5 Reasons Why Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol
Whilst cannabis prohibition persists, there is one widely available intoxicant that is doing more damage to our society than marijuana ever could. This is alcohol. Fortunately, the idea that alcohol is more dangerous for you than cannabis is beginning to be widely accepted, but it is slow going. To help push the message forwards, here are five reasons that cannabis is safer than alcohol.
1. CANNABIS CAN’T KILL YOU
Everything is toxic if consumed in large enough amounts, even drinking too much water too quickly can send the body into shock and cause organs to shut down. However, the lethal dose of cannabis is so high that it is not practically possible for a human to consume the amount required fast enough for it to become toxic. It is estimated that you would need to use roughly 680kg of cannabis within 15 minutes to stand a change of overdosing on it. It cannot kill.
The same cannot be said for alcohol. It is very easy to die as a result of alcohol use, and it is one of the most toxic substances we readily consume. Generally speaking, it is thought that consuming 10 times the amount of alcohol required to get drunk/tipsy can cause an overdose, and it leads to an insane amount of deaths each year. The World Health Organization attributed 3.3 million deaths to alcohol in 2012 alone.
2. ALCOHOL DAMAGES THE BRAIN, MARIJUANA COULD PROTECT IT.
There is a common myth that marijuana use damages the brain and kills off cells. However, these claims were largely unsupported by science, and simply constructed to demonise cannabis. Recent studies are showing, that if anything, marijuana actually has neuroprotective and neurogenesis qualities, meaning it protects brain cells, and even stimulates the creation of new ones.
Once again, the same cannot be said for alcohol, which is well documented by science as causing brain cell death.
3. ALCOHOL CAUSES CANCER, MARIJUANA FIGHTS IT
The cancer fighting effects of cannabis have been the focus of much research recently, and both scientific and anecdotal reports are now singing praise for the potential cannabis holds. Even smokers of cannabis have been found to have lower incidences of cancer than those who don’t use cannabis - in one of the largest controlled studies into the matter ever conducted.
When it comes to alcohol and cancer, it has them all. Alcohol use is associated with the development of lung, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, colon, liver, and prostate cancer. It is quite the repertoire.
4. MARIJUANA ADDICTION IS EXTREMELY UNLIKELY, THE SAME CAN’T BE SAID FOR ALCOHOL
All scientific research into marijuana addiction indicates the risk of actually becoming addicted is negligible, if existent at all. This dates all the way back to 1999, where a US congress commissioned study found that “marijuana dependence was rare, and when it did happen, it was much less severe than in those who suffer from alcohol or nicotine addiction.” This is because cannabis is not physiologically addictive, but in rare cases, can cause the development of a psychological dependence.
Alcohol on the other hand causes severe physiological and psychological addiction. This is further perpetuated by the build-up of tolerance to alcohol, causing addicts to require more each time.
5. ALCOHOL CAUSES VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR, MARIJUANA CAUSES RELAXATION
It is not secret that those who use marijuana tend to be peaceful, fun loving people, especially whilst actively high. A stoner is more likely to come down with a case of the munchies, or the urge to hug someone than they are to cause a fight.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the worlds most loved intoxicant. Alcohol use frequently (but not always, and not with everyone), causes violent behaviour – especially when used in excess. Research published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that 36 percent of all hospitalising assaults, and 21 percent of all injury was down to alcohol use by the injured person. Quite a significant figure, and a huge drain on health services.
It just goes to show, whilst governments are happy to wage a war and a fairly harmless substance, they will endorse something that is by far more dangerous, yet readily available. Time to end the hypocrisy and madness.