Weed Vs Cigarettes: Which One Is Worse

Have you ever wondered whether it’s worse to smoke tobacco or cannabis? Some people say that cannabis is worse for you, while others claim that cigarettes are the true villains.

Which one is worse? Let’s look at both drugs and see which comes out on top.

Cigarettes and Marijuana

First, we will look at what each of them contains. That way, we can identify the nasty substances found in each.  

A cigarette laying on a weed leaf.


Cigarettes contain tobacco leaves and various other additives rolled together using different methods. First, manufacturers blend these ingredients into a homogenous mixture of brown powder.

They combine pure nicotine with this mixture and roll it inside paper tubes. Then they add more chemicals to help preserve the mixture, enhance flavor and accelerate its effects on your body once you inhale it. 

They put filters on the cigarettes, so you don’t choke when you smoke them and block some of the harmful chemicals it contains. Unfortunately, when you smoke cigarettes containing nicotine, an addiction is formed almost instantly after your first puff. 


Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, including THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). THC binds with receptors present all over your brain meant for other chemicals, such as Anandamide. This binding causes changes in how these neurons work, which alters moods, interpretations of sensations, and emotions. It also interferes with reflexes as well as motor coordination.

Studies show that long-term smoking of cannabis can cause severe damage to your body, but is it worse than cigarettes? Let’s take a look at the effects of these drugs next.

The Side Effects Of Smoking

Knowing what these two drugs contain allows us to inspect the effects of each further. 


When your body absorbs the chemicals, heat, and malformed tobacco found in cigarettes, it harms your health. These addictive substances are responsible for causing cancer, lung diseases, heart disease, blood clots, and respiratory problems.

Smokers lungs illustrated by cauliflower and cigarette buds

Cigarette smoke contains a substance called carbon monoxide, which causes the level of oxygen in your blood to drop. It can also cause or worsen heart and lung diseases, including heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Research shows that smoking marijuana doesn’t have as severe effects as cigarettes since it lacks nicotine and other harmful additives. However, long-term use may result in bronchitis.

In addition to this, people who smoke weed daily for several years might experience respiratory issues such as a daily cough and excess phlegm production. Weed contains higher levels of ammonia, which irritates the lungs.

Combining weed with tobacco

A cigarette that has tobacco and weed in it.

Combining weed with tobacco in a joint is worse than smoking weed alone. Because tobacco contains substances that speed up how quickly THC enters your bloodstream and affects your body.

Physical and Mental Health Issues

Finally, we will be looking at the other physical and mental health issues caused by smoking these drugs. 


Smoking cigarettes can cause nausea and vomiting. In addition, the chemicals in cigarettes can irritate your esophagus and stomach, which may lead to cancer, heartburn, ulcers, or even gastrointestinal bleeding.

What’s more is that contrary to popular belief, smoking tobacco increases anxiety and stress. Nicotine causes instant relaxation, but it is temporary and quickly gives way to problems such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

Skeleton hand with cigarette and a live one with a tube


The smoke from marijuana contains many toxins, similar to tobacco smoke, so when you inhale them, they can cause lung problems, including bronchitis and emphysema. This progressive disease results in the loss of lung function.

Studies show that chronic smoking can lead to mental health issues such as cognitive impairment, mood disorders, anxiety, and schizophrenia. It is especially true in young people who are still in their teens since early exposure tends to have a lasting impact on brain development.

Alternatives To Smoking

If you are a smoker, you might have considered quitting at some point. Luckily there are plenty of options for those who want to quit smoking cigarettes or weed.

For smokers of cigarettes, vaping is a great way to get the satisfaction of smoking without all of the health risks of inhaling smoke. Vaping does come with a list of problems but could be less dangerous than tobacco.

Similarly, if marijuana makes your throat dry, you can try consuming it in tea for similar satisfaction without the adverse effects on your body. Alternatively, one can opt to do edibles which is when you infuse marijuana into foods or drinks. It has known to be more effective because eating weed gives a more relaxed high than the energetic one as smoking does.

A table with cannabis chocolate and cookies on it.

Tips To Help You Quit Smoking

Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) like deodorant sticks, skin patches, inhalers, tablets, sprays, and non-nicotine medications may help to ease cravings so you can quit smoking for good. If you find yourself struggling with the desire to light up again after quitting, consider switching to vaporizers instead. It will minimize lung damage over time.

A person putting out his cigarette

Here are some tips for people who want to quit smoking:

  • Try replacing your habit with something else like exercising more often.
  • Get rid of all your smoking paraphernalia.
  • Stay busy throughout the day since having idle time increases the chance that you will think about lighting up again and give in to temptation.
  • Talk to your friends or loved ones about how you are trying to quit so they can help keep you accountable. Having someone depend on you will help remind you why quitting is vital in the first place.

Cigarettes are one of the most harmful substances to our bodies today due to how addictive nicotine is, and marijuana can be just as bad when overused.

Which one is worse?

So, weed vs. cigarettes, which is worse? Both are harmful to you to a certain extent. However, while one may be more dangerous than the other, it can vary from person to person depending on their genetics, mental health history, and amount of consumption.

If one had to come out on top, cannabis would be the healthier choice. However, smoking is dangerous, so consider alternative consumption methods. 

If you want to learn more about cannabis, look into joining one of our online courses. You can also find more interesting facts on our blog