Weed Replacing Alcohol A Growing Trend In The US

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Weed is the true blessing, but having great friends who frequently get together is more amazing. But without those blessings the energy will eventually overflow, according to B, a 43-year-old Atlantan who is not identifying for privacy reasons.

I loved having Champagne on a patio on Sunday with friends, B said. My friends hang out all the time. Even on a weeknight, it would end up being bottles of wine. Meanwhile I felt like I should have invested in box wine, especially during the pandemic.

Today, B has given up alcohol, altogether, turning instead to marijuana gummies when she wants a buzz.

The use of weed to replace alcohol is a growing trend in the United States. As a result, a recent study found for the first time ever. The daily use of cannabis of any kind among Americans surpassed the daily use of alcohol.

Furthermore, nearly 18 million people age 12 and older reported using marijuana daily or near daily in 2022. Compared with about 15 million who said they used alcohol with the same frequency. According to the study’s analysis of the most recent data, from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

‘My heart was racing’

For B, giving up alcohol was a necessity. Her periodic binge drinking with friends was taking a toll. Hangovers and an increasing sense of anxiety the mornings after. Affected her work performance and her ability to exercise, an enjoyable part of her life.

I’m really healthy, I eat clean and work out all the time. I was not feeling good anymore, B said. Then one day I was laying on my couch. My heart was racing like it was coming out of my chest.

Additionally, alcoholism and heart disease run in B’s family. They’ve had relatives that have dropped dead of a heart attack in her driveway.

Simply drinking less wasn’t an option for her.

I’ve tried to moderate in the past. It’s hard to do that but when you’re around people who are drinking, B said. So I decided to quit alcohol completely. My friends were really supportive, and it was easier than I thought it would be.

After a few months of total sobriety. B, began to experiment with cannabis gummies. She had found them easy to incorporate with a nonalcoholic drink or two.

I don’t like getting super high, B said. I’ll just cut off a 1/4 of a gummy. It take’s the edge off after a long day at work. If I’m with friends at a party, where I know I’ll be there awhile. I might take a half or even a whole one.

Weed or alcohol: Which is better?

Is replacing alcohol with weed a healthier option? It depends, experts say.

I think questioning your relationship with alcohol is a very healthy trend, said Carol Boyd. The founding director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

We know that moderate alcohol consumption has health risks, and risk increases as alcohol consumption increases, Boyd said in an email.

Just one drink a day can raise blood pressure, trigger a dangerous irregular heartbeat or even shrink your brain, studies have found. Those are just a few of the many pitfalls of alcohol use, including the risk of cancer.

Furthermore Binge drinking, defined as consuming four or more drinks in two hours for women (five or more for men) was on the rise during the pandemic. Conversely Binging was higher in women, sending twice as many to the emergency room during the pandemic than before. Meanwhile, the alcohol-induced death rate for both sexes jumped 26% between 2019 and 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

‘Like the Wild West’

B lives in Georgia, a state where only medical marijuana is allowed. Eventually, B began using hemp-based gummies laced with delta-9. The most abundant form of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the part of the cannabis plant that creates a high. The synthetic form used in edibles is called delta-9 THC-O acetate.

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed the hemp plant from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s schedule of controlled substances, B can buy numerous brands of hemp gummies nearly everywhere, including her local gas station.

First, I want to commend her for giving up alcohol, said Grinspoon, who is on the board of the advocacy group Doctors for Drug Policy Reform, which addresses cannabis, psychedelic and drug regulation in general.

But the hemp products she buys at the gas station or liquor store are completely unregulated, sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids like delta-8delta-9 and delta 10.

That’s really dangerous for a million reasons, he said. We don’t know what’s in these new synthetic cannabinoids. You can get all kinds of industrial byproducts, a mixture of all kinds of synthetics, or an extremely high or low dose of the synthetic. It’s like the Wild West out there.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, manufacturing may occur in uncontrolled or unsanitary settings.

Of the nearly 2,400 calls about delta 8 to the National Poison Center in one year from 2021 to 2022, 70% required a doctor’s care and 8% were admitted, the FDA said. One child died.

June 2018 review of existing literature on synthetic versions of cannabis found they may cause more severe adverse effects, which could include breathing problems, a spike in blood pressure, chest pain and a rapidly beating heart, cognitive impairment. anxiety, agitation, suicidal ideation, and even death.

Conclusion

If your going to use it to replace alcohol, people should be buying marijuana and hemp cannabis products at a legal, regulated dispensary. In a state where the product is tracked from beginning to end and tested along the way.

If a person chooses to buy weed or hemp online or at a smoke shop, be sure to choose a product with a label that shows they have paid an independent outside company to assure the purity of their products.

My other advice for people who want to use weed is to get educated. Start at a very low dose and go slow. Don’t use it before driving. Get it from a medical marijuana dispensary or well-regulated legal shop, as that is much safer than these hemp-derived products that are unregulated.

VIA Sandee LaMotte
SOURCECNN
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