How to survive dry January using cannabis

Published Jan 18, 2023 10:00 a.m. ET
Unsplash / Laura Chouette

It’s a new year and for many, this is the perfect time to set goals and create new habits that will lead us in a more positive direction over the coming months. That’s great news, especially after spending almost a whole month overindulging in sweet treats, hearty meals, and alcohol over the holidays, and it’s a large part of what sparked the campaign of Dry January.

What is Dry January?

The campaign Dry January began in 2014 in the United Kingdom where Alcohol Change UK ask individuals to sign up and agree to abstain from alcohol throughout the month of January, but it didn’t take long for the idea to become an international sensation, as people all over the world sought to challenge themselves. Now, it’s not uncommon to find people in both the US and Canada who quit drinking for one month every single year, and each has their own reason for wanting to partake.

Is cannabis any healthier than alcohol?

This question has been a subject of debate forever, and the truth is that yes, cannabis may come with certain adverse effects in terms of health if you’re smoking or vaping it. However, to date, there are still no links between consumption and diseases we’d expect from smoking cigarettes like cancer, while there is plenty of data to show how harmful long-term use of alcohol can be.

It is also important to recognize the fact that cannabis boasts a broad range of benefits, with some studies suggesting it may increase life spans, induce autophagy, improve healthspan, and may even hold the key to treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s as well as other neurological disorders.

So sure, cannabis can be an unhealthy choice, if you’re consuming it through inhalation or to the excess, but when the other legal alternative is alcohol, which truly is poison, then there is no denying the difference.

How can cannabis help?

Cannabis can be an alternative that helps you to de-stress, unwind, relax, and get through the uphill battle that is getting back into the routine of work life, kids, school, and other day-to-day responsibilities we’re allowed to temporarily step away from for a break during the holidays. It may help to reduce or eliminate cravings for alcohol, and it’s something that may even help with issues you hadn’t even thought of, like aches and pains, motivation, or sustaining a healthy appetite.

Tips for cannabis enthusiasts

Yes, cannabis may be the thing you need to make Dry January easier to survive, but it’s still important to remember a few things along the way.


Don’t try to completely replace alcohol with cannabis

If you’re a regular drinker then it might not be a good idea to try to completely replace your alcohol consumption with cannabis, as the effects may be more intense and potentially overwhelming than anything you’re used to.

Learn about cannabis first

No one should go diving head first into consuming any type of substance without at least some knowledge surrounding things like various forms, dosing, potential effects, possible adverse side effects, and anything else that might have an influence over the decisions that lie ahead.

Begin with CBD or low-THC products

If you’re researching how to use cannabis to get through Dry January then you probably aren’t overly experienced, which means that it’s probably best if you follow the advice given to all beginners, start low and go slow. CBD is great because it doesn’t come with intoxicating effects, and THC should be taken with the utmost caution.

Select a consumption method carefully

One of the most important things you should know is that how you use cannabis will highly impact how the cannabinoids may make you feel. It may also change how long the effects last, and how intense varying sensations might feel. Smoking kicks in instantly with short-lived effects lasting 30-60 minutes, while edibles may take twice that long before you even begin to notice any effects from taking one, and once the ‘high’ hits, it could last anywhere from 3-8 hours which is a staggering difference.

As long as it’s done in moderation, and with safety in mind, cannabis can be an incredible tool for getting through Dry January and beyond!

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