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On average what's more dangerous 'alcohol' or 'weed'? Watch

  • View Poll Results: What's more dangerous 'alcohol' or 'weed'?
    Alcohol
    87.04%
    Weed
    12.96%

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    (Original post by UnicornFairy12)
    Alcohol is by far more dangerous. To start with, weed is not addictive, unlike alcohol. The immediate effects of weed put you in far less danger than the intoxicated state alcohol will often leave you in. Drunkenness causes all sorts of injuries. Although any kind of smoke is generally bad for you to a certain extent, weed contains no carcinogens, meaning there is almost no chance of it causing cancer or any other similar diseases. Drinking, on the other hand, causes 13000 cancer related deaths each year. Alcohol takes lives daily; weed does not. It's obvious which is more dangerous.
    inb4 i could make that point
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    Why such a negative light on weed and yet alcohol is widely accepted?
    Simple. They can tax alcohol and regulate it. Weed can be grown in anyone's garden.
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    Probably alcohol but I don't think this is really a factor in whether or not weed should be legal. Making alcohol illegal would not work (failed badly in the USA) so it has to stay legal.
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    (Original post by n00)
    I'm afraid its just not as simple as that, there is very little evidence that cannabis causes cancer and not through lack of testing. Low cannabis use is actually associated with a reduced risk of cancer, just having the carcinogens present is not enough to cause cancer, it seems there are other factors at play with cannabis.
    I don't think you can qualify any of that and if you think there is more required to cause cancer than just carcinogens then you are severely misinformed. Inhaling tar, carbon particles and carbon oxide gases are enough to cause cancer and there are no magical mitigating chemicals in cannabis to stop this.
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    (Original post by UnicornFairy12)
    Alcohol is by far more dangerous. To start with, weed is not addictive, unlike alcohol. The immediate effects of weed put you in far less danger than the intoxicated state alcohol will often leave you in. Drunkenness causes all sorts of injuries. Although any kind of smoke is generally bad for you to a certain extent, weed contains no carcinogens, meaning there is almost no chance of it causing cancer or any other similar diseases. Drinking, on the other hand, causes 13000 cancer related deaths each year. Alcohol takes lives daily; weed does not. It's obvious which is more dangerous.
    Bull****.

    Your general point is fairly sound - most of the evidence points to cannabis being relatively safer than alcohol; however its illegality has made it pretty difficult to study. Certainly alcohol is much more associated with violent crime, is physically addictive and can cause fatal overdose. However your point about carcinogens is uninformed *******s. Cannabis smoke contains many carcinogens in common with cigarette smoke, at higher concentrations. It's been shown to act as a carcinogen in rats, and it fails the Ames test - a test commonly used to determine the power of a mutagen. A couple of epidemiological studies have shown a ~2.5x increase in the incidence of head and neck cancers; however others have shown no link, and one small study even a protective effect. Similarly with lung cancers is tha data mixed, but possibly slightly more in favour of a link. Clearly the data is conflicted and more study is needed. Importantly, most of these trials are controlled for tobacco use, meaning that if you're rolling cannabis with tobacco, you're more likely to get cancer.

    Clearly the jury's still out on this, but to say that there are no carcinogens and no risk of cancer is a lie, and a dangerous one at that.

    Source: Bowles et al. (2012). The intersection between cannabis and cancer in the United States. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, Volume 83, Issue 1, pages 1-10.
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    (Original post by non)
    so what do you think?


    Stoners will, as if it's a god-given right, and in the most haughty and disdainful manner, protect their weed-smoking until the day they die. For them weed provides absolutely no harm to family, friends, employment or life. This is obviously not true. Cannibus affects people in different ways. I know people who are hooked on the plant, and I know people (including myself) who smoke in moderation and enjoy perfectly healthy and happy lives. And for those who argue weed should be legalised, think again. Weed is already 'legalised'. Anyone can get it anywhere they wish. If the police find you with a joint, you get a warning only. It's practically already reclassified. The police have better things to do than bust a person smoking weed. Think of the utter waste of resources, when they could be tackling more serious problems such as rape and murder.
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    (Original post by minimarshmallow)
    According to David Nutt and his report that he was commissioned by the government to produce following an investigation of the dangers of drugs, only heroin and cocaine are more dangerous than alcohol.
    He was fired for not producing what the government wanted though, so not many people know about this.
    There are loads of those studies that supporters of legalisation pull out showing alcohol to be more dangerous than a range of banned substances. The problem is that they feel to point out that these studies measure overall societal impact and because alcohol is so widely used and indeed, abused it's overall impact on general population health will be more adverse. Do you think it would be a good idea if cannabis was as widely misused as alcohol?
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    How do I add a poll to OP?
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    There are loads of those studies that supporters of legalisation pull out showing alcohol to be more dangerous than a range of banned substances. The problem is that they feel to point out that these studies measure overall societal impact and because alcohol is so widely used and indeed, abused it's overall impact on general population health will be more adverse. Do you think it would be a good idea if cannabis was as widely misused as alcohol?
    David Nutt did two studies, one where he included harm to society, and one where he just included harm to the user. Alcohol was rated third most dangerous in harm to the user and first in harm to user and society.
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    (Original post by UnicornFairy12)
    Alcohol is by far more dangerous. To start with, weed is not addictive, unlike alcohol. The immediate effects of weed put you in far less danger than the intoxicated state alcohol will often leave you in. Drunkenness causes all sorts of injuries. Although any kind of smoke is generally bad for you to a certain extent, weed contains no carcinogens, meaning there is almost no chance of it causing cancer or any other similar diseases. Drinking, on the other hand, causes 13000 cancer related deaths each year. Alcohol takes lives daily; weed does not. It's obvious which is more dangerous.
    But the problem is... most people who use weed smoke it, usually in my experience with tobacco. I see a lot of people who use cannabis regularly and it affects motivation and energy levels. Also to say it's not addictive is a bit misleading, all drugs, legal and illegal are addictive people can become dependent on it.

    I'm not trying to blacken cannabis, in fact I would rather see it legalised and the profits taxed rather than end up in the hands of criminals. However people should bear in mind that it is a drug, a psychoactive substance and like alcohol it can be misused and abused and cause serious harm. It's not a case of cannabis good, alcohol bad.
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    (Original post by minimarshmallow)
    David Nutt did two studies, one where he included harm to society, and one where he just included harm to the user. Alcohol was rated third most dangerous in harm to the user and first in harm to user and society.
    Any link to study? I'd like to read it. That alcohol finished so high in both studies does not surprise me. The vast, vast majority of people have abused alcohol at some stage (me included), especially when you take out teetotallers.

    However that fact the alcohol is misused and obviously dangerous does not mean that Cannabis is an a-ok product.
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    In the UK weed has lead to 0 deaths, alcohol however has lead to ~8,790 deaths a year.
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    Lots of my friends drink, me included. It only happens on select nights. No-ones lives have been ruined in either the short or long term. On the other hand, I know people who frequently miss lessons and even exams because they're too dependent on smoking drugs instead of working. Maybe it doesn't posses addictive substances, but if you've got an addictive personality then anything can do badly by you. These people are messing up their future, and in my eyes these drugs are worse than alcohol.
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    Any link to study? I'd like to read it. That alcohol finished so high in both studies does not surprise me. The vast, vast majority of people have abused alcohol at some stage (me included), especially when you take out teetotallers.

    However that fact the alcohol is misused and obviously dangerous does not mean that Cannabis is an a-ok product.
    I don't have a link because I just have seminar notes on it, she provided us with paper copies but took them back and I've not tried to redowload it yet because I'm not revising this module yet, but it's Nutt, King, Saulsbury and Blakemore - Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse.
    Also, Nutt, King and Philips on behalf of the Independent Scientific Community on Drugs - Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis.

    And here's a video where Nutt and his team talk about the relative harms of all 20 of the most harmful drugs (in case you can't find the papers).
    It's 50 minutes long but alcohol (#3) is at about 32 minutes and cannabis (#11) at 21 minutes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=_54vRNqM4K0

    Also, the website for the Independent Scientific Committee on drugs http://drugscience.org.uk/
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    (Original post by Sammydemon)
    Though I agree with your general advice - there are several inaccuracies there.
    Alcohol is barely more addictive than weed, though it's very possible to develop a psychological dependance during vulnerable times such as depression.

    Smoking weed is no less harmful than tobacco - both are as likely to cause cancer as they contain the typical cancer-causing products of combustion. It's just that the cigarette smoker will smoke more frequently than the cannabis smoker. Also, don't forget that cannabis is smoked without filters, increasing the amount of tar intake.

    So really, the harm is much more influenced by quantity than anything else.
    I didn't think cannabis contained tar?
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    (Original post by penguinman1)
    Stoners will, as if it's a god-given right, and in the most haughty and disdainful manner, protect their weed-smoking until the day they die. For them weed provides absolutely no harm to family, friends, employment or life. This is obviously not true. Cannibus affects people in different ways. I know people who are hooked on the plant, and I know people (including myself) who smoke in moderation and enjoy perfectly healthy and happy lives. And for those who argue weed should be legalised, think again. Weed is already 'legalised'. Anyone can get it anywhere they wish. If the police find you with a joint, you get a warning only. It's practically already reclassified. The police have better things to do than bust a person smoking weed. Think of the utter waste of resources, when they could be tackling more serious problems such as rape and murder.
    Someone in my school was arrested for the possession of weed. He was walking down the Hugh street and it slipped out of his pocket. So a warning is not strictly true. But yes I agree in most cases you'll get away with it.
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    But the problem is... most people who use weed smoke it, usually in my experience with tobacco. I see a lot of people who use cannabis regularly and it affects motivation and energy levels. Also to say it's not addictive is a bit misleading, all drugs, legal and illegal are addictive people can become dependent on it.

    I'm not trying to blacken cannabis, in fact I would rather see it legalised and the profits taxed rather than end up in the hands of criminals. However people should bear in mind that it is a drug, a psychoactive substance and like alcohol it can be misused and abused and cause serious harm. It's not a case of cannabis good, alcohol bad.
    In my opinion, those people are idiots.

    Fine, weed is not physically addictive, unlike alcohol.
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    (Original post by Rob da Mop)
    Bull****.

    Your general point is fairly sound - most of the evidence points to cannabis being relatively safer than alcohol; however its illegality has made it pretty difficult to study. Certainly alcohol is much more associated with violent crime, is physically addictive and can cause fatal overdose. However your point about carcinogens is uninformed *******s. Cannabis smoke contains many carcinogens in common with cigarette smoke, at higher concentrations. It's been shown to act as a carcinogen in rats, and it fails the Ames test - a test commonly used to determine the power of a mutagen. A couple of epidemiological studies have shown a ~2.5x increase in the incidence of head and neck cancers; however others have shown no link, and one small study even a protective effect. Similarly with lung cancers is tha data mixed, but possibly slightly more in favour of a link. Clearly the data is conflicted and more study is needed. Importantly, most of these trials are controlled for tobacco use, meaning that if you're rolling cannabis with tobacco, you're more likely to get cancer.

    Clearly the jury's still out on this, but to say that there are no carcinogens and no risk of cancer is a lie, and a dangerous one at that.

    Source: Bowles et al. (2012). The intersection between cannabis and cancer in the United States. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, Volume 83, Issue 1, pages 1-10.
    Okay then, I'll alter my point: cannabis contains less carcinogens that seem to have an effect on the body.

    There are studies that suggest the opposite of what you say.
    Components of cannabis smoke minimize some carcinogenic pathways whereas tobacco smoke enhances some. Both types of smoke contain carcinogens and particulate matter that promotes inflammatory immune responses that may enhance the carcinogenic effects of the smoke. However, cannabis typically down-regulates immunologically-generated free radical production by promoting a Th2 immune cytokine profile. Furthermore, THC inhibits the enzyme necessary to activate some of the carcinogens found in smoke
    were unable to demonstrate a cannabis smoke and lung cancer link
    has not been causally linked with tobacco related cancers [6] such as lung, colon or rectal cancers
    Furthermore, compounds found in cannabis have been shown to kill numerous cancer types including: lung cancer [9], breast and prostate [10], leukemia and lymphoma [11], glioma [12], skin cancer [13], and pheochromocytoma

    See here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1277837/
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    (Original post by UnicornFairy12)
    Alcohol is by far more dangerous. To start with, weed is not addictive, unlike alcohol. The immediate effects of weed put you in far less danger than the intoxicated state alcohol will often leave you in. Drunkenness causes all sorts of injuries. Although any kind of smoke is generally bad for you to a certain extent, weed contains no carcinogens, meaning there is almost no chance of it causing cancer or any other similar diseases. Drinking, on the other hand, causes 13000 cancer related deaths each year. Alcohol takes lives daily; weed does not. It's obvious which is more dangerous.
    Only issue is that weed doesn't burn properly so it is mixed with tobacco before smoking. Therefore smoking weed carries the dangers of tobacco, moreso because a filter is not used as it removes the THC (active component of cannabis).

    So weed has the dangers of smoking unfiltered tobacco, I'd expect that to be worse than lots of people realise. Obviously it depends on the levels of use, which are difficult to compare. Clincal studies on the matter would be rather unethical as you would be condoning the intake of known carcinogens.
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    (Original post by chigyy)
    In the UK weed has lead to 0 deaths, alcohol however has lead to ~8,790 deaths a year.
    That is just not true. Anyone can pluck incorrect statistics out of their arse, doesn't make their point any more valid. The smoking of cannabis mixed with tobacco has undoubtedly led to many cases of cancer. Arguing that the tobacco is the cause is sadly a nonargument as the smoking of cannabis requires tobacco.

    (Original post by Seble)
    I didn't think cannabis contained tar?
    See my post above - cannabis does not smoke properly if a joint only contains cannabis (plus it would be a damn strong joint), so it is mixed with tobacco. As a filter is not used (it filters out the active component), there is nothing to stop the tar etc going into your lungs. This makes a standard joint more harmful than a standard cigarette. Obviously a key difference is no-one smokes 20 joints a day, whereas people do smoke 20 cigarettes a day.
 
 
 
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