Between the two, would you say that consuming marijuana or drinking alcohol was the most dangerous? Nearly 70% of Americans say that booze is more damaging than smoking marijuana, according to a 2015 study, and from what we’ve learned since, they were most likely correct.
Marijuana legalization is spreading, and since we generally know the dangers of drinking alcohol, we should certainly know how weed measures up to it so we can make better choices.
1. Addiction to alcohol, dependence on cannabis
Alcohol is notoriously addictive, while marijuana is not. That’s not to say that a person can’t become dependant on using it over time, but the number of cannabis dependants remains lower at 9% than the 15% of drinkers who will become addicted to alcohol.
2. Impact on heart health
Drinking alcohol in moderation is said to slightly increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol, but too much could raise one’s blood pressure and increase their chance of having a stroke.
The literature on how cannabis affects the heart is inconclusive at best, indicating an area that requires more research.
3. Impact on cancer development and treatment
According to the American Cancer Society, the cannabinoids in marijuana may be used to combat nausea and vomiting from cancer treatment and increase appetite for patients with HIV. And research is being conducted into the possibility of using cannabis to defeat the growth of cancer tumors. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence is stacking up against alcohol as a carcinogen, leading to cancers of the esophagus, head, neck, liver, breasts and colon.
4. Bonus reasons why cannabis is the better choice over alcohol
It’s incredibly dangerous to drive under the influence of either substance—alcohol and marijuana—but if you consider that switching from alcohol to calorie-free cannabis could also help you lose weight, the choice becomes a lot clearer.