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Why Cannabis is Safer (and Better) Than Alcohol

Why Cannabis is Safer (and Better) Than Alcohol

By Lisa Mortown

If you were to buy into anti-cannabis propaganda, you’d be forgiven for thinking that weed really was the devil’s vegetable. Even now, campaigners all over the place would have you believe cannabis is just about as deadly as it gets.

Most of whom (ironically) are pouring a far more dangerous substance down their necks on a regular basis.

Public health groups in general are not what you’d call dedicated supporters of alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, alcohol doesn’t attract nearly as much attention in anti-drug camps as cannabis. Which is weird, when you consider which of the two poses a bigger threat to human health.

With weed, marketing and advertising in the conventional sense is out of the question. With booze, you simply need to print “Enjoy Responsibly” in tiny letters at the bottom of an ad to comply with regulations.

A pretty odd approach to the whole thing, when you consider the following reasons why cannabis is safer (and frankly better) than alcohol could ever be:

1. Alcohol is a relentless killer
It’s a pretty stark reality to face, but alcohol is nonetheless blamed for at least three million early deaths worldwide each year. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a single recorded fatality in human history due to consumption or over-consumption of cannabis. Zero. Not a single one. Considering the annual death toll alcohol chalks up, it’s borderline ludicrous that it’s subject to such liberal marketing and sales policies. Especially when you consider the restrictions that apply to cannabis.

2. Risk of overdose
To ‘overdose’ on cannabis is to set yourself up for a prolonged and perhaps unpleasant high. After a few hours, however, you’re back on the ground with little more than a hazy memory. Alcohol, on the other hand, brings an entirely different overdose risk into the equation. Not only are approximately 50,000 people in the US hospitalised with alcohol poisoning each year, but the CDC reports that at least six people day EVERY DAY from overconsumption of alcohol. Research suggests it’s physically impossible to consume enough cannabis in one sitting to kill yourself. By contrast, an hour or two on the bottle is enough to seal your fate.

3. Elevated disease risk
Smoking too much cannabis can have an adverse effect on the health of your lungs, airways and so on. This is an accepted fact and one that applies to inhalation of smoke of any kind. But when it comes to chronic illness and potentially fatal disease, research puts cannabis use predominantly in the clear.With alcohol, heavy and prolonged consumption can increase a person’s risk of developing any number of hideous diseases. A few examples of which include liver cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, epilepsy, ischaemic heart disease and many more besides. The heavier and more prolonged the consumption, the higher the risk you face.

4. Injury and violence
The prospect of causing trouble or committing a violent crime after consuming cannabis is practically unthinkable for most people. In fact, there’s probably nothing in the world you’d rather do less. It’s a different story with alcohol, which is blamed for an astonishing proportion of injuries and violent incidents.In fact, a report published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that around 21% of all injuries are connected with alcohol use, while 36% of hospitalisations involving assault are attributed to alcohol.

5. Potential therapeutic applications
To date, not a single confirmed therapeutic benefit has been associated with alcohol consumption. Precisely why no doctor in the civilised world has written a prescription for booze in the last 200 years or so. Some theorise that moderate and controlled or alcohol consumption can be beneficial in some ways, but there’s zero scientific proof to support such theories. By contrast, medical cannabis is right now being prescribed on a daily basis by thousands of responsible physicians worldwide. With each study carried out, the therapeutic properties of cannabis are becoming more and more apparent. Medical cannabis is even being prescribed as an alternative to conventional pharmaceuticals, providing similar effectiveness while eliminating dangerous side effects.

6. Risk of addiction
Is it possible to become addicted to cannabis? The short answer is yes, given how it’s there are technically possible to become addicted to anything in the world. Nevertheless, cannabis addiction (or dependency) isn’t in the same league as alcoholism when it comes to both the risk of addiction and the associated consequences. Alcohol is regarded as one of the most dangerously addictive substances on the face of the earth – cannabis isn’t even considered an addictive substance in the conventional sense.

7. Depression and anxiety
Consumption of alcohol (particularly where heavy and prolonged) has been associated with the onset of depression and anxiety. While alcohol is routinely used by depression and anxiety patients in search of temporary relief, its consumption only makes things worse long-term. An unfortunate cycle that often leads to dependency or addiction. Increasingly, cannabis is being both used and prescribed as a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of anxiety and depression. All with none of the associated risks or side effects of alcohol consumption. Some doctors remain reluctant to prescribe cannabis for depression and anxiety, but there’s overwhelming anecdotal evidence to support its unique effectiveness.

8. Obesity risk
Last but not least, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the quintessential ‘lazy stoner’ would be at far greater risk of obesity than those who abstain. In reality, research suggests that cannabis users are statistically less likely to become overweight or obese than their counterparts. Even when bringing regular bouts of the munchies into the equation, regular cannabis users tend to have a significantly lower BMI. With alcohol, it’s the exact opposite. Pound for pound, alcohol is one of the most dangerously caloric substances you’ll even consume. It’s also associated with a slower metabolism, reduced energy levels and sedentary lifestyles. Hence, the direct correlation between alcohol consumption levels and a person’s likelihood of becoming overweight or obese.

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