Comparing Cannabis with Tobacco: Which is More Dangerous?

Tobacco and marijuana have long been used, but tobacco is more socially accepted than marijuana in different regions of the world. However, various health groups are pretty concerned about cigarette smoking. According to World Health Organization figures, smoking tobacco kills 8 million people annually as of May 2020.

Meanwhile, as more states allow marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is becoming increasingly well-known for its ability to heal or relieve certain conditions. Despite this, smoking marijuana has yet to earn the general approval that cigarette smoking now still enjoys.

Given that marijuana has certain medicinal benefits that tobacco does not, one would wonder: Is pot better than cigarettes? Which one is safer? Marijuana or cigarettes? According to a renowned marijuana Dillon dispensary, this is how these two differ.


 Smoking and the Harm It Causes 

Before comparing and contrasting the two, it is critical to comprehend the delivery technique – smoking – and the harm it produces.

According to Psychology Today, smoking is a highly effective method of delivering the substances’ effects to the brain. In the case of cigarettes, the nicotine dose may be delivered to the brain almost instantaneously, resulting in a rapid neurological reaction. The same is true for any medication smoked – transport to the brain is fast, resulting in faster delivery of effects.

However, according to the American Lung Association, smoke is detrimental to the lungs regardless of its source. Smoke includes a variety of toxins and carcinogens, or cancer-causing compounds, that can cause long-term respiratory problems and contribute to the development of lung cancer.



Cigarettes are part of a billion-dollar business centered on tobacco, a plant that, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, is a popular and legal substance containing the psychoactive chemical nicotine.

Cigarettes and other types of tobacco use have been a part of the social culture for centuries, dating back to when Europeans first discovered the substance in the Americas. While tobacco, like alcohol, is limited in many locations based on age, it is not banned like many other psychoactive drugs. As a result, tobacco is the most widely used addictive substance in the United States and worldwide.



Marijuana is the most widely used illegal substance. While many states have authorized marijuana for medical purposes, and others have legalized it for recreational purposes, it is still classified as an illegal narcotic at the federal level in the US.

Nonetheless, there is a widespread belief that marijuana is as safe as – or even safer than – alcohol and cigarettes and that it should be legalized in the same way. It is thought to be medicinally effective for pain reduction as well as the treatment of mental diseases.

Research into marijuana’s therapeutic advantages is continuing, and some claims may have some truth. However, it is equally critical to understand the consequences and hazards of marijuana usage, especially if smoked.


 Tobacco and Marijuana Smokes: Some Similarities, Some Differences   

It is well-known that tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, of which around 70 are carcinogenic. This is why smoking is so harmful: you are inhaling toxic and carcinogenic chemicals every day, eventually leading to a decline in your health.

 The evidence supports the claim that marijuana and tobacco have a lot of similarities. However, there are also some differences. Both marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke contain high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. However, the levels in marijuana smoke are lower than in tobacco smoke. The users inhale and exhale the smoke, while the levels in marijuana smoke are higher in the “mainstream,” which rises from the end of the marijuana cigarette. Similar results can be seen for other chemicals: Some are more prevalent in marijuana smoke than others. At least 50 carcinogens found in tobacco smoke are also found in marijuana smoke. 

Burning plant matter can produce a lot of harmful chemicals regardless of origin. While there are differences between marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke, they are very similar.


 Health Risks 

Tobacco usage can result in lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Dopamine is released when marijuana is smoked, heightens sensory awareness, and affects one’s sense of balance. THC levels above a certain threshold can affect how you interpret information, which might lead to poor judgment. In terms of the respiratory system, smoking marijuana can induce lung inflammation and bronchitis if used excessively.


 Health Advantages 

Some believe tobacco may be a sedative, pain reliever, and antiseptic.

On the other hand, weed can aid with arthritis, migraine, endometriosis, and fibromyalgia discomfort. The CBD component of marijuana aids in the reduction of inflammation. Its soothing effect aids in treating sleep problems such as insomnia, and it is reported to be beneficial in treating some forms of epilepsy. Cannabis can promote appetite and lessen nausea and vomiting, making it beneficial for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.


 Key Takeaway 

The similarities between smoking tobacco and smoking marijuana make it clear that neither is safer than the other. Whether you’re still debating whether to smoke marijuana or cigarettes, one thing is sure: Anything in excess may harm your health.

That is why, if you want to experiment with marijuana, you should do it from a trustworthy source to ensure your experience is somewhat free of the risks and hazards of addiction and health-related issues. Although you must exercise caution to ensure you obtain the correct amount, boiling marijuana into edibles is the safest way to ingest it, eliminating any hazards to your lungs.



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