Humans have been consuming both alcohol and cannabis for thousands of years, and each is deeply-rooted within various cultures. However, these substances are quite distinct from one another and are often used in very different environments. Below, we will explore the most notable differences between weed and booze.

MAIN DIFFERENCES

Depending on where you live and your cultural background, smoking weed might be more socially acceptable than alcohol. However, the same can be said of the opposite. In some cultures, it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a joint and a movie alone, while solo drinking may be viewed with more judgment.

The main differences between cannabis and alcohol start to show when we observe the way in which these substances affect the normal functioning of the brain. The cerebellum is a part of the brain that is dramatically affected by alcohol. The cerebellum controls your balance and movement, which is why people often become clumsy when they’ve had too much to drink. Alcohol also targets the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for decision-making. This in turn can influence drinkers to make rash decisions.

Cannabis works in a different way. It targets receptors that are naturally present in your brain, central nervous system, and the rest of your body. Cannabinoids like THC are very similar to endogenous cannabinoids and bind to receptors like CB1 and CB2 to influence psychoactive and potentially beneficial outcomes. This is the reason many individuals prefer the experience of being stoned over being drunk. While the high of cannabis can indeed lower one's inhibitions, alcohol is much more likely to result in inappropriate or out-of-character behaviour on behalf of the consumer.

HEALTH DIFFERENCES

We’ve covered a few ways these substances affect the body, but let’s explore this in greater depth. At the end of the day, alcohol is deadly. You can indeed die from an alcohol overdose, as well as from alcohol withdrawal. Conversely, there has never been a lethal cannabis overdose. There are 6 deaths from alcohol poisoning every single day in the U.S. alone, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Drinking can lead to alcoholic liver disease that can later turn into cancer. And trying to stop drinking can be very dangerous too. Alcohol has serious withdrawal symptoms. If not done properly, it can cause one’s system to crash down and be fatal. Cannabis doesn’t display these adverse effects in long-term, but there is much less research on cannabis than there is alcohol.

Another important factor to mention is that alcohol has no real medical applications. While it has been argued that there are health benefits for moderate drinkers, these aren’t clinical examinations. Cannabis, on the other hand, is creating a whole new industry amongst the medical community. Its medical uses are vast and it has already been used to great effect on certain conditions.

When analysing all the information previously gathered, we start to see a trend. Despite the more widespread legality of alcohol as opposed to cannabis, the latter is no-question the safer alternative.

Cannabis joint

WHY CANNABIS IS BETTER

To start with, there is no hangover. While getting ultra-stoned can result in somewhat of a greenout, it usually isn’t enough to impact your productivity, mood, or well-being the following day. The same can obviously not be said in reference to alcohol. This is likely the reason why chronic cannabis users are often more functional than chronic alcohol users.

There are no blackouts associated with cannabis use, although short-term memory loss is. But you’ll simply forget what you went to the fridge for, instead of blanking on an entire night. After getting stoned, you’ll wake up the next morning feeling good. There is no feeling of “oh god, what did I do last night?” The only feeling you’ll have is: “what a great night I had”. You might find yourself waking up next to your partner, remembering the awesome sex you had. Because that’s another great thing about cannabis; it can make sex better!

Alcohol doesn’t really work the same way. You’ll be more focussed on the nausea and the spins, rather than on what you’re doing. There was a paper published in 2016 by New York University that looked at how cannabis and alcohol affected the sexual experience. The team concluded that while alcohol numbs the body, cannabis enhances sensations, making the activity more pleasurable. There was also a Stanford study in 2017 stating that stoners had 20% more sex than non-smokers. Therefore, to conclude: stoners will have more and better sex.

Now you understand why we’re devoted stoners. Alcohol is not for everyone, nor for every situation. Only you can be the judge of what’s best for you. Drink and smoke responsibly, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a good time.

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