Which is more likely to harm your health: drinking too much or smoking too much weed? Business Insider did a little science and math-based research and concluded that alcohol is quite a bit more dangerous than weed, and here’s why.
In 2014, nearly 31,000 people in the US died from alcohol-induced causes compared to zero deaths from marijuana overdoses, according to the DEA. Business Insider points to a 16-year study of more than 65,000 Americans and found that marijuana use had no bearing on their mortality rate compared to those who didn’t imbibe at all.
Marijuana is also less addictive than alcohol. A survey of 8,000 people between the ages of 15 and 64 found that only about 9 percent became addicted. That’s compared to a 15% alcohol addiction rate.
Another negative: unlike marijuana, alcohol (listed as a carcinogen by the US Department of Health) is strongly linked with several types of cancer. The National Cancer Institute found that your risk for developing cancer increases the more regularly you drink. According to Business Insider:
For marijuana, some research initially suggested a link between smoking and lung cancer, but that has been debunked. The January report found that cannabis was not connected to any increased risk of the lung cancers or head and neck cancers tied to smoking cigarettes.
Also noted: both weed and alcohol affect your memory, just differently; both drugs are linked to a higher rate of mental disorders; and both can negatively affect driving (mixing the two is a disaster waiting to happen).
The results of this in-depth look at the effects of both marijuana and alcohol aren’t that surprising, however, because marijuana is still mostly illegal, its long-term health effects need to be studied further.