Research finds more evidence of cannabis replacing alcohol

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More people are ditching alcohol in favor of cannabis across the US

As natural health is in the spotlight, many are now turning away from alcohol in favor of marijuana. A couple of years ago, the Harris Poll reported that 45% of adults surveyed over the age of 21 substituted alcohol for cannabis during the pandemic. Some data show that alcohol purchases declined in states with legalized recreational cannabis. Now, a new study appears to further confirm those results, identifying that residents of states with legal cannabis have lower rates of the disorder.

Federal funds in the US have been used to conduct a study that concluded that people residing in states where cannabis is legal have lower rates of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Researchers from the University of Colorado and the University of Minnesota have been conducting this longitudinal analysis since 2014, when cannabis was not even legal. In all cases, one twin lived in a state with legal cannabis while the other did not.

The study was conducted that way so that the researchers would get a unique case and help them understand the impact of legalization without having to worry about complex factors such as the subjects’ socialization and/or genetics. While it is true that alcohol consumption between states across the country did not vary much, the study found that twins who lived in states where cannabis was legal were less likely to suffer harm when under the influence of alcohol.

“Recreational legalization was associated with increased cannabis use and decreased AUD symptoms, but was not associated with other maladaptations,” the researchers wrote. It is important no note that people who smoke cannabis may have an increased risk of lung disease, but those who use cannabis by other methods do not have this risk. Alcohol, however, has been associated with many chronic diseases, including lung disease, and there is only one way to get it into your system, drinking.