April 20, 2023
With the recreational use of marijuana legalized in 21 states and counting, more and more people are choosing cannabis as a way to wind down over a cocktail or even a cigarette. A Harris poll released during the pandemic revealed that almost half of all cannabis users age 21 and up have replaced or reduced their alcohol consumption with cannabis. The same study also found that one-third of cannabis users prefer marijuana consumption to alcohol.
More recently, a CivicScience study found that while some people in the UK did observe Dry January at the beginning of this year, one-third of the youngest people surveyed, ages 21-24, simply replaced alcohol with cannabis and CBD products. While younger consumers wanted an alternative mood-altering substance, most older audiences have started to become more aware of the health benefits of cannabis as compared to the often detrimental effects of alcohol.
The long-term effects of alcohol consumption are well-known. Our bodies can effectively process alcohol, but too much can be harmful. But consuming cannabis in any form activates the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a network of cell receptors that respond to both natural cannabinoids produced by the body and those found in the cannabis plant.
This system plays a role in moderating pain, regulating mood, and keeping the body balanced, in general. The body does not have natural ethanol receptors, so when someone consumes alcohol, the body responds to it as a toxic substance.
Among all the sources of ‘empty calories’, like candy and sugary drinks, alcohol is one of the primary offenders, almost always causing regular drinkers to gain weight. One night out drinking cocktails with friends can easily turn into thousands of calories. Cannabis, on the other hand, is calorie-free.
While a night out on the town might be fun, hangovers are not. The dreaded hangover is the body’s response to the toxicity of and withdrawal from alcohol. With cannabis, it can take a while to determine what the right products and dosages should be for each person, but it generally causes minimal side effects for most people who consume it.
Alcohol can often help people relax, but it is not really conducive to a good night’s sleep. It can interfere with natural rhythms and lead to disruptive sleep, while the body continues to metabolize the alcohol. Cannabis, especially products that are high in CBD, has the opposite effect, because, as stated earlier, it works with the body’s natural regulatory systems to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
Indulging in too much alcohol at once can be extremely dangerous, and even result in death from alcohol poisoning. Conversely, According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there has been no documented report of an adult death that has been caused solely by an excess of cannabis consumption.
Note: Eyes4Research is not promoting the use of either of these substances over the other, we are simply presenting the research findings and insights of consumers.
Read more about cannabis consumers and CBD products on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from cannabis users. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our cannabis user panel and our other specialty panels here.