Alcohol has long been the main go-to for adults looking for a way to heighten social events, take the edge off, or as a nightcap before bed — but, have you taken the time to consider just how damaging it could be? Why not have a fridge full of cannabis drinks instead?
Alcohol and Cannabis Comparison Chart
Alcohol has a higher risk of injury than cannabis
We’ve all witnessed someone get a little too brave after a drink and attempt a not-so-thought-out stunt, so it comes with no surprise that alcohol can be dangerous. However, when compared to cannabis, smoking that ganja is far safer. According to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report, alcohol represents 45.1% of all substance use-related emergency room visits, far higher than any other substance they surveyed.
Alcohol comes with a much greater risk to fatal overdoses
In a report by American Scientist, alcohol came out as one of the most toxic substances available, more lethal than cocaine. Meanwhile, cannabis is reported as one of the least toxic substances. Alcohol poisoning contributes to over 1,000 deaths a year and cannabis has never once been linked to a fatal overdose.
Total alcohol related deaths are even higher
30,000 alcohol related deaths a year are reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has made no connection to cannabis health effects related to deaths.
Brain damage caused by alcohol, not cannabis
Reported by Medical News Today, cannabis use “appeared to have no impact on the structure of gray or white matter in either teenagers or adults. It has been known for decades that alcohol causes brain damage.
Alcohol linked to cancer, while cannabis is not
Alcohol is more addictive than cannabis
According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic, alcohol has a lifetime dependence risk of 15% of consumers, just behind cocaine at 17%. Cannabis, on the other hand, is only at 9% and dependence looks much different, as reports of cannabis dependence are more psychological than chemical as with heavier substances.
Health related expenses of alcohol are over eight times that of cannabis
All of the health related issues that are associated with alcohol add up. A comparison by the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal found that, on average, alcohol consumers pay $165 a year in health related expenses as opposed to only $20 from cannabis users.
Alcohol contributes to aggression
The Journal of Addictive Behavior reports that alcohol has the most evidence to support a direct intoxication-to-violence relationship and that cannabis actually reduces the likelihood of violence.
Higher likelihood of domestic abuse contributed to alcohol
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network states that alcohol is the most commonly associated substance in crimes involving sexual assault amongst many others — cannabis is not even mentioned in the report.
Alcohol is a major factor in violent crimes
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that alcohol is involved in 25-30% of all violent crimes in the United States — that’s millions of incidents. In contrast, cannabis is not even tracked as a factor.
“When I quit every substance except weed and psychedelics, I could still party and expand my mind, but without the selfishness and addiction.”
Michelle Lhooq – Writer for Vice
Just like Lhooq, who coined the term “California Sober” in 2019, many of us are putting down the bottle and are picking up the bong. Our time we spend healing, relaxing, or partying haven’t skipped a beat, but our bodies and minds and those around us are increasingly grateful.
Are you ready to turn a new leaf?