Why does alcohol have such a solid reputation as the go-to legal intoxicant of the masses? It might as well be poison.
Tasty, fun poison.
In all seriousness, it's worrisome that drinking to excess continues to be a problem in the United States. Even though the popularity of cannabis is on the rise, the legality hasn't changed. Many partygoers and individuals looking to relax after a long day of work are still hitting the bottle because it's the "safer" choice in terms of their jobs and social standing.
The CDC just made a major announcement regarding the particular risks of drinking for women of child-bearing age. If a woman drinks before she knows she is pregnant, even in the first few months, there are already significant health and developmental risks for the baby. For this reason the CDC suggests that women not drink at all unless they are on some form of contraception.
While the statement hints at some sexist overtones [women-can-do-whatever-they-please-thank-you-very-much], the CDC is right in theory. Alcohol is really bad for a developing body, let alone your body. We just don't think of it that way because it's America's glamorized party drug, in the form of a refreshing beverage, and the branding of alcohol companies is a part of our everyday lives.
Even if you're not trying to have a kid, frequent drinking is linked to tons of other health problems, including weight gain, premature aging, even brain damage or serious liver disease.
Don't get me wrong - I did my fair share of imbibing during college, and I do enjoy a hoppy IPA, a good bourbon, or a bottle of wine at dinner - but lots and lots of alcohol was never something that made me feel good. It's time to rep for my home team.
Here are five reasons why weed trumps alcohol as a substance of choice any day:
- It tastes better.
Though there are some tasty liqueurs and cocktails out there, bottom line is that nobody "likes" the taste of alcohol. The sweet, skunky, fruity aromas and flavors of cannabis are all unique and beautiful, if not a little pungent to the untrained palate.
- Drinking brings people together for a night; weed will make you friends for a lifetime.
Still looking for research to support this, but until then, most stoners I've met agree that the connections made over a bowl or a joint are some of the most meaningful of their lives.
- Cannabis is proven to heal.
While alcohol is literally a form of poison, the cannabis plant contains chemicals which work naturally with the human nervous system, acting as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectant.
- It can't kill you.
You basically cannot consume a lethal overdose of marijuana - people have tried. With drunk driving and other alcohol-related deaths topping out at hundreds of thousands per year, it's clear as day which substance is safer.
- Alcohol gives you a hangover; pot gets rid of it for you.
You can try any hangover remedy you'd like, but nothing will ever take the edge off like a quick wake-and-bake for headaches and nausea. It'll honestly make you wonder why you even drank in the first place.
Having a few drinks is always fun, and there are some mixologists that turn it into a downright art form. I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy a craft beer, delicious wine, or fancy Old Fashioned after a hard day's work. However, think of your precious organs next time you feel like using alcohol as an outlet to cope with stress or blow off steam.