A 2015 research found that 70% of people who smoke pot also smoke tobacco. Is taking these two together as harmful as consuming cannabis and alcohol at once? More research needs to be conducted to find which is the worse combination. However, clearly neither is a good idea.
It is not known exactly why people do both the drugs, marijuana and tobacco, at once. However, the practice is common. It is believed that people smoke weed and tobacco simultaneously for experiencing a better high. When taken together the sedative and psychoactive effects are stronger.
Spliffs and Blunts – What Are These?
There are several many delivery modes that people use for doing both tobacco and weed at once. Two particularly common ones are spliffs and blunts. Spliffs involve rolling tobacco in a joint. Then there are blunts which comprise of cannabis flower taken by placing it in a tobacco leaf or cigar wrap.
The quantity of each drug people use depends on their personal preference. Both ways are harmful for health as the mixing of nicotine and THC comes with health risks. Yet people do both these drugs at once because of the rush of endorphins that kicks in. That said, let’s take a look at some of the effects of mixing weed and tobacco:
1 – They result in an inverse effect on the relation between memory and hippocampus size
For people who do not use cannabis and tobacco at once, a shrinkage of the hippocampus shares a link with poor memory functioning. However, people who take these two drugs simultaneously have an inverse effect. This means that a shrinkage in the size of their hippocampus is associated to better memory functionality.
The takeaway? While cannabis impairs memory when used on its own, the addition of tobacco reduces memory impairment. Know that this is just a single short-term benefit which stands against several drawbacks.
2 – They increase cardiovascular risk
Cannabis and tobacco together may pose negative impacts on the health of your heart. The same UCL study that found the combination could better memory also talked about its effect on the cardiovascular system. It said that weed and tobacco together could moderately up blood pressure while significantly increasing heart rate.
3 – They increase use of each drug in young adults
A survey that the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors journal published found that young adults who mixed nicotine and weed tended to consume more of both. They also exhibited more problematic behavior along with poor functioning. Scientists found that co-use was worse than using one drug after the other with higher risk of physical health problems as well.
4 – They make quitting one of them at once worse
A study found that for users of the drugs who did both together, quitting one at a time was not a favorable approach. This is because doing one drug while trying to quit the other worsened withdrawal symptoms. Co-users had better luck quitting both at once. Since withdrawal symptoms of both the drugs are similar, expect them to be worse if both are done together.
5 – They can worsen lung health
Smoking marijuana and tobacco have similar effects on lungs as well. From coughs to bronchitis to lung cancer, your lungs are likely to suffer at the hands of the combination.