Binge drinkers are also likely to consume marijuana in large quantities

Published Jun 6, 2019 12:33 p.m. ET
Credit: x-reflexnaja

The study which was conducted by the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction Colorado USA had the intention of either proving or disproving the relationship between the use of the two substances both before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana use. The abstract was published by the NCIB, and the scenarios being investigated included the increase in smoking marijuana after legalization, the rates that people chose to replace alcohol with cannabis products, and the number of people who might decide to use both substances in a high strength combination to increase the felt euphoric effects.

The results

Though vigorous research over the last few years has shown that legalization does not affect the number of people that choose to partake in marijuana use by any significant amount, it seems that there is a dramatic and distinct relationship between alcohol and marijuana use. It also shows that the strength of that relationship began to decrease once smoking marijuana was legalized in a region, and access to both substances was made available. What cannabis researchers did find was a very specific group of individuals who appeared to be influenced by the newly accessible element.

  • People who consumed a low amount of alcohol to achieve a relaxed and therapeutic state of mind were 22% more likely to be smoking marijuana instead after legalization.

  • Alcohol binge drinkers who consumed large portions of the substance were much more likely (11%) to partake in marijuana use to enhance the euphoric and mind-altering effects of alcohol.

  • Americans who enjoy alcohol in any amount are 16% more likely to use smoking marijuana as a tool to hasten the felt impact of alcohol.

  • Approximately 9% of regular alcohol drinkers will make the switch to smoking marijuana once the element becomes legal in a region.

  • Marijuana use is associated with a 10% increase in the frequency of binge alcohol drinking.

What do these new cannabis research results mean?

These statistics can sound somewhat scary until you can translate the results into slightly more understandable examples and reasoning for such effects.

  • The very first thing to consider is that this cannabis research depends on the participants being 100% honest in their given answers, and many more people are comfortable admitting to marijuana use after legalization.

  • The next thing to look at is the positive side of this study, which proves that smoking marijuana can be used as a tool to avoid other addictive, dangerous, and destructive habits that tend to come paired with much fewer appealing consequences.

  • Lastly, and the most important lesson that should be taken and used from this latest cannabis research is that people with addictive personalities are much more likely to dapple in other mind-altering substances including cannabis, and combining the two can have incredibly potent effects which may be dangerous to your health and safety.

It is never a good idea to over consume any recreational substance, including marijuana. Though the precise definition of binging on cannabis might be subjective and change depending on who you ask, the general rule is that if marijuana use is adversely affecting your quality of life, or is getting in the way of your daily responsibilities like family or work than it is an excellent time to cut back, and seek help if a self-cleaning period feels too complicated.

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