Weed vs. Alcohol: Let’s Compare the Two

For some people, there’s nothing better than a glass of wine, beer, or other cocktail at the end of a long day. Others prefer to smoke a joint or snack on a tasty edible. While both alcohol and cannabis are popular ways to unwind and relax, these two mind-altering substances have several significant differences. That’s led many to ask, is weed better than alcohol? Let’s take a closer look. 

Weed vs. Alcohol Effects on the Body

Alcohol and cannabis can both act as depressants, relaxing your muscles and calming your nerves. They also activate the pleasure center of your brain, which triggers the release of dopamine. Dopamine provides the pleasant, euphoric sensations you feel after drinking or consuming weed.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects

Short-term side effects of alcohol on the body include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired judgment and cognitive skills
  • Poor coordination
  • Distorted vision/hearing
  • Drowsiness

Drinking too much can also lead to nausea, vomiting, and a hangover the following morning. 

Short-term side effects of cannabis include:

  • Impaired judgment 
  • Poor coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Altered perception of time
  • Increased hunger (the munchies)
  • Dry (cotton) mouth and red eyes

It is also possible, after consuming too much cannabis, to experience a weed hangover, also known as greening out. 

Longer-term side effects are a bit harder to compare, as there’s more research on the impact of alcohol than weed. However, we do know long-term alcohol use can lead to serious health concerns, such as liver disease, pancreatitis, and heart disease. Some current research suggests that long-term cannabis consumption may cause brain fog, memory issues, and mental health issues.

What If You Mix Alcohol and Weed?

Some people enjoy alcohol and cannabis together. While doing so can produce some pleasant effects, mixing substances does come with more risks. For example, smoking a joint before drinking may delay alcohol absorption, which can lead to drinking too much. If you do choose to combine the two, do so carefully. 

Risk of Dependence

Both alcohol and cannabis come with the risk of dependence. However, where alcohol can cause mental and physical dependence, cannabis only appears to cause mental dependence in some. Additionally, despite common myths and misconceptions, the risk is much lower for cannabis use than it is for alcohol. 

Potential Benefits of Alcohol and Weed

Research suggests that, in moderation, alcohol may offer a few benefits. For example, red wine contains polyphenols, which may improve heart health. Moderate beer consumption may have benefits on the cardiovascular system

Current research shows many potential health benefits of cannabis. Current research shows that it may help ease chronic pain, reduce anxiety, and lessen inflammation. The plant may aid in the treatment of many conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, and epilepsy. 

Costs of Weed vs. Alcohol

Now, the cost of alcohol vs. edibles and other forms of weed depends on many factors, including the types of products you buy, where you shop, and how much you consume. Generally speaking, however, cannabis tends to cost less. 

Key Takeaways

Whether you choose to drink alcohol or use weed, responsible use is key. The quality of the products you consume matters, too. At Harbor House Collective, we’re dedicated to providing the highest-quality cannabis in a safe and educational environment. Feel free to browse our menu online or check us out in person today!

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