Ever since the legalization of marijuana has taken place, many concerns have risen about the effects of marijuana vs. alcohol – to know which is much more better and which is worse. Below are few points guiding the comparison between two monolith industries, where we look at both the benefits and things to consider when consuming either substance.
Benefits of Alcohol
Trying to achieve an inebriated state every time you consume alcohol might not be the best thing for your health (both your physical and mental well-being), but temperate intake of alcohol may have some significant health benefits. Though these benefits vary based on an individual’s body type. Here is a list of how temperate intake of alcohol (when you are at the legal age) might benefit your health.
- It reduces the possibility of developing Dementia: Dementia, which is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember things is said to have the chances of reducing due to moderate intake of alcohol. Moderate intake of alcohol thus stresses the brain cells and toughens them to cope with main stresses. Research showed that 23 percent out of 365,000 participants of moderate drinkers were less likely to develop cognitive impairments and other forms of dementia.
- It reduces the chance of diabetes: Compared to those who don’t drink at all, healthy moderately-drinking adults who drink nothing less than two glasses of alcohol on a daily basis have a slim chance of developing type-2 diabetes.
- It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease: According to the school of public health, Harvard University, moderate intake of alcohol reduces the level of “High-Density Lipoprotein” which is associated with protection against any form of heart disease, causes improvement in factors that influence blood clotting and increases better sensitivity to insulin.
- It decreases the risk of gallstone formation: Researchers buttressed the fact that moderate intake of alcohol, like two units of alcohol on a daily basis, can reduce the risk of formation of gallstones by one-third.
- It can increase lifespan: Drinking less than four and two drinks on a daily basis for men and women respectively can lengthen your life and reduce the risk of death by 18 percent.
Potential Side Effects of Alcohol
All the analyzed benefits of alcohol can only be possible if you drink moderately, but excessive intake of alcohol can cause health problems and serious damage to the body system. Below is a list of disadvantages of alcohol intake.
- It causes psychosis: Psychosis, a severe mental illness whereby illusions and misapprehensions of oppression arises is occasionally caused by an extreme level of alcohol intake. Another psychotic disorder like the “Delirium tremens” can occur when heavy alcohol drinkers suddenly stop drinking.
- It causes skin problems: The skin which is the body’s largest organ can be affected due to excessive intake of alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates the body gradually causing the skin to change from its normal state to a tired, pale-yellow, grew-looking skin.
- Depression: Heavy alcohol drinkers have the possibility of suffering from depression or nervousness as it results in a lot of health problems and can even lead to death at times.
- Health Consequences: Alcohol has many negative health consequences which can arise due to excessive intake of alcohol. Consequences such as damage to liver and pancreas, cancer, anemia and some other cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks. Excessive intake of alcohol may cause rapid loss of awareness which may result in sudden death if not taken care of.
- Addiction: Alcohol triggers the release of a substance in the brain called “dopamine”. Once the substance has been released to the brain, the person starts to crave more and more to get the desired good feeling. Despite the numerous negative consequences, the person won’t stop taking alcohol.
Benefits of Marijuana
- It prevents cancer: Marijuana acts as an anti-cancer agent by potentially turning off the gene which is responsible for the spread of cancer cells around the body.
- Decreases Anxiety: Medical marijuana users said they find marijuana tremendously valuable whenever they feel anxious as it may improve their mood because it decreases anxiety, relieves pain, and calms nausea.
- It prevents blindness for patients with glaucoma: An eye disease which increases pressure in the eyeball and can also lead to loss of vision which is known as glaucoma can be prevented by marijuana as it helps slow the evolution of the ailment and also prevent loss of vision.
- Cures various diseases: Marijuana helps in curing various forms of diseases such as arthritis, epilepsy, nausea, Parkinson’s disease and also help in slowing down the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, AIDs, multiple sclerosis and many more.
Potential Side Effects of Marijuana
- Leads to mental illness: People that consume excess marijuana are prone to addiction, which may eventually lead to violence alongside the risk of mental illness.
- It may lead to death: Excessive use of marijuana causes sleeplessness, which result in anxiety, bad temper, massive change in habits, depression, which may lead to death or urge them to commit suicide
- Addiction: Although marijuana is not as harmful as other addictive drugs, excessive intake of marijuana can lead to addiction and can harmfully affect the social relationships of an individual.
- It disrupts memory formation: The hippocampus in the human brain which acts as a place where memories are formed and processed can be blocked due to the active ingredient in marijuana contents.
- Cost: Smoking marijuana on a regular basis can be quite expensive for anybody on a low income.
For now, marijuana seems to be less damaging intoxicant than alcohol. Although, there is still much less study of its effects. CDC reports almost 88,000 alcohol-related deaths occur each year. In comparison, a study found that the number of deaths caused by marijuana use is almost zero.
Marijuana and alcohol are the most commonly detected drug drugs in drivers involved in car accidents. A study found out that marijuana increased the odds of involving in a car accident by 83%. This percentage might be high, but when alcohol was engaged, the odds of involving in a car accident increased more than 2,200%. Which means marijuana is much better than alcohol.