-term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, loss of coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety (Zimmer and Morgan 1-2). Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (called a joint) or in a pipe or “bong”. Marijuana has also appeared in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, sometimes in combination with another drug, such as crack. It can also be mixed into foods or used to brew a tea (Zimmer and Morgan 2). According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation tobacco is an agricultural crop that is used to make cigarettes. It is grown all over the world and supports a billion-dollar industry. Tobacco is dried and processed, then either placed into cigarettes and processed, or manufactured for chewing tobacco. The psychoactive ingredient is nicotine, a stimulant, but more than 4,000 other chemicals (2,000 of which are known to be poisonous) are present in cigarettes (Health). Tobacco is a nervous system stimulant that triggers complex biochemical and neurotransmitter disruptions. It elevates heart rate and blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, irritates lung tissue, and diminishes your ability to taste and smell (Health). Many people think smoking marijuana is just as harmful as smoking tobacco, but this is not true. Those who hold that marijuana is equivalent to tobacco are misinformed. Due to the efforts of various federal agencies to discourage the use of marijuana in the 1970's the government conducted several biased studies designed to return results that would equate marijuana smoking with tobacco smoking, or worse. For example the Berkeley carcinogenic tar studies of the late 1970's concluded that "marijuana is one-and-a-half times as carcinogenic as tobacco." This finding was based solely on the tar content of cannabis leaves compared to that of tobacco, and did not take radioactivity into consideration. (Cannabis tars do not contain radioactive materials.) In addition, it was not considered that: 1) Most marijuana smokers smoke the bud, not the leaf, of

the plant. The bud contains only 33% as much tar as tobacco.

2) Marijuana smokers do not smoke anywhere near as much as tobacco smokers, due to the psychoactive effects of cannabis. 3) Not one case of lung cancer has ever been successfully linked to marijuana use. 4) Cannabis, unlike tobacco, does not cause any narrowing of the small air passageways in the lungs (Howard). In fact, marijuana has been shown to be an expectorant and actually dilates the air channels it comes in contact with. This is why many asthma sufferers look to marijuana to provide relief. Doctors have postulated that marijuana may, in this respect, be more effective than all of the prescription drugs on the market (Howard). Studies even show that due to marijuana's ability to clear the lungs of smog, pollutants, and cigarette smoke, it may actually reduce your risk of emphysema, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Smokers of cannabis have been shown to outlive non-smokers in some areas by up to two years. Medium to heavy tobacco...
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