As Cannabis products become commonplace in communities across the country, we are beginning to see a growing effect on the culture. Data is now coming out that provides us interesting insights into just how Cannabis legalization has been affecting various issues, ranging from crime rates to a reduction in opioid prescriptions. One of the most interesting debates in this realm is the discussion about whether the legalizing of products like CBD, Delta-8, and marijuana are affecting the rates of alcohol abuse in the United States.
There has long been a debate about whether Cannabis usage was a complement or substitute to alcohol abuse, but it has only been recently that we have been able to look at large amounts of information regarding this relationship throughout various communities. While the data is still not conclusive, it makes for a fascinating conversation and provides insight into how much Cannabis legalization may be changing and possibly improving our health outcomes.
In this article, we will take a look at alcohol abuse in the U.S. and whether or not Cannabis legalization has been a viable method of limiting its prevalence.
In this article, we will cover:
- The Rates of Alchohol Abuse in the U.S.
- Covid-19 and the Increase in Alcohol Abuse
- Are Cannabis Products Decreasing Alchohol Consumption?
- Delta-8 and Alcohol Addiction
- CBD, Liver Health and Brain Health
- Cannabis Products and Other Addictions
- Using Cannabis as Part of a Wellness Recovery Routine
The Rates of Alchohol Abuse in the U.S.
Alcohol abuse is a massive issue in the United States, and it is becoming increasingly worse. In 2018 a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey found that over half of the U.S. population had drunk alcohol in the past month, and nearly one in five had participated in binge drinking (more than five drinks on a single occasion) in that period. Roughly 7% of respondents had reported heavy drinking ( 15 or more drinks a week for men; 8 or more drinks per week for women) in the past month.
Both binge drinking and heavy drinking have been associated with a myriad of health issues, including liver disease, as well as a higher rate of unintentional injury. Between 2011 and 2015, excessive alcohol use was responsible for an average of 95,000 deaths a year in the U.S. alone. Roughly half of these 95,000 deaths were due to binge drinking.
Covid-19 and the Increase in Alcohol Abuse
In 2019 the NSDUH estimated that 14.5 million people ages 12 and older had an alcohol abuse issue. The Covid-19 pandemic is thought to have made these numbers much worse. Studies have found that the rate of alcohol consumption increased by about 14% among U.S. adults during the pandemic.
The reasons for this rise during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have been attributed to several factors, including higher rates of depression, anxiety, boredom, and the lack of a need to interact daily in a professional setting.
Are Cannabis Products Decreasing Alchohol Consumption?
For general Cannabis use, there are studies on both sides of the issue, though most research points to Cannabis working to reduce alcohol consumption rates. Still, there are varying degrees of relevance across age and ethnic groups. Perhaps most importantly, Cannabis use led to a decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed by those seeking alcohol treatment. It was found that Cannabis usage resulted in roughly 30% fewer drinks being consumed and a reduced likelihood of binge drinking amongst those with alcohol-related issues. Another study also found that those who take more Cannabis were even less likely to drink on those days.
There has been some evidence that recreational marijuana legalization has led to a decrease in binge drinking by college students. A team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University found that medical marijuana laws reduced monthly alcohol sales by 12.4 percent in U.S. counties between 2006 and 2015.
For some individual Cannabinoids, the research is even more promising. In multiple studies, CBD usage has been shown to correlate with a reduction in the motivation to drink alcohol, relapses, related anxiety, and overall impulsivity related to drinking. It is believed that CBD usage can directly reduce drinking in subjects with alcohol use disorder by acting on cravings.
Delta-8 and Alcohol Addiction
While researchers have known of Delta-8 for many years, it is only recently that the compound has been featured in consumer products, and there has been little motivation to look deeply into how it affects us. What we do know is that Delta-8 THC offers many of the same benefits as THC, though with a milder high that is less prone to causing feelings of anxiety. Several anecdotal stories point to the compound’s ability to help certain people ward away various forms of addiction. One such story came from a user on Reddit who claims that Delta-8 enabled him to tackle alcoholism.
The Reddit user claimed to be a theory-year-old alcoholic who had been struggling with his addiction for quite some time. He stated that after roughly three weeks of taking Delta-8, he had become to “feel less hopeless” and had gone from drinking about 146 fl oz of beer a day to 48 fl oz., and he’s “never felt more empowered.”
CBD, Liver Health and Brain Health
Another benefit of Cannabis products is their ability to help parts of the body recover and repair themselves. Research has shown that CBD may be able to help fight against liver inflammation caused by alcohol usage, though this research has, as of yet, not gone beyond animal trials. It was found that the livers of mice given CBD before being fed alcohol had a reduction in overall liver damage when compared to mice who did not take CBD. The researchers are very excited over these findings, stating that “CBD seems to have valuable therapeutic properties for ethanol-induced liver damage, through multiple mechanisms.” These mechanisms included oxidative stress, inflammation control, and the death of certain cells responsible for large amounts of scar tissue.
CBD may also be able to protect the brain from alcohol-related damage better. Rats given CBD were found to have lost fewer brain cells than those not given the cannabinoid. The researchers said that CBD worked as a “neuroprotective antioxidant,” the CBD also seems to have been able to help restore the neurological and cognitive functions of rats who had sustained alcohol-related internal damage.
Cannabis Products and Other Addictions
While CBD products are used less often as an alcohol substitute (likely since they lack psychoactive properties), there has been evidence that CBD can help treat addiction of many types. In 2015 a comprehensive review of the over twenty studies dealing with CBD and addiction was published. This review found that full-spectrum CBD and CBD-THC mixes show anti-addiction properties for opioids in all stages of opioid addiction, including a reduction in withdrawal symptoms. CBD is also thought to help with psychostimulant addiction and has had positive preliminary results in animal studies. In a 2019 study on heroin addiction, CBD was shown to help reduce both the physical and mental effects of heroin withdrawal.
With much of the opioid medications in use today posing risks to users and being tightly regulated by the government, CBD may offer a new natural and reduced-harm treatment method.
Using Cannabis as Part of a Wellness Recovery Routine
Detox is incredibly hard on the body and requires an overall health and wellness plan that allows the body to recover, recuperate, and heal. Vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramping, flu-like symptoms, and insomnia are all common in those currently suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis products have been shown to help treat all of these symptoms and may be an incredibly useful tool in promoting wellness and relieving pain and discomfort from those going thor withdrawal.
By helping those going through withdrawal feel better during the process, there is less of a chance that they will become increasingly ill and reduce the possibility of a relapse.
Perhaps the closest example of the power of Cannabis to treat these symptoms can be found in those going through chemotherapy. A large number of cancer patients have turned towards using Cannabis as a way to help alleviate feelings of nausea, boost appetite, reduce anxiety, and relieve pains of various types. CBD is also used as a way to help fight insomnia and obtain a decent night’s sleep.
Cannabis Products That May Help Addiction
We want to give you an idea of the types of Cannabis products we have mentioned in this article. The following are some great examples of the type of products that may be used to help either fight addiction or aid in recovery.
CBD tinctures and oils are an easy and efficient way to get a large amount of potent CBD directly into your system. A tincture can be taken multiple ways, the most common of which is through the sublingual method, which only requires you to hold the liquid under your tongue for about a minute. This method allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream directly without needing to go through the digestive system, which can reduce its potency and take longer to go into effect.
It is also possible to add CBD tinctures or oils directly into your favorite drinks and foods. Consuming CBD this way will cause it to pass through the digestive tract, and though this will slow the time it will take for it to take effect, it can increase the amount of time in which it lasts in your system, providing you with longer-lasting relief.
Delta-8 syrups are a fantastic way to put Delta-8 directly into your juices or sodas and allow you to take the product discreetly no matter where you are. These syrups are made from natural ingredients that are safe, easy on the body, and quickly mix into any liquid. This Cloud N9ne variety pack contains all of the most popular fruit flavors, as well as the unflavored variation to give you a wide variety of possibilities for drink flavoring.
Physical habits are also a big part of addiction, and the syrup’s ability to be taken along with a soda can help those with an alcohol addiction go through the motions of drinking while avoiding alcohol and simultaneously getting a powerful punch of Delta-8.
While it may seem strange at first, a CBD inhaler is the easiest, most discreet, and most effective way to get a dosage of CBD directly into your system without needing to take the time to light up some flower, mix a drink, or measure out some oils. This is a simple device that looks exactly like a traditional medical inhaler and works the same way. Simply put it to your mouth and take a couple of inhalations, you will quickly feel powerful CBD relief wash over you. For those who want help with addiction issues, but are also busy and on the go, there are fewer better options than this handy inhaler.
Cravings and addiction can cause one to lose sleep, which can wear away your mental strength and ability to resist a relapse. CBD is often used as a way to help fight insomnia and obtain a decent night’s sleep, and these nighttime gummies have the added benefit of containing melatonin, another chemical thought to help promote better rest.
Gummies are an edible product, and this means that they are slower to work but will help provide relief longer, precisely what you need to get through the night without tossing or turning.
Do You Need High-Quality Cannabis Products?
Even if you are not suffering from any form of addiction, Cannabis products can significantly boost your overall health and wellness. However, you need to ensure that you are taking high-quality products that contain exactly what is claimed on the label. At CBDOil.com, we have put a significant amount of effort into sourcing the very best Cannabis products made with high-quality CBD and Delta-8 and have a wide selection on offer in our shop. Take a look at our edibles, oils, tinctures, and other more unique offerings, and we are sure you will find something perfect for your needs.