One of our founder Evan’s favorite podcasts is “Stuff You Should Know”, which covers an amazing cross-section of topics, from animals,to neuroscience to true crime. Last year they released a podcast comparing the impact on human health of alcohol and cannabis titled “Alcohol vs. Marijuana: Which Is Worse For You?” With all the recent commentary about the impact of cannabis on teen brains, we thought it would be useful to revisit this great podcast, which helps put the issue into perspective.
We found the reporting to be quite objective, citing health and safety issues with both alcohol and cannabis. The conclusions, though, were pretty clear — alcohol is a lot worse for you than cannabis.
- You can kill yourself with too much alcohol (40,000+ deaths each year due to binge drinking); it’s virtually impossible to overdose on THC.
- Alcohol can react negatively with many medicines; there’s no evidence that cannabis does.
- Both alcohol and cannabis can affect judgment, leading to poor decisions with negative results (like having unprotected sex).
- Long-term, heavy drinking can destroy your liver, leading to cirrhosis and cancer. There are no studies linking long-term, heavy cannabis use to serious health problems.
- 44% of violent crimes involve alcohol; there’s no connection between cannabis and violent crimes, in fact one study shows cannabis consumers are less likely to physically abuse their partners than the general population.
- Alcohol leads to more impulsive, reckless, aggressive driving, and with that behavior, more accidents and death; while studies show moderate cannabis consumption makes people more cautious drivers, high levels of cannabis (5 parts per billion) do lead to impairment, and a dramatic increase in vehicular deaths.
If interested, check it out for yourself— Alcohol Vs. Marijuana: Which Is Worse For You?