One of the most on-going criticisms thrown in the face of those who support cannabis legalization is that of marijuana apparently being an incredibly ‘dangerous and addictive’ drug.
Despite the fact that extensive scientific research has shown that cannabis is neither dangerous nor addictive, it still remains one of the primary bargaining chips among those who would prefer it to remain outlawed. One of the problems when it comes to the idea of cannabis addiction is the way in which so many people are unable to draw the line between addiction and dependency. Not only this, but they also assume that anyone with a heavy cannabis habit must be dependent.
In reality however, it might just be that they love the stuff – control over their actions never coming into the equation.
As for tobacco on the other hand…well, it’s no secret that this happens to be one of the most dangerous, addictive and deadly substances on the face of the Earth – it also happens to be 100% legal. Which is why it’s hardly surprising to learn that according to the results of a recent study carried out in the United Kingdom, cannabis smokers who roll joints that also contain tobacco are much more likely to develop dependencies than those who smoke pure cannabis without tobacco.
As far as this particular study suggests therefore, it’s time to do away with the tobacco entirely and focus on pure cannabis. Not that this is exactly how the researchers put it themselves, but still…it’s a pretty clear message!
Despite the fact that the conclusion to the study was one any of us could have guessed ahead of time, it was nonetheless said to be the first ever to look at the use of pure cannabis in comparison to the use of cannabis mixed with tobacco.
“Cannabis is less addictive than tobacco, but we show here that mixing tobacco with cannabis lowers the motivation to quit using these drugs,” said Chandni Hindocha, doctoral student at the clinical psychopharmacology unit of University College London.
In order to see how personal approaches to cannabis use affected apparent dependencies or the symptoms thereof, the research team took into account data collected from over 33,000 marijuana users spanning 18 countries.
The results were pretty conclusive – those who smoke cannabis but do not mix it with tobacco are considerably less likely to show any signs of dependency whatsoever.
It was also found that the practice of mixing cannabis with tobacco was particularly popular across Europe – between 77% and 90% of all cannabis users adding tobacco to their cannabis, depending on the country. Interestingly, this plummeted to little more than 50% of cannabis users in Australia, falling further to just 20% in New Zealand. Right at the bottom of the ladder in terms of tobacco use came the United States, where just 4.4% of cannabis smokers said they mixed the two together. Over the border in Canada, around 16% of cannabis users said that they mix marijuana with tobacco on a regular basis.
On the whole, it was noted that those who mix tobacco with cannabis are approximately five-times more likely to show signs of dependency than those who smoke pure cannabis alone. Coupled with extensive evidence to suggest that cannabis smoke is exponentially less harmful than tobacco smoke, it really adds up to something of a no-brainer.
Tobacco may represent a cheap and easy option for making cannabis go as far as possible, but given the downsides of ‘polluting’ joints with anything other than marijuana, it’s the kind of habit most could probably do with getting out of!