The Relationship Between Cannabis and Alcohol Consumption

  • The Relationship Between Cannabis and Alcohol Consumption

    Posted by Ann Lee on February 3, 2024 at 8:32 am

    Co-consuming cannabis and alcohol has been linked with various harmful outcomes, including physical dependence and mental health disorders.

    Research has demonstrated that those seeking to reduce alcohol consumption often see concurrent reductions in cannabis consumption, as evidenced by a randomized controlled study where both frequent and infrequent cannabis consumers drank less on days when they consumed cannabis.

    1. Increased Risk of Alcohol-Related Diseases

    Alcohol misuse has many adverse health outcomes, from premature deaths and injuries due to drunk driving to mental illness disorders and physical illnesses such as cardiovascular issues and breast cancer. Drinkers who drink excessively also risk experiencing difficulties in relationships and work environments as well as legal or financial consequences as a result.

    Research suggests that co-using cannabis and alcohol may increase performance impairment effects, consumption levels, risk for substance use disorders and mental health conditions as well as make attempts at cutting down or stopping drinking more challenging. Furthermore, co-use may make reducing or quitting drinking harder if one consumes cannabis simultaneously.

    Researchers from University of Colorado-Boulder conducted a study to explore the relationship between cannabis and alcohol consumption using self-reported data from the BRFSS survey. They controlled for treatment group membership as well as demographic factors like age, gender, ethnicity, past-year alcohol dependence, heavy drinking behavior and risky sexual behaviors; ultimately revealing that even less-frequent cannabis usage increased risks related to alcohol than having no cannabis at all use.

    2. Increased Risk of Mental Health Disorders

    People who consume both alcohol and cannabis at once are at an increased risk for psychiatric disorders than those who just drink, including mood disorders like depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as personality disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This may be attributed to their interaction altering judgment and increasing impulsivity while leading to sensation seeking behaviors like unprotected sex which increases the chance of addiction to either drug.

    Researchers recently conducted a survey among participants in treatment for alcohol use disorder and asked about both cannabis and alcohol usage. When they analyzed their data, researchers discovered that frequency of cannabis use was related to both number of drinks consumed per day as well as binge drinking behavior; even after controlling for factors like gender, age and tobacco smoking; these correlations remained significant – further emphasizing the need for longitudinal studies that examine cannabis/alcohol co-use alongside mental health outcomes over time within one sample population.

    3. Increased Risk of Alcohol Withdrawal

    While taking cannabis while drinking increases your risk of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, these could become even more pronounced if combined with high-THC cannabis strains. Individuals experiencing symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal while using cannabis could face legal issues, relationship difficulties, academic challenges and professional obstacles as a result of these withdrawal symptoms.

    Individuals who consume both alcohol and cannabis simultaneously experience faster absorption of THC into their bloodstream than when either substance was taken alone, leading to higher THC concentrations in certain brain regions that compound its psychoactive effects.

    Researchers found in a random assignment study of three alcohol conditions that participants who reported frequent cannabis use were significantly more likely to report past-year alcohol dependence, heavy drinking and adverse effects than those who never used cannabis (Blanco et al., 2017). Similar results were noted when studying how alcohol BMIs impact changes in cannabis usage among college students.

    4. Increased Risk of Alcohol Abuse

    Cannabis and alcohol both impair judgement, increasing impulsive behavior that could lead to poor decisions and accidents. Mixing both substances increases the potential for blackouts or memory problems related to drug abuse; overuse of either substance could even cause serious health concerns and death.

    Studies show that individuals who report frequent cannabis use are at increased risk of alcohol-related adverse effects than those who don’t consume cannabis regularly, both past year alcohol dependence as well as variables related to drinking such as heavy drinking after interpersonal issues and engaging in risky alcohol behaviors.

    Researchers have also observed that people who regularly consume marijuana may experience an increased tendency to vomit after drinking alcohol, making it harder for their body to clear away excess alcohol and potentially leading to overdose. Furthermore, this behavior could interfere with using antiemetic medications commonly recommended for chemotherapy patients and people undergoing HIV/AIDS treatments.

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    Ann Lee replied 4 weeks, 1 day ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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