Alcohol and cannabis are both psychoactive substances. However, they produce different results in the body. Experts may have conflicting opinions regarding the safety and health effects of marijuana vs alcohol. Regardless, both substances are addictive and can negatively impact your health.
Effects Of Alcohol
In 2012, the World Health Organization reported that almost 6 percent of deaths around the world were related to alcohol consumption. Overall, alcohol affects memory, balance, and can kill brain cells.
Excessive alcohol intake can elevate your risk for chronic health problems, such as heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and liver disease. It also makes you more likely to develop psychological conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
While moderate alcohol consumption can improve your health, binge drinking or chronic excessive consumption has serious consequences.
Effects Of Cannabis
Overdosing on marijuana isn’t fatal. However, you would have to consume pounds of the active ingredient to overdose on the drug. Although, using the substance can affect your judgment and reaction time, which can be potentially unsafe in certain situations.
THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis. When you smoke or consume the drug, THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Many of these receptors are in areas of the brain responsible for memory, cognition, appetite, and emotions.
Therefore, when you use cannabis, you may find that the drug alters your memory and ability to process thoughts. You may experience panic, anxiety, or paranoia.
Marijuana vs Alcohol: Which Is Safer?
Everyone has a different reaction to psychoactive drugs. Some people may engage in risky behaviors when their inhibitions diminish. For example, driving, having unsafe sex, or becoming violent when you’re under the influence of either drug can put your health at risk.
You may wonder if there is a tolerance issue with marijuana vs alcohol. Both drugs alter your brain so you will eventually acclimate to the effects. When you use either substance regularly, you’ll eventually need more to feel the same effects.
Although some experts say cannabis isn’t addictive, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. Quitting alcohol after using it frequently or repeatedly also causes withdrawal symptoms. These uncomfortable side effects, which range from nausea to insomnia, indicate that you’re physically dependent on the substance.
Treating Alcohol or Cannabis Addiction
You can develop an addiction to anything, including marijuana and alcohol. If you find yourself with uncontrollable urges to use the substance, you may have an addiction. Other signs of addiction include:
• Taking part in risky or criminal behavior while under the influence
• Negative changes in your social life
• Isolating yourself
• Hiding your drug use
• Financial negligence
At Steps To Recovery, we work personally with every client to help end substance abuse permanently. In our intimate, compassionate environment, we offer diverse treatment options, including:
Call us at 866-488-8684 to find out how we can help you or a loved one conquer addiction.