Cannabis safer for the brain than booze - study

If you can't decide between whether to get high or drunk, maybe this'll help.

A new study has found alcohol is far more damaging than cannabis, at least when it comes to brain matter.

Researchers from the University of Colorado examined the drinking and smoking habit of 853 adults and 439 teenagers, and compared the amount of gray and white matter in their brains.  

They found adults who drink have less matter than those who don't, particularly those who have been drinking chronically for years.

In contrast, no link between cannabis consumption and a reduction in brain matter was found at all.

"While marijuana may also have some negative consequences, it definitely is nowhere near the negative consequences of alcohol," study co-author told Kent Hutchison told Medical News Today.

He said previous research showing links between reduced brain matter and cannabis use was inconclusive.

"When you look at these studies going back years, you see that one study will report that marijuana use is related to a reduction in the volume of the hippocampus. The next study then comes around, and they say that marijuana use is related to changes in the cerebellum…

"The point is that there's no consistency across all of these studies in terms of the actual brain structures."

The findings were published in medical journal Addiction.

While it might not harm the brain's physical structure, cannabis abuse has been linked to mental health disorders.