Alcohol vs. Cannabis.
Is cannabis the safer alternative to alcohol?
Alcohol has been around for centuries and heavily researched and investigated. New research is showing that cannabis is safer than alcohol but consumers are skeptical about this. Weed has only been legalized recreationally in Canada since October 17, 2018.
We know the risks associated with chronic alcohol use but what about cannabis use? Can a joint or edible be your new alternative to a glass of wine or a beer? Is it safe to combine weed and alcohol?
We will discuss the facts below.
Myth one, You can overdose on Cannabis and die.
It has been proven over and over again that you can fatally overdose on alcohol within a matter of moments.
"You can die binge-drinking five minutes after you've been exposed to alcohol. That isn't going to happen with marijuana," said Ruben Baler, a health scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "The impact of marijuana use is much subtler."
If you were to try to binge smoke yourself to death, you’d pass out and have a great sleep before you could even attempt such a feat. There are of course risks to everything and both have factors to how this will affect you. These factors include, how much you consume, the pace in which you consume, what you’re doing at the time, and who you’re with.
Cannabis consumption can trigger feelings of paranoia and give users a very unpleasant high. Just as when you over-consume alcohol and get sick. To this day, there are no reported deaths from cannabis use.
Myth two, Cannabis is more addictive than alcohol
This can go both ways depending on a variety of factors such as personal consumption and if you have a history of drug/ alcohol abuse. More than half of adults surveyed have tried cannabis at some point in their lives, but research suggested only a small percentage fit the criteria that can diagnose an addiction to the plant.
Whereas over 15% of individuals were diagnosed as addicted to alcohol. Everything can be addictive but if you use them in moderation and properly, you’re less likely to develop a dependence.
Myth three, Cannabis makes you gain weight, alcohol doesn’t.
This is false.
Whereas cannabis can give you the “munchies”, it also makes food temporarily taste better which can cause you to consume extra calories.
“ Despite eating over 600 extra calories when smoking, marijuana users don't - on the whole - have higher BMIs. In fact, studies suggest that regular smokers are actually at a slightly reduced risk of obesity.”
Alcohol has calories, the average glass of wine has 120 calories. A joint of cannabis has zero calories. SO yes, Alcohol will make you gain weight even though cannabis can increase your appetite.
Myth four, Cannabis can make you violent as alcohol does
Have you ever seen a person under the influence of just cannabis get angry? I personally haven’t but I have seen some intense rage outbursts from people under the influence of alcohol. According to a study done by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol is a contributing factor in over 40% of all violent crimes.
Cannabis has not been linked to any domestic violence to this day. Actually according to a study marijuana users are significantly less likely to commit an act of violence against a partner than those who did not use cannabis.
Myth five, Combining Cannabis and alcohol is a good way to increase your high.
Yes, drinking before you smoke can increase your high or make your night a living hell. It all depends on how your body tolerates the combination of both. Seasoned users may have zero issues, but other consumers may face such symptoms as,
This can quickly change a fun night out, to a night spent in the bathroom questioning your existence.
There isn’t enough research yet to give us a full insight into the science behind the interaction between alcohol and cannabis. It is hard to say if there are any major health risks when combining the two, so to be on the cautious side Listen to your body and go low and slow when combining alcohol and cannabis.
How to handle a bad reaction to mixing alcohol and cannabis.
You’ve probably heard of the term “ Green out”. You may have experienced this unpleasant sensation that can happen when you over-consume cannabis or add alcohol to the mixture.
The signs of “greening out” are.
Rapid heart rate
Nausea and vomiting
When you’re experiencing this, there are ways to counteract the high and help come down. A few options for this are,
Staying hydrated and drinking water. Both marijuana and alcohol can leave you feeling dehydrated. Adding lemon to your water can also be beneficial as it’s been scientifically proven that lemons contain a chemical compound that can decrease the effects of THC on the brain. Remaining calm is a huge factor in helping bring down your high.
Find a safe and quiet area to sit or lie down. Go outside and take deep breaths of fresh air to help restore the oxygen flow to your brain. Have a friend who’s coherent and can help you remain calm and to talk you through this. The effects will eventually wear off and you will be okay!
IS cannabis the safer choice, from a fact-based standpoint, yes it is.
There are no known deaths from the overconsumption of strictly cannabis use. Cannabis users are less likely to be violent or cause domestic violence in the home. Cannabis can be addictive if you let it overwhelm your life but science shows us how alcohol is far more addictive. Cannabis has no calories when you smoke or vape it, whereas most alcohol has an average of 100 calories per drink and when you mix it with sugar-based mixes you increase the overall calories.
When consuming weed and alcohol remember to know your limits and don’t overdo it. If you feel you cannot control yourself, stick to just cannabis. Many people have completely given up alcohol and switched to recreational cannabis use, especially since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada. As cannabis becomes more destigmatized the more people are putting away the wine glasses and enjoying a relaxing evening joint. You get a great sleep with no hangover!