For many decades, there has been a debate about which is more harmful: alcohol or marijuana. Cannabis lovers believe that banning harmless cannabis while deadly spirits are legalized and promoted by popular culture is sheer hypocrisy. There is a version that alcohol producers are deliberately conducting propaganda against cannabis in order to monopolize the market for relaxing products. Let’s make a comparison of marijuana and alcohol and understand whether the accusations of both parties are justified or not. This article was written based on research from Business Insider, High Times and other organizations.
“Alcohol kills people more often than bumps”
According to statistics for 2014, about 30,000 people living in America died from alcohol consumption. If we take into account murders and road accidents, then in 2014 more than 90 thousand Americans died from alcoholic beverages. By the way, not a single person has died from cannabis use this year. On average, about two and a half million people die from alcohol worldwide every year. According to other studies, over 16 years of using marijuana, 65,000 people did not feel worse, their health is no different from the health of an ordinary resident of the United States who has never tried cannabis.
In this case, the substances act as adversaries: one destroys brain cells, disrupts their structure, while the other tries to help prevent brain damage and even restore already damaged cells. Obviously, the first substance is alcohol, and the second is marijuana. This means that it is not the hemp cones themselves that heal the body, but the medications made on the basis of hemp.
According to social surveys, almost half of the respondents have tried marijuana at least once in their life, which makes it one of the most common illegal substances. A 1994 study found that only 9 percent of people were addicted to cannabis, and 15 percent were addicted to alcohol. To make it easier to compare the results, here are the statistics of dependence on hard drugs: 17% – cocaine, 23% – heroin. Of course, for a quarter of a century, the results of scientific work could become outdated, but until other studies have been carried out, one has to turn to these data.
Alcohol causes cancer – that’s a fact. Carcinogenic substances, which are alcoholic beverages, contribute to the development of cancer of the breast, liver and gastrointestinal tract. In 2009, nearly 20,000 American deceased cancer patients consumed excessive alcohol, which led to the development of the disease. Hemp, on the other hand, has medicinal properties that help treat cancer and inhibit the development of cancer cells. An interesting fact is that even regular cigarettes are more harmful than cannabis. This phenomenon is now widely studied in Western Europe and America.
An increased concentration of THC in a person’s blood does not increase the risk of being involved in a traffic accident, but alcohol does. It can be said that in this case cannabis definitely wins, however, according to research results, if drivers consumed both substances, the effect of alcohol is enhanced by marijuana, which increases the likelihood of an accident.
Large doses of alcoholic beverages can provoke the development of ischemic stroke, but one glass of wine per day helps to protect the body from such phenomena – so say Swedish scientists from the Karolinska Institute together with scientists from the University of Cambridge. There is no data on the healing properties of cannabis, but the fact that it is not capable of provoking a stroke is a fact.
Alcohol and THC: Effects on Behavior
As you know, after drinking alcoholic beverages, people often become uncontrollable, aggressive, they show tendencies to violence in relation to even those close to them. About 40 percent of crimes are caused by alcohol, and perhaps more in Russia. According to research data, conflicts, quarrels, fights occur more often in families, when either one of the partners, or both partners are drunk. The effect of marijuana, on the contrary, causes calmness, serenity, relaxation, which speaks of its relative safety.
Dependent people are more prone to this effect. Cannabis lovers notice a violation of verbal memory, alcohol lovers – a violation of memory, concentration, planning, they lose emotional control over themselves, difficulties appear in the social sphere.
Increased risk of developing mental disorders
Frequent use of marijuana often results in schizophrenia and psychosis, so cannabis is strongly discouraged for people with an unbalanced psyche. Alcohol, in turn, causes depression and anxiety. However, researchers are also considering the option that alcoholics find salvation from their ailments in alcoholic beverages, which contradicts the thesis “Alcohol is the cause of mental disorders.”
We have analyzed the pros and cons of alcohol and marijuana and can summarize. Undoubtedly, alcohol is a very harmful product, it destroys a person both inside and out, makes him antisocial, cruel. Cannabis, although less harmful, is still not 100% useful for the human body: memory impairment, increased alcoholic effect, addiction – all this allows you to stop using marijuana. On the other hand, moderate amounts of alcohol reduce the risk of stroke, cannabis fights cancer, and prevents brain damage. Weighing the pros and cons, we can say that both products are quite harmful, but they are safe and even beneficial to use in moderation.