Treating Alcoholism with Cannabis
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder or AUD is a disease that affects roughly 12% of all Americans. It’s an extremely serious ailment, with excessive alcohol use being in the top 10 preventable deaths in the US, killing almost 2 million Americans per year. It’s typically defined as someone who has a physical and mental dependence on alcohol.
Alcoholics are often characterized as someone who has the inability to stop drinking, even in the face of potential negative consequences due to their actions. Not to mention the fact that once someone is physically dependent on alcohol they can have very severe withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms include getting the shakes, sweating, anxiety, headaches, tremors, seizures, and even death.
So how exactly does cannabis fit into this puzzle? Oftentimes people become alcoholics slowly over time, drinking a few beers a night to reduce stress until eventually, they can’t stop. Cannabis can be used as a gateway for recovering from this dependence. Switching alcohol for weed can help reduce the stress of the day without destroying your liver and causing permanent damage to your body. While it’s typically not the best idea to switch one vice for another, it is certainly a healthier alternative to chronic drinking.
Cannabis can also help severe alcoholics who are looking to stop by reducing various withdrawal symptoms as well as implementing a healthier system to help cope with these symptoms. Namely, it helps to mitigate the negative side effects associated with stopping drinking for most alcoholics. Many of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal such as Nausea, Anxiety, loss of appetite, stress, depression have all been shown to be improved with cannabis consumption.
Cannabinoids can also help to ease alcohol cravings by essentially replacing them. This can help patients who are struggling to recover and not go back to drinking. Once cannabis completely replaces alcohol it can be a lot easier for people to go to complete sobriety from there as it doesn’t have any withdrawal symptoms.
Now this doesn’t mean if you’re an alcoholic to go straight to smoking an ounce a week. It’s typically recommended to take a few hits in the evening and potentially the morning to help cope. You could also try tinctures, edibles, oil, etc. but it’s important to not go overboard. Any way you cut it cannabis can help to reduce alcohol consumption when used properly. Weather you’re already a hardcore alcoholic or if your just heading in that direction, it’s never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle.
Hopefully cannabis can help people across the globe as laws trend towards legalization and it slowly becomes the easily accessible medicine it should be. At the end of the day, we don’t really have all of the evidence we need to assume this will work for everyone. The best thing to do is give it a shot for yourself, find the right strain and dosage and see if it works for you.