man drinking and smoking. Photo: Smithore (Getty).
The debate pitting marijuana against alcohol has really picked up steam in the last few years. The drinker-versus-smoker battle has never been more alive than it is now, especially since more and more legislation is passed to make weed legal.
One thing has become clear in the debate, though — alcohol is doing more harm to your body than marijuana, and you can thank scientists for bringing us this info.
Studies Show Marijuana Is Much Healthier Than Alcohol
While there are several factors that come into play here, there are some definite benefits to toking up over chugging down. For starters, weed has shown to be less addicting than alcohol. According to a 1994 study conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 9 percent of those who tried pot at least once could be categorized as addicted. Compare that to 15 percent of those who tried alcohol, and you can chalk one up for Mary Jane.
Cancer is scary as hell, and if you drink a lot, there’s a study that says you may be putting yourself in a bad spot to get diagnosed with this horrible disease. This is according to research done by the U.S. Department of Health, which noted 3.5 percent of cancer-related deaths were linked to alcohol.
Word from the government:
Based on extensive reviews of research studies, there is a strong scientific consensus of an association between alcohol drinking and several types of cancer (1, 2). In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. The research evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person drinks—particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time—the higher his or her risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer. Based on data from 2009, an estimated 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States (about 19,500 deaths) were alcohol related (3).
While one might say “But hey, weed smoke gives you lung cancer just like cigarettes,” they’d be jumping the gun in doing so. Another study found that cannabis wasn’t connected to increasing the risk of cancers tied to smoking. Thank goodness.
Finally, while you might assume weed’s notorious side-effect for munchies will lead to you putting on pounds, think again. Weed smokers tend to be less at risk for obesity, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Alcohol, on the other hand, significantly increases your chance of gaining weight due to things like its heavy caloric intake.
Seems like there’s a clear winner here in the marijuana-alcohol argument, but we’ll let you make your own choice in the matter. Either way, definitely have a designated driver take your high and/or drunk ass home if you happen to indulge.
h/t Business Insider