People who smoke weed are less likely to suffer from cancer, heart disease, and even diabetes than smokers who smoke regular cigarettes, according to a new study published in the journal Tobacco Control.
The study is the first to suggest that marijuana may also be less harmful to the brain than tobacco.
The new study, led by a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia and published in The Lancet, found that people who smoke pot are also less likely than people who do not smoke to have a negative health impact on their lives.
Marijuana use and brain functionThe researchers analyzed data from nearly 5,000 people who had used marijuana at least once in their lives and who were tracked for a decade.
The researchers found that cannabis users were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and dementia than people not using marijuana.
They also found that marijuana users were less likely, on average, to suffer brain damage from brain injuries or cancer.
The findings, however, did not prove that marijuana use causes the brain damage, said lead author Shai Agarwal, a professor of psychiatry at the University’s School of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
“There are a lot of studies that show the brain changes associated with cannabis use,” he said.
“These are not just a few studies.”
The researchers also found marijuana use did not appear to increase the risk of depression, and there were no significant differences in the prevalence of depression or anxiety between the marijuana-using and non-using groups.
They did, however , find that people in the marijuana use group tended to report higher rates of anxiety and depression.
What’s more, marijuana use didn’t seem to increase depression rates in the general population.
The marijuana users reported being less likely at least in part because of the risk factors that led them to use marijuana in the first place.
“This study shows that marijuana is not the panacea we thought it was,” said Agarwin, who is also a researcher at the National Cancer Institute.
“Marijuana is a drug that affects a lot more people than we previously thought.”
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and by the Canadian Cancer Society.