Throughout the world there are literally millions of cannabis users and many mix tobacco with the cannabis for numerous “reasons” some people believe the tobacco enhances the high (it doesn’t) a study performed at the Centre of Brain Health in Dallas Texas discovered that using cannabis and nicotine on separate occasions has a different effect on the brain compared to when the substances are used together. Most of the research we have today has been performed on exclusive use and not simultaneous use, the studies “say” that consumption of cannabis and tobacco on separate occasions leads to shrinkage of The hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. As a result you are gradually impairing you’re memory over time.
This new study shows a surprising effect when mixing cannabis and tobacco simultaneously. The findings were published in Behavioural Brain Research and it sheds new light on how this practice affects our brain.
The practice of mixing tobacco with cannabis is a mainly European thing and appx 70% of cannabis users do so. Our findings exemplify why the effects of cannabis on the brain may not generalise to the vast majority of cannabis using population because most studies don’t take into account the simultaneous use of tobacco. This study is one of the first to tease apart the unique effects on the brain from each substance but also the combined effects states Francesca Fibley, lead researcher and director of cognitive neuroscience of addictive behaviours at the Centre of Brain Health.
Fibley and her team conducted tests by scanning the brains of people who were divided into four test groups, people who smoke only cannabis, people who smoke only tobacco, people who smoke both substances together and none smokers. The objective was to analyse how the neuro connectivity activity compared between each group. The results showed that people whom consume cannabis or tobacco alone suffered decreased neuroconectivity compared to those that smoke nothing at all. An interesting result shows that people whom use tobacco and cannabis simultaneously had much higher neuro- connectivity, which means that it helps increase the learning and memory function on the brain.
An older study performed at the University college of London found similar results, but they found that although mixing tobacco with cannabis may be good for the brain it has damaging effects on the heart.