Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you enjoy cannabis. And perhaps you enjoy the occasional adult beverage. Have you ever wondered which is worse for your health, booze or cannabis? Earlier this week, Business Insider’s science correspondent looked at several dimensions of health and compared the effects of alcohol and cannabis on each. Care to guess what she found?
Q: Which leads to more deaths? This one is almost a freebie. In 2014, more than 30,700 people in the United States died from “alcohol-induced causes,” and that number excludes accidents and homicides. Were those included, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts the number would almost triple. On the other hand, how many people have died from marijuana? Let’s say it all together: ZERO. A: Alcohol
Q: Which is more addictive? Research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that only about 9 percent of cannabis users eventually fit a diagnosis of cannabis dependence. For cocaine, it was 17 percent; for heroin, 23 percent; for nicotine, a whopping 32 percent. But how about alcohol? The study found that 15 percent of users develop a dependence (or addiction). A: Alcohol
Q: Which is more closely associated with heart trouble? The National Academies of Sciences released the largest-ever report on cannabis in January, and it found “insufficient evidence to support or refute the idea that cannabis may increase the overall risk of a heart attack.” Meanwhile, evidence suggests that moderate drinking lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. A: Trick question. Neither.
Q: Which is more strongly linked to cancer? The US Department of Health lists alcohol as a human carcinogen, while the NAS report found that cannabis was not connected to increased risk of cancer. A: Alcohol
Q: Which is linked to violence? Another almost freebie. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol plays a role in 40 percent of all violent crimes. Now, I ask you, has cannabis ever made you angry? A: Alcohol
There you have it. On four dimensions, alcohol is a riskier choice than cannabis. But you already knew that, right? Now, head to The Green Solution® to celebrate your smart and healthy choices!