There are those in this world who enjoy alcohol, and those who relish smoking weed. When it comes to weed vs alcohol, it’s a debate as old as time. Weed lovers feel that alcohol may be more dangerous than the bud, while many alcohol drinkers feel quite the opposite. Browse the various information below and decide for yourself!

Why do people drink alcohol?

The short-term effects of alcohol

The long-term effects of alcohol

Why do people smoke weed?

Good weed vs bad weed

Is marijuana safer than alcohol?

Why do people drink alcohol?

To fully understand why people prefer weed or alcohol over the other, we need to understand why they enjoy one or the other. A drink or two could complement a meal, or be enjoyed to celebrate a special occasion. However, there can be deeper reasons as to why people stock their fridge or cabinets with liquor. 

Stress relief

If there was ever a series that embodied the ‘unwind at the bar’ culture, it was Cheers. After a tough 9-5, you head to your favourite bar, grab a stool, and sip on your favourite drink...or two...or three. Alcohol contains certain ‘anti-anxiety’ properties that help us de-stress, even if it’s only for a few hours. For those few hours, the challenges you’ve faced during the day will disappear and you’re left feeling euphoric - with a killer hangover to boot the next day. 


What’s even better after a stressful week at work? A night out with friends. Getting ready to hit the town - have a drink, and then have one last drink before heading out. Arrive at your destination and drink some more Need liquid courage to get started on the dance floor? How about a shot of tequila? Did someone say karaoke? Okay, maybe two shots of tequila!

Social gatherings, especially parties, bring along an enormous amount of peer pressure. How can you not be drinking when everyone else is? To be the only sober one at the party is not a lot of fun, which is why joining in on the ‘fun’ is inevitable. 

From introvert to extrovert

Whether it’s at a small gathering, where everyone’s a stranger, or perhaps at that spontaneous karaoke your friends decided on, alcohol helps ease the anxiety. A quick gulp of beer and two tequila shots later, you’re ready to be the life of the party and lead singer at karaoke night. Within a few minutes, alcohol provides you with liquid encouragement to fuel any social event.

But, there is a fine line between effect and affect when it comes to alcohol. While it may have euphoric effects, it can cause damage that leads to disastrous results. 

The short-term effects of alcohol

Even if someone is not abusing it, the short-term effects of alcohol could include:

Slurred speech

A sure sign of drunkenness. When drinking, alcohol enters the bloodstream and the brain is directly affected, including the areas that handle speech production. Immediate effects will include mumbling and forgetting words. After continued drinking, slurring begins, which means it’s a good time to switch to water. 


Your blood alcohol level (BAC) is likely at around 0.02%. This means that your body is more relaxed and you’re feeling warmer, enough to make you feel comfortable and ready to take a nap. Drowsiness also leads to confusion and impaired vision. If you see a friend in this state, be sure to get him or her home safely. 

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Alcohol doesn’t just harm your liver, but also your stomach lining. Alcohol contains toxins that could harm your gastrointestinal tract. This could lead to multiple trips to the toilet during your night out. Consuming too much alcohol during a short amount of time could lead to alcohol poisoning, the effects of which are dangerous and include confusion, elevated temperatures, and an increased heart rate. 

The long-term effects of alcohol

The short-term effects will usually happen while you’re drinking, and you’re often blissfully unaware until a friend whips out their phone to highlight the night that was. However, abuse of alcohol often leads to damaging consequences. 

The long-term effects of alcohol could damage major organs, including:

The brain

Alcohol can have long-lasting effects on the brain. Over time it can change the structure and function of the brain, possibly leading to mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and antisocial personality disorder. 

The liver

Liver problems are often associated with long-term alcohol abuse. Too much alcohol can cause liver inflammation, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.

The heart

This vital organ of the body can suffer heavily from the effects of alcohol abuse. You risk heart failure, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. 

Those who drink still feel their organs have a fair chance when compared to those who smoke weed. Those on the side of alcohol when it comes to the weed vs alcohol debate usually have a tough time understanding why people prefer to smoke a joint.

Why do people smoke weed?

Like alcohol, people smoke pot for a variety of reasons, including:

Weight loss

When entering the body, weed can regulate insulin production, and manage caloric intake more efficiently. In most cases, people do not have an appetite while they’re high. 

Alleviating symptoms related to cancer treatment

Those undergoing chemotherapy often smoke weed to curb nausea and pain symptoms. 

Helps with depression and anxiety

Some strains of weed contain properties that act as mood stabilisers. Marijuana contains THC (this has psychoactive properties) and CBD that interacts with a system in our brains that plays a role in regulating our moods. 

Treats insomnia

Cannabis includes properties that can help calm your mind, which may be all you need if you’re struggling to fall asleep. Insomnia sufferers like to smoke before going to bed, to clear out the ‘noise’ and declutter the headspace. 

Good weed vs bad weed

Not all weed is made superior. Good weed would include some of the benefits above, but people have become greedy and operate unethically, and there have been reports of sellers adding substances to weed strains. These could have harmful effects, which is why it’s always better to source information about reputable sellers

Is marijuana safer than alcohol?

The long-term effects of both weed and booze make this a tough question to answer. However, a past study indicates that alcohol may be more dangerous. According to the Independent Scientific Committee on Drug study, alcohol abuse is more of a danger to others, meaning that bar fights, car accidents, etc. harm those other than the drinker. But then, why is it legal? 

For starters, the liquor industry is powerful. The global beverages market was valued at $1,439 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $1,684 billion by 2025. It employs millions of people worldwide, and to cut this supply could impact the economy badly. 

Alcohol is also easy to produce, thanks to the fermentation process. More importantly, history plays a role. Remember the Prohibition era? For 13 years, the United States put a ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. The effects of the ban led to organised crime, the rise of bootlegging, and illegal sales. 

No matter where you stand on the alcohol vs weed debate, always be aware of the long-term effects weed can have on your body. AskMaryJ.com provides a reputable directory that will provide you with alternative ways to de-stress after a long day. 

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