Medical Marijuana Effects On Alcoholism | cannabisMD

The Effects of Medical Marijuana on Signs of Alcoholism

Effects of Medical Marijuana on Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse has become very prevalent in our society and alcohol is easily accessible to people. Having a drink or two is considered socially acceptable, but for many alcoholics, it can never just be 2. Due to the narcotic effects of alcohol, it is easily one of the most abused substances. Alcoholism is a common problem in many socio-economic groups. The signs of alcoholism are often not noticed until it becomes a severe problem.

What Are Some Of The Common Causes Of Alcoholism?

Some of the most common attributed causes of alcoholism are:

  • Stress
  • Under-age binge drinking
  • Depression
  • Mental health problems
  • Trauma
  • Drinking alcohol while using medication
  • A family history of alcoholism

Being exposed to alcohol at a young age may cause your body to become more tolerant. It also may you more comfortable with the act of consuming alcohol. People turn to alcohol when stressed, depressed, or anxious about the narcotic effects which temporarily relieve these symptoms. This can cause people to become alcoholics over time as use eventually becomes habitual and the body builds up a tolerance. The tolerance makes it so people end up drinking more and more to attain the same feeling from the substance.

What Are The Warning Signs Of Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, which is also now referred to as alcohol use disorder, is often not acknowledged by users and even their friends and family until it becomes a severe problem. Some of the warning signs may assist in diagnosing and getting assistance for the problem sooner. The warning signs are:

  1. You are unable to reduce or stop your intake of alcohol
  2. You are a heavy drinker and others want you to stop drinking
  3. You partake in heavy drinking for longer than what you had planned to on a number of occasions, perhaps every day
  4. You are hungover or feel sick often due to drinking alcohol
  5. You experience problems in your relationships or at work due to your drinking
  6. You tend to lack inhibitions and take part in risky behaviours after consuming alcohol
  7. You would rather drink than take part in other activities that would have been important in the past
  8. You continue drinking even after it has negative effects on your mental or physical health
    You suffer from withdrawal symptoms if you avoid alcohol for a period of time.

If you experience two or more of the above symptoms, you may have a mild alcohol use disorder. If you experience four or more, it would be a moderate case and six or more would indicate a severe case of alcoholism.

Why Use Medical Cannabis Instead of Alcohol?

While medical cannabis can offer some of the same benefits for emotional, physical, and mental relief that alcohol does, there are many more benefits to using cannabis than alcohol. When beginning the substitution of cannabis for alcohol, some of the benefits are immediately apparent. Cannabis reduces the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Cravings
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor appetite

Cannabis is not as highly addictive, but more habitual and there are minimal side effects to withdrawal from cannabis. Cannabis has proven helpful in addiction treatment for substance abuse–both alcoholism and drug-related. Severe alcohol withdrawal can actually kill sufferers due to blood pressure spikes, seizures, irregular heartbeats, and hallucinations. Cannabis does not cause any severe withdrawal symptoms when it is no longer being used. Overdosing on alcohol can be life-threatening, whereas it is impossible to overdose on medical cannabis.

Hangovers are the classic reaction of the body to alcohol use because alcohol poisons the body. On the other hand, there are no such symptoms of cannabis use. Some people suffering from alcoholism can exhibit poor behaviour, including extreme anger, risky behaviours, etc. when using alcohol. These sorts of behaviours are seldom seen in the use of medical cannabis. Alcohol is responsible for around two million deaths annually, around the world. There has never been a reported case of death due to use of cannabis to date.

While still offering many of the same sought benefits of alcohol such as:

  • Pain relief
  • Reduction in anxiety and stress
  • Improving mood
  • Reducing sleeplessness
  • Improving appetite
  • Increasing energy

There are very few detrimental effects from medical cannabis on the body. Alcohol is known to cause damage to the liver and heart, result in blackouts, ulcers, gastrointestinal problems, depression, and memory loss. Cannabis fights off a number of illnesses and has not been shown to cause damage to the body.

Conventional Treatment Of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is currently treated with a detox program where withdrawal is generally experienced under the supervision of medical practitioners. The withdrawal symptoms are treated with a variety of other drugs to reduce the negative effects. Once this process is complete, the person generally undergoes a 12 step program or treatment programs at a treatment centre. Treatment facilities and rehabilitation centres are readily available for alcohol and drug abuse.

Once is rehabilitated, they are taught ways to cope with any issues that may have caused the alcoholism. They may be offered counselling services for emotional and mental problems. They also may be medicated for underlying medical conditions. They may also be generally medicated for a period of time to keep the addiction under control.

Another one of the signs of alcoholism is severe dependency; only 1 out of 15 people are able to stay clean after undergoing the detox process. Alcoholism cannot be cured, only managed. Many of the medications used during the detox process, for withdrawal and early treatment, have their own volley of side effects to manage and control. Medical cannabis has shown some success in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It has also shown success with the long-term reduction of symptoms related to the original abuse of alcohol. Cannabis use may even prevent a relapse.

How Do I Try Medical Cannabis?

Cannabinoids protect neurons during the detoxification process preventing them from being destroyed. This means that medical cannabis can prevent brain damage during withdrawal from alcohol. Medical cannabis can effectively treat depression, stress, anxiety, nausea, as well as reduce cravings for alcohol experienced by many recovering alcoholics. Medical cannabis can not only help during withdrawal and long-term sobriety but can be an emotional substitute for alcohol with similar sedative effects.

When patients exhibit signs of alcohol addiction, it may be worth exploring a treatment plan with medical cannabis in addition to or as a replacement of the other drugs currently being used to reduce alcohol dependence. Before trying medical cannabis to treat any ailment, you should speak to your doctor or medical professional. As medical marijuana is still illegal in most of the world, be sure to research your state or national laws to not partake in illegal activity.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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