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By RQS Editorial Team

It is important to understand that alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs that exists. And this is by no means an understatement.

Statistics do not tell a lie. If you ask the CDC—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention— around 88,000 people died in the US alone, per year, between 2006 and 2010 due to alcohol.

Alcohol is dangerous in many ways. One could argue that one of the greatest dangers lurks in the general acceptance of excessive social drinking. A few drinks at the nightclub and you are technically binge drinking, while the vast majority may call it “just getting loose”.

Getting drunk is considered a normal, even integral experience in many cultures. No wedding party has ever been considered a blast that did not end with hoards of highly inebriated guests permitting themselves to behave quite unorthodoxly.

Alcohol Social Acceptance

Although (thankfully) times are changing, it is still normal (and even expected) for the Catholic Church to give children wine at their first Holy Communion, imprinting that only by drinking the “blood of Christ” are you able to receive salvation.

Booze is also dangerous in that the addiction is pretty easy to hide. The vast majority of alcoholics manage to keep their disease hidden for years on-end, usually until liver or kidney damage becomes irreversible and reality smacks them in the face.

Alcohol withdrawal can be even more dangerous than the actual drinking. The absolute worst thing you can do as a chronic alcoholic is to go “cold turkey”. It can be highly life-threatening and can manifest days or even weeks after the last drink. The medical term for this profoundly dangerous state is called delirium tremens, which kills one in five people who attempt it.

Symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Grand mal seizures
  • Disorientation 
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Tremulousness
  • Racing heart and rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • Severe anxiety or panic attacks
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood pressure spikes
  • Intense sweating

Not everyone is prone to delirium tremens, and some people manage to quit entirely by going cold turkey. Nevertheless, it is extremely risky to try.

Alcohol And Cannabis Effects

CANNABIS TO THE RESCUE

A recent study by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver found that roughly 50% of all medical cannabis users deliberately applied for a medical cannabis card to substitute weed for booze.

This data is a phenomenal indication that cannabis legalization alone could make a huge dent in the catastrophic statistics related to alcohol abuse, and even empower risk prevention strategies.

Not only that, but a paper published by the Journal of Neuroscience concluded that cannabis works as a neuroprotective shield against damage already caused by alcohol in the brain stem. Furthermore, the authors suggest that weed greatly alleviates severe craving symptoms and eases the path to full recovery.

One thing that alcohol does very well is disrupt the natural neurochemical balance in the brain, increasing both dopamine and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). It also severely reduces the prevalence of CB1 receptors, caused by devastation to endocannabinoid concentration. 

STRATEGY TO QUIT THE BOTTLE WITH CANNABIS

Simply smoking some weed and actively tapering off alcohol consumption goes a long way. But for those tougher moments when the cravings become more intense, you may need a little extra help.

Edibles are a great way to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Not only are the effects from edibles stronger, the high also lasts considerably longer. By eating cannabis, you will feel more of a body stone than usual, which helps mitigate the physical cravings.

Insomnia, a side effect of quitting alcohol, if often referred to as one of the major reasons for relapses. The lack of sleep can be overwhelming, and just a few sleepless nights in a row will only make the withdrawal symptoms worse. By ingesting cannabis-infused foods and drinks at night, you will better prepare yourself for some much-needed rest and recovery.

Studies are presently examining if cannabinoids and terpenes can help to curb booze cravings or offset the damage caused by excessive drinking. A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology looked[1] at the potential role of CBD in reducing alcohol consumption and protecting the liver and kidneys in cases of alcohol abuse.

Other studies are looking into using CBD to influence the microbiome[2] (the trillion-strong community of microbes in our bodies) to minimise the physical harms of alcohol use disorder. Some scientists are also turning their attention toward beta-caryophyllene. This dietary cannabinoid binds to CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, and ongoing studies are exploring its role in alcohol[3] intake in mice.

It should be noted that we are not medical professionals, and this article should not be regarded as a substitute for talking to your physician. This is especially true for chronic alcoholics and those at the greatest risk of alcohol-related illnesses or fatalities.

Medical DisclaimerInformation listed, referenced or linked to on this website is for general educational purposes only and does not provide professional medical or legal advice.

Royal Queen Seeds does not condone, advocate or promote licit or illicit drug use. Royal Queen Seeds Cannot be held responsible for material from references on our pages or on pages to which we provide links, which condone, advocate or promote licit or illicit drug use or illegal activities. Please consult your Doctor/Health care Practitioner before using any products/methods listed, referenced or linked to on this website.

External Resources:
  1. Therapeutic Prospects of Cannabidiol for Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol-Related Damages on the Liver and the Brain https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Cannabinoids and the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis: Emerging Effects of Cannabidiol and Potential Applications to Alcohol Use Disorders - PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. The cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist, β-caryophyllene, reduced voluntary alcohol intake and attenuated ethanol-induced place preference and sensitivity in mice - PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Disclaimer:
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.