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Tobacco vs. Weed: The Differences, Pros, and Cons

It’s the ultimate body showdown: tobacco vs weed. Do the differences outweigh the similarities?

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Tobacco Powerhouse Altria Officially Invests $1.8 Billion in Cannabis Company Cronos
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Weed and tobacco have long been considered sisters of smoke. Yet, time and significant increases in science and policy show differences between weed vs tobacco. According to a census conducted by the CDC in 2016, 37.8 million Americans over age 18 like to light up a cigarette. But compared to another census focused on marijuana, 19.8 million Americans over age 12 consume weed. Even still, as access to recreational and medicinal weed becomes more widespread, more and more Americans view weed as less harmful than tobacco. This acceptance of pot-use stands amidst a growing understanding of the effects of nicotine and tobacco on the body. But in the showdown of tobacco vs weed, Americans are making it clearer which contender may win the hearts and lungs of its fans.

Weed vs Tobacco: The Body Battleground

The heart and lungs stand as a battleground for weed and tobacco. Compared to its whacky cousin, tobacco seems to hold higher risks for the body. In fact, smoking tobacco may permanently damage DNA. As if that weren’t enough to kick the nicotine habit, smoking tobacco may cause the development of lung cancer. Yet weed, lacking the carcinogens linked with nicotine in tobacco smoke, may not. As of 2005, tobacco smoking has been associated with over 400,000 deaths yearly in the US. Compare tobacco vs weed, and it seems weed only produces smoke-induced cellular damage.

So while weed may still hurt your lungs, the methods of consumption are much more diverse. Instead of restricting yourself to just smoking flowers, try out vaping, edibles, topicals, pills—all likely to take less of a toll on the lung and other bodily functions. Furthermore, smoking weed may enhance the functionality and capacity of the lung because air flow rate increases with weed smokers who hold in their smoke.

But when it comes down to the heart of it, smoking weed and tobacco may share similarities. Each has a responsibility for raising your heart rate, which could make the body more susceptible to a heart attack. Even still, as science grows to learn more about weed and tobacco, we learn benefits of weed for the cardiovascular system, even reducing the risk of heart disease.

Weed for Health and Wellness

Still, the modern era shows the health benefits of marijuana. And because of the many ways you can consume it, smoking may not have to put your lungs or heart at risk. In fact, marijuana can help to alleviate pain and symptoms of many conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, PTSD, and cancer. It can reverse tobacco-caused ischemia. To top it off, weed trumps tobacco by helping people other mental illnesses, such as eating or gambling disorders, bipolar disorder, and addiction itself. In fact, smoking weed may help reduce tobacco addiction! Less addictive as a drug itself than tobacco, weed has even received attention as a possible treatment for opioid addiction, a grueling problem affecting many Americans.

As more people embrace weed in the choice between tobacco vs weed, they also turn to healthier options like vaping. In doing so, they enable themselves to kick the cancer stick habit.

Tobacco Vs Weed: The Legal Upper Hand

Still, the federal law prohibits the consumption of marijuana while tobacco stays legal. This difference has made weed’s importance and potential harder to define until recent years. Before the current era of recreational and medicinal weed, its value was hearsay not backed by science. For that reason, marijuana still raises issues for many people to purchase than tobacco. In areas where the herb hasn’t been decriminalized, a person may not have an option in weed vs tobacco.

Still, while lawmakers are trying to work to at least decriminalize weed, tobacco sits on shelves at every convenience store and gas station. And even if somewhere weed can be purchased legally, you sacrifice some major civil rights. But hey, no matter what state you smoke tobacco or weed, your landlord may regulate you even more than the government.

Investments in Weed and Tobacco

Recently, investments in the cannabis market have exploded. Even analysts for Wall street see the US cannabis market reaching at least $47 billion within the next decade. Even tobacco companies notice the appeal of the cannabis market. As trends change, companies like Philip Morris noticed a 16% decrease plunge in their shares. So, jumping on the bandwagon, Philip Morris has bought patents for marijuana plants. And the investment is a clear sign of the positive potential in the future of weed.

The Budding Best

Though weed may not be legal everywhere you can pick up cigarettes, its benefits seem to far outweigh tobacco’s. Though each present their own issues for the body, weed clearly pushes out its competitor with its potential health benefits as scientific knowledge grows. Even still, if you smoke weed, you likely may also enjoy tobacco, according to a study. And if trying to quit smoking tobacco, likely you may feel pulled back into the habit if you enjoy cannabis. In the end, choosing between weed vs tobacco may end with you as a user of both.

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