Let’s Find Out What’s Safer- Alcohol or Cannabis!

cannabis or alcohol
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Alcohol and Cannabis are two things that people commonly use for recreational activities because of their psychoactive properties. 

Both substances have their benefits and drawbacks; let’s see which one’s better and safer.


Cannabis is used in various forms and is derived from cannabis plants. It has two primary compounds, and they are – THC and CBD. There are a few other compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. The traditional way of consuming it is by smoking the flower after drying it or adding it into edible and extracts.

Effects of cannabis

When someone consumes cannabis, it affects their body in several ways. After consuming it, the THC element in the product interacts with the CB1 brain receptor and leads to a wide range of effects, including –

  1.     Relaxation
  2.     Alteration in the perception of time and space
  3.     Increased appetite
  4.     Increased heart rate
  5.     Dry mouth
  6.     Red eyes
  7.     Euphoria

A person can experience a few of these effects simultaneously, and the intensity of every effect depends on the amount and potency of it. 

There are various other factors that may cause variation in the effects, including tolerance of the individual and method of consumption.

Benefits of cannabis

The safety and legality of cannabis have been widely debated, and it is because it has various effects on the human body. At the same time, it delivers some benefits, and a few of them are as follows:

  1.     Relief from pain due to arthritis, injuries, or any other health condition.
  2.     Relief from nausea and vomiting
  3.     It can help promote better sleep, as with it, the brain is released from stress and anxiety.
  4.     It has anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for various external and internal injuries.
  5.     It is expected to have some anti-tumor properties.

Risks of cannabis

Along with the benefits, it can also lead to several risks as well. Here are a few of the risks associated with its intake.

  1.     Impaired driving leads to an increase in the chances of accidents
  2.     Addiction is one of the most prominent risk factors associated with it
  3.     Mental disorders, including psychosis
  4.     Problems in the respiratory system
  5.     Memory impairment can be temporary or permanent if consumed at high doses


Ethanol, known as alcohol, is a psychoactive substance used widely for effects like euphoria. It comes in beer, wine, and other distilled spirits. Alcohol binds with the GABA receptors and leads to several effects on humans.

Effects of alcohol

There is a wide range of things that you can experience after consuming small or large amounts of alcohol. Some of them may even be similar to those of cannabis. Here is a list of effects that alcohol can make you experience:

  1.     Increased talkativeness
  2.     Relaxation
  3.     Slowed reaction time
  4.     Memory impairment
  5.     Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
  6.     Reduced motor skills
  7.     Impaired coordination

Just like cannabis, the effects can vary from person to person depending upon factors like the individual’s amount, tolerance, and sensitivity.

Benefits of alcohol

Alcohol is used widely for fun and recreational activities in almost every country; it is legalized. Here are a few benefits that alcohol can deliver:

  1.     Lower risk of ischemic stroke
  2.     Lower risk of heart disease
  3.     Lower risk of certain types of cancer
  4.     Reduction in the risk of diabetes

However, these benefits can only be obtained when alcohol consumption is regulated and taken in small amounts.

Risks of alcohol

Alcohol is very popular at parties but this does not make it free of risks. There are several risks associated with alcohol, and a few prevalent ones of them are:

  1.     Addiction and dependency on alcohol are highly prevalent risks that most people experience.
  2.     Higher risk of accidents if people drink and drive
  3.     Higher risk of liver damage along with various other health issues
  4.     Impaired judgment and poor decision-making
  5.     Interpersonal problems and violence

Alcohol has plus points as well as minus points. However, it is important to note that if it is taken in higher amounts, the risks will always outweigh the benefits and can lead to serious consequences.

Cannabis vs. alcohol: which is safer?

There is no clear answer to the question regarding which one is safer among the two substances regarding recreational activities. Both of these things have risks and potential benefits, and safety can depend on various factors. Some things that change the safety you have while consuming these two things include a method of consumption, an individual’s sensitivity and tolerance, and many more.

When comparing the safety of substances like alcohol and cannabis, it is important to consider the potential for dependence and addiction. Under this consideration, it is noted that both can be addictive, but cannabis is less addictive in comparison to alcohol. 

As per the NIDA, 9% of people who use cannabis become addicts, but the same portion for alcohol consumers is as high as 15%.

Another thing that should be considered is the potential of alcohol and cannabis for health issues. Alcohol and Cannabis can lead to health issues if consumed in higher amounts, but the risks vary with each substance. Alcohol makes the liver weaker over time and does not allow recovery if not stopped. On the other hand, cannabis can lead to respiratory problems. However, the damages from it are considered to be less prone and take a longer time to show effects.

When it comes to the acute effects of each substance, there is some evidence that cannabis has been proven to be safer than alcohol. As per a study, the use of it leads to a lower risk of violent behavior in comparison to alcohol.

Research on this topic

Research in the area of comparing the safety of alcohol and cannabis has grown in the past few years. Recently, one research suggested that the use of cannabis is associated with several health benefits, making it more suitable in comparison to alcohol. There is also an increase in the use of cannabis-based products for issues like nausea, pain relief, and much more.

When it comes to alcohol, there are several benefits and risks associated even with small-scale consumption of alcohol. Even though it can deliver several benefits, the risks that it poses to the safety and health of an individual are higher.

It is complex to answer the question regarding safety with the consumption of alcohol and cannabis. Both substances have risks and benefits, but cannabis has lesser risks and higher benefits. Therefore, it is better to avoid alcohol and choose cannabis if you have a choice to make. Ensure that you use the right approach for the consumption of cannabis products and never do overdosing.

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