13 reasons marijuana is better than alcohol
When it comes to weed, I’m considered a late bloomer. I hadn’t tried pot until my last years in college when I made the decision to ditch alcohol for marijuana.
Back then, I would always get in trouble when drinking alcohol. It would entail anything from picking up massive fights with my roommate to battling headache inducing hangovers and it became clear that alcohol wasn’t just the right stimulant for me. Before long, I found myself picking weed over alcohol every time I had a chance to make the choice.
Just like me, there are many other people who have ditched alcohol completely after having tried weed. In 1977, a study found that 24% of Americans said they had smoked weed at least once in their lives. In 2013, that number had grown significantly as 38% of Americans said they used weed once a month. The industry is growing fast and some misconceptions and myths are getting busted.
For instance, we were taught that weed was a gateway drug, which has since proven to be untrue. According to the National Academy’s Institute of Medicine, there’s no conclusive evidence that links the effects of weed on the subsequent abuse of another drug.
In his book titled “Weed”, David Schmader says that the American population is increasingly refusing to believe lies fronted by the government about the dangers of weed and the ignorance of its benefits. Schmader says that since alcohol is legal and easily accessible, weed too should be available for all of age (as it is now in Canada).
“Weed is reliable and its effects are durable,” he said, adding that he has many reasons to choose weed over alcohol. When you consider the many benefits of weed, including lack of hangovers, it’s easy to see why it comes out on top.
Here are the main advantages of weed over alcohol:
1) Weed doesn’t give you a nasty hangover
With booze, Schmader says, you’re either getting more drunk or sobering up. He says that the sobering phase affects us the most because it gives you nasty hangovers that are coupled with stinging headaches, nausea and unquenchable thirst. With weed, you don’t get the hangover or the horrible side effects that go with it. Although some stoners have claimed to experience a hangover after smoking weed, it’s definitely not as bad as that of alcohol.
2) It’s not harming your liver
There’s no denying it: Alcohol harms your liver. When you drink alcohol, your liver struggles to break down the complex substances in the alcohol, and continued alcohol usage opens the door for all types of liver diseases, including liver cirrhosis. Weed will never harm your liver. However, smoking weed can be harmful to your lungs. The good news is that you can always opt for other weed consumption methods to stay avoid this and stay healthy.
3) Light to moderate use doesn’t increase your risk for cancer
Alcohol is not only bad for your liver, but can also increase the risk of getting the following cancers; liver, esophagus, breast, mouth, and stomach. However, on a ‘per puff’ basis, it’s worth noting that smoking weed has more carcinogens than that of cigarettes. It has three times more tar and five times more carbon monoxide. However, a 2013 study by the University of Los Angeles revealed that there was no risk of contracting cancer if you consume weed lightly or moderately. Although it’s not good for your lungs, smoking pot lightly is considered not to raise your chances of getting lung cancer according to experts. If anything, it neutralizes all the risks of getting Lung diseases when you choose other delivery methods than that of smoking.
4) You can’t fatally overdose on weed
According to the National Cancer Institute, the act of binge drinking alcohol can kill you. Reuben Baler from the National Institute on Drug Abuse agrees. “When you go binge drinking, you can die within five minutes. This can never happen with weed,” says the health scientist. Experts say that cannabinoid receptors aren’t found in the brain stem cells for respiration, meaning you’ll never die from overconsumption of Cannabis. Furthermore, no one has ever died after consuming weed until this day.
5) It won’t give you the “Asian Glow”
Commonly known as alcohol flush, the so-called Asian glow affects people with ALDH2 deficiency. The ALDH2 enzyme breaks down acetaldehyde in alcohol. Asian Glow is so prevalent in East Asia that 80% of people from this part of the world seem to experience it. Most people of Jewish descent are also known to have Asian glow. Anyone who has it knows how embarrassing it can get when you get a pink flush after gulping just a single glass of wine. The problem with Asian Glow is that it still gives you a splitting headache as well as all the other side effects from alcohol.
6) It barely lands you in angry or violent situations
I never get into angry or violent situations when I’m stoned. The most violent situations I have experienced can all be traced back to my days of extensive alcohol drinking. Schmader agrees. “Weed never changes my outward demeanour in the same way alcohol does,” he said. According to alcohol addiction experts, alcoholics are more troublesome at home. They are likely to be unfaithful and violent and most of them also struggle with their finances. Between 46 and 60% of women in abusive relationships were married to heavy drinkers, according to research. A study published in 2011 in the journal “Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research” shows that 36% of assault cases and 26% of injuries were linked to alcoholism. However, a survey in Cosmopolitan found that women who consumed weed felt more satisfied in their relationships than those who didn’t.
7) It doesn’t tend to encourage high-risk behaviour
An American Journal on emergency medicine research found that lifelong marijuana users were less likely to be admitted to a hospital. In terms of car accidents, the National Highway and Transport Safety reports that there’s no discernible difference between pot users and alcohol consumers. The journal, however, noted that an alcoholic was more likely to get into a crash than pot users. This matched with research from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. The organization’s senior research scientist, Eduardo Romano, said that weed consumption doesn’t lead to car crashes. However, it’s a good idea not to drive when stoned.
8) It can be used medicinally
Weed has been used as medicine for thousands of years before it was included in Schedule 1 of drugs. Schmader says that pot has been used for centuries as a palliative drug for alleviating pain. It’s now being used to treat pain for many kinds of diseases incl. AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis as well as many others. Unlike pot, alcohol has never been used to treat any disease.
9) There are just so many ways to enjoy it
For alcohol, you can only drink it, no two ways about it. With weed, there are many methods of consumption to choose from. Schmader’s book talks of three main ways of consuming weed, namely inhalation, topical application and oral ingestion. Under inhalation, you have options like smoking and vaporizing. In case you opt for ingestion, you can make THC-infused edibles, cannabis teas or capsules. The topical application involves the use of topicals and tinctures that you rub on your skin.
10) It can stimulate creativity
So many musicians, including Lady Gaga and Rihanna, have gone on record to admit that they use pot. Indeed, studies show that moderate use of weed can stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus, responsible for maintaining an alert and sharp mind. Researchers from Tel Aviv University found that any amount of THC preserves brain cells to maintain their cognitive function. Schmader also admits that he gets creative after consuming pot. However, some stray studies have gone on to prove that alcohol stimulates creativity. One of these is the study by Illinois University that claimed that intoxicated men were more insightful than sober people when it came to solving problems. A Harvard psychologist and author of the book “The Midnight Disease”, however, says that alcohol inhibits brain activity.
11) It always relieves stress and anxiety
The University of Calgary and Rockefeller University conducted a study that shows that weed has positive effects that help us cope with pain. The journal “Trends in Pharmacological Sciences” shows that most people admitted to using weed because of its ability to relieve stress, anxiety and tension. According to studies, 13% of alcoholics drink to ease stress. However, it’s important to note you can’t rely on alcohol to alleviate stress since you might end up nursing an addiction. It’s worth noting that regular weed users with pre-existing psychiatric conditions experience more anxiety, more so those with schizophrenia. Yet again, other studies show that depressed teenage girls are more likely to reach out for weed and that it could battle depression into their adult years.
12) It makes food and sex better
Our olfactory system is responsible for the sense of smell and taste. While alcohol dulls it, weed stimulates it, turning our experience with good food and music into something magical. Schmader says that weed also improves sex. While alcohol smoothed the road to intimacy but spoils the real final experience, weed makes us enjoy sex better. Alcohol makes 70% of its users experience premature ejaculation. A study also shows that 60% of STDs are transmitted when alcohol is involved in the act.
13) It could make your menstrual cramps better
Most menstruating women would agree that alcohol only worsens their cramp pains. Those who take weed during their menstrual cycles tend to experience less pain, as weed is a pain reliever. In fact, it’s been used for centuries to treat menstrual cramps. In 1842, Dr. William O’Shaughnessy administered weed to PMS patients to relieve their pain. She is credited for introducing weed into mainstream medicine. In the 1890s, Queen Victoria used it to ease her pain.