When we think about marijuana and alcohol, we think of parties and having fun. Our ancestors had a close relationship with alcohol, while cannabis was possibly among the first plants that were cultivated intentionally. However, modern laws have drawn a line between the two.
According to statistics, there are 88,000 alcohol-related deaths every year, with men accounting for 76% of them. It’s no wonder that 25% of people believe that alcohol is worse than cannabis.
In general terms, marijuana brings less risk than alcohol, but the truth remains that the abuse of both marijuana and alcohol can be dangerous. The difference between the two is in the way they are metabolized in the body. People can die when binge drinking, which is not the case with cannabis. Another issue with alcohol is that it can interact with other drugs in the system and alter their bloodstream levels.
Long-term effects of alcohol abuse cause damage to the following organs:
Long-term effects of marijuana abuse are more societal, such as poor academic results, lower life satisfaction, relationship problems, and increased welfare dependence. Nevertheless, marijuana affects the cardiovascular system, increases blood pressure and heart rate, but there’s no possibility of fatal overdose.
Medical Marijuana for Symptom Management
Recent generations have witnessed a shift in how society perceives marijuana, especially the medical one. According to 2020 statistics, the retail sales of medical marijuana are expected to grow to $7.3 billion by 2022. These numbers only confirm the importance of medical marijuana, which is used to make the symptoms of diseases and treatments milder. For example, 49% of cancer patients stated that medical marijuana helped them alleviate symptoms, while only 6% reported the opposite.
Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Consumption
There are also some benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. These include reduced risk of heart disease-related deaths, ischemic stroke, and, possibly, diabetes. Some other benefits include the decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s important to note that moderate consumption is considered to be four alcoholic drinks for men and three for women in a single day. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of regular beer with 5% alcohol content or five ounces of table wine with about 12% alcohol content.
Both marijuana and alcohol can be harmful to any individual. To answer the question of which one is worse, we can only read what statistics tell us since there’s still a lack of research on marijuana and its effects.