It’s an age-old question: is weed better than booze, or is it the other way around?
Asked by everyone from confused kids at their first college party to businesswomen and men looking to relax after work without being too hung over the next day, weed versus alcohol is a contentious topic for some.
Basically, it comes down to what you prefer. If weed works better for you, of course you’ll argue that it beats alcohol out of the water. Likewise, if a joint just makes you paranoid, but a cold beer does the trick, you’ll probably take the other side in the debate.
But, according to the facts, the two substances will affect anyone in very different ways. Let’s take a quick look at how weed and booze really measure up.
HANGOVERVILLE: POPULATION, YOU
This one actually has more to do with whether you drink enough water while getting your buzz on. For the most part, hangovers are a direct result of dehydration, a pretty common side effect of most alcoholic beverages.
However, that doesn’t mean weed’s exempt. While we don’t know whether weed actually dehydrates its users, it definitely inhibits saliva production, drying out your mouth and your eyes.
Who’s to say it doesn’t have a similar effect on the rest of your body? And don’t expect to escape without a morning-after headache if you’re a noob and you smoke a whole lot.
The dreaded hangover is probably the biggest downside we think of when we talk about alcohol. The booze is quickly processed by your body; it doesn’t hang around for long. But in the long term, drinking large amounts on the reg can result in damage to the liver and the heart, even leading to cancer.
On the flip side, weed stays in your system for up to a month. However, using it occasionally and in small amounts might not harm you much at all. Although heavy use has been connected to chronic bronchitis, there isn’t sufficient evidence to link smoking weed to any kind of cancer.
Sorry, moms-to-be: both alcohol and cannabis use are definite no-nos during pregnancy, considering that both are tied to birth defects like cognitive problems. No, thanks.
THE HIGH ITSELF
While this one’s more about personal preference than anything, in my experience, alcohol provides you with a buzz that can quickly turn unpleasant or lead to nausea.
Beyond that, alcohol messes with your motor control in a big way: in other words, you generally won’t be getting too creative with a sketch pad while you drink.
Though I love a cold beer, I really have to be in the right mood for it.
On the contrary, cannabis tends to enhance almost every experience. Whether it’s a workout, a dinnertime feast, or just a good book, smoking weed will probably make it even more awesome.
Though you may feel sort of dreamy or hazy for a few hours after, coming off of weed is a gentle and gradual letdown. Not so with alcohol, which has the tendency to feel like it’s worn off suddenly, sometimes even in the middle of your night out.
HOW MUCH YOU NEED TO USE TO FEEL IT
So here’s the thing. If you smoke enough weed (or eat enough edibles) to blast yourself into the stratosphere, you’ll likely emerge unscathed the next day, though perhaps with a cough.
But if you drink with the goal of getting fucked up, you’re doing guaranteed damage to your body, no ifs, ands, or buts.
Stoners tend to agree that drinking in moderation is fun enough, but smoking heavily is the gold standard, considering both side effects and the nature of the buzz. Plus now you can carry marijuana through Airports at select states in our amazing country.
What’s your ideal high? Do you like to drink and smoke, just smoke, or just drink? Leave a comment to let us know!