CBD OIL VS. ALCOHOL
It’s no longer news that CBD oil is taking over the cannabis industry. This development is attributed to the numerous health benefits that come with its use. The product is scientifically proven to heal certain medical conditions, and its popularity continues to grow, largely due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain relieving properties.
The market for CBD oil and other CBD products is becoming highly competitive as manufacturers continue to introduce new CBD oil products to consumers. Due to this massive adoption, Forbes estimates CBD’s market to generate approximately 2.1 billion dollars by 2020. It’s little wonder then why hemp growers are striving hard to become licensed and tap into this pot of wealth.
Unfortunately, many people believe alcoholic beverages and CBD products are in the same vein. This is a considerable misconception that should be clarified. Although the two are both legal substances, they differ in terms of both functionality and usage. This article will take aim at discussing, and clarifying, the differences between the two substances. Also, we will take a look at some of the reasons why there might be a big switch from alcohol to CBD consumption in the future.
The alcohol industry may not be smiling at the sudden spike in demand for CBD products. This is because a massive switch from alcoholic to CBD products has been observed. Some folks are starting to adopt CBD products instead of alcohol, while some are in the business of mixing the two. As a result, big alcohol might soon suffer a large blow to their bottom line.
Let’s start by considering what’s wrong with alcohol.
So What Exactly is Wrong with Alcohol?
Everything! Wondering why?
Alcohol exposes consumers to several health risks. Regardless of whether a person takes it on a single occasion, or over time, it can take a severe toll on a person’s health by interfering with the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and even the immune system.
Yes, consuming alcohol can weaken the immune system, thus exposing the body to various diseases. This trend is especially prevalent in chronic drinkers. This is why many end up suffering from health conditions such as tuberculosis or pneumonia.
There is no single positive effect that can be attributed to alcohol use. It might interest you to know that the amount of alcohol required to kill a person is easily accessible in one night. This means, even first-time drinkers stand a chance of dying. According to the National Health Institute in 2012, 5.9 percent of all global deaths are as a result of alcohol consumption. This means about 3.3 million deaths are credited to the use of alcohol.
Worse still, the danger isn’t necessarily over even if a person stops drinking. The danger that comes from alcohol withdrawal can, in some cases, be life-threatening. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated a total of 88,000 deaths are caused by complications arising from alcohol withdrawal.
This is interesting because first a person exposes themselves to health risks while consuming alcohol. Then, just when they have decided to become sober and break off the addiction, they are exposed to further health risks. So, as you can see, one can easily say that just about everything is wrong with alcohol.
To better understand the differences that exist between the two, let’s take a look at a practical juxtaposition, shall we?
Let’s consider the adverse effects of both.
Negative Effects of CBD Vs. Alcohol
As previously established, consuming alcohol can be detrimental to your health. Some of the effects that accompany consumption of alcohol include dizziness, nausea & vommiting, mental impairment and, of course, the typical hangover often experienced hours after use.
Here’s a comprehensive list of how alcohol affects different parts of the body, and some of the conditions it can cause.
Consuming alcohol can interfere with the functionality of the brain by disrupting communication pathways. This is why you see some drunken folks acting weird after drinking alcohol. Brain disruption triggers changes in mood, behavior, and movement coordination.
Consuming a lot of alcohol can be detrimental to heart health. Whether taken for the first time, or over a long period. Some heart problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and more are often evident from alcohol use.
Pancreatitis, a critical inflammation of blood vessels, can arise as a result of ingesting alcohol over time. This is because alcohol releases toxins, which can cause this medical condition. Patients suffering from this ailment usually experience improper digestion.
By far the most prevalent health condition among alcohol consumers is liver disease. Alcohol deals mercilessly with the liver, especially in heavy drinkers. Some of the health problems encountered often include; alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis and fibrosis of the liver, and more.
According to the National Cancer Institute’s Data in 2009, 3.9 percent of all cancer deaths in the US were alcohol-related. This means that about 19,500 people have died from some form of alcohol-related cancer. Some forms of cancer have been attributed to alcohol consumption, including; head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.
People who consume at least three bottles of alcohol per day have a higher risk of developing these types of cancer.
Now let’s consider the negative side effects of CBD.
Based on scientific research, so far there are little or no adverse effects accredited to the use of CBD products. Some small scale studies have looked into the safety of CBD in adults. They did this by administering a wide range of doses to a set of adults. Results revealed that adults tolerated the differences in treatment well.
Additionally, further research shows that there are no significant effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) or mood of CBD consumers, even when they take in higher doses.
The most common side effect was tiredness. Also, some people reported diarrhea and slight changes in appetite or weight. These effects are quite minimal and can quickly be dealt with compared to the adverse side effects observed in alcohol consumption.
We’ve now examined some of the conditions alcohol and CBD consumers often encounter. CBD appears to be far better off in this regard. Could this be the reason why many people are advocating a switch from alcohol to CBD oil and other CBD products?
Now let’s take a look at some of the positive effects of CBD and alcohol.
Positive Effects of CBD Vs. Alcohol
As stated earlier, CBD is scientifically proven to cure some medical conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, seizures, nausea, and a host of other issues. For some there is even a tendency to believe that the product has more healing properties that are as of yet undiscovered. There are little or no adverse effects from CBD consumption, and as such, several states in the US have already authorized CBD for both medical and recreational use.
Since the inception of the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp cultivation and processing became legalized across all 50 states, and as such, all hemp-derived products including CBD are legal on a federal level.
Unlike alcohol, CBD has no intoxicating effects on consumers. It is not associated with misbehavior like sexual assault and domestic violence, nor does it cause adverse health conditions like liver toxicity, cancer, and other health conditions that can be attributed to the use of alcohol.
Interestingly, CBD can be used to treat “Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome”. Studies on animals show that CBD protects against some health issues that can arise during alcohol withdrawal. This makes CBD ideal when used for recovering from alcohol addiction.
It is also proven that CBD can help reduce tobacco and cigarette addiction as well. This is undoubtedly a huge benefit, as it can be used to fight against both alcoholism, and nicotine addiction.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can be of immense benefit in suppressing the inflammatory pain caused by alcohol. It is also scientifically proven that CBD may help in mitigating damage to the liver from previous alcohol abuse.
Now let’s do a proper and more insightful study into the benefits of CBD
Pain Relieving & Anti-Inflammatory Properties of CBD
CBD offers a better alternative to “over–the-counter” drugs and prescriptions for treating chronic pain or relieving stiffness.
Based on the information from a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats.
The researchers concluded that the non-psychoactive elements in CBD could provide a new form of treatment for chronic pain.
Quitting Smoking and Drug Withdrawals
CBD is scientifically proven to help smokers quit. According to a study published in Addictive Behaviors, smokers who vaped in CBD smoked fewer cigarettes than usual and also had no further craving for nicotine.
Another study published in Neurotherapeutics revealed CBD could be an effective treatment for people who have opioid addiction disorders.
Researchers have also noted that CBD reduced some symptoms associated with other substance use disorders. These included mood-related symptoms like pain, insomnia, and anxiety.
Although more research is necessary to ascertain these observations, the findings suggest that CBD may help to prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms across the board.
After careful research on the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a CBD based product called Epidiolex as a therapy for two rare conditions characterized by epileptic seizures in 2018. These conditions include the following:
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which is common in individuals between ages three and five. It also involves different varieties of seizures
- Dravet syndrome (a rare genetic condition prevalent in the first year of life and includes frequent, fever-related seizures).
In the United States, a licensed doctor can prescribe Epidiolex to treat the above conditions.
Neurological Symptoms and Disorders
According to a 2014 review, CBD possesses anti-seizure properties with a low risk of experiencing side effects common in people with epilepsy. Research also shows that CBD may also treat many complications linked to epilepsy, such as neuro-degeneration, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases.
Another study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design revealed that CBD might produce effects similar to those of certain anti-psychotic drugs. CBD may even provide a safe and effective treatment for schizophrenia patients. However, further research is necessary. There is still an ongoing study on the effects of CBD on various neuropsychiatric disorders.
CBD may just be the right thing to help deal with and to fight cancer. According to a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, there is evidence that suggests CBD might significantly help to prevent the spread of cancer. It was observed that CBD helps in suppressing the growth of cancer cells, and ultimately promotes their destruction.
According to a review from Neurotherapeutics, CBD may also help to reduce anxiety in people with certain related disorders.
The review suggested that CBD may reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people with conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and general anxiety disorder
The authors also included a note of warning regarding current prescription treatments: “Current treatments for these disorders can lead to additional symptoms and side effects, which can cause some people to stop taking them.”
It’s worth noting that CBD does not have these effects.
Type 1 diabetes arises from inflammation that occurs when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas. In 2016, a paper presented in Lisbon, Portugal revealed that CBD might be the saving grace in fighting type 1 diabetes. By mitigating inflammation, CBD may delay the development of type 1 diabetes.
Furthermore, according to research published in 2016 by Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation, CBD could ease this kind inflammation which is present in the pancreas; could this be the first step to finding a CBD-based treatment for type-1 diabetes?
Acne is a common skin condition caused by inflammation of the sebaceous gland. CBD also shows promising potential to treat this medical condition due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
In 2014, a study by JCI said CBD helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne. Sebum is an oily substance, and its overproduction can cause acne.
According to research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was observed that CBD prevented the development of a social recognition deficit in participants. Therefore, the researchers concluded that CBD could help in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This means patients could still be able to recognize the faces of people that they know.
Interestingly, this is the first evidence that CBD may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Still not convinced CBD and alcohol are vastly different? Let’s consider the difference in usage.
CBD Usage Vs. Alcohol Usage
CBD and alcohol are both distinct in their usage as well. As you must have observed in previous subtopics and explanations, CBD cannot be regarded as a recreational drug. In fact, it is not viewed as one by law enforcement agencies and medical practitioners because the psychoactive effects do not exist. It uses are quite medicinal, and as such, most CBD consumers regard themselves as medicinal users.
Alcohol on the other hand, has no known medicinal advantages. One can therefore presume it’s purely a recreational drug. Of course, there is plenty of evidence to back this up, especially considering you typically find alcohol in recreational venues like bars, clubs and entertainment events. Most people won’t deny that the primary reason for its consumption is for recreational purposes. This is why it is commonly consumed at social events, because it makes people feel less inhibited and ultimately makes the gathering quite entertaining.
Now Let’s take a look at the difference in legality.
CBD Legality Vs. Alcohol Legality
There are common misconceptions about the legality of CBD in some areas, unlike alcohol which is legal almost everywhere across the globe.
At the Federal level, CBD is legal in all 50 states of the US, so long as it is manufactured from hemp, and it contains no more than 0.3% THC. However, some state laws regulate the use of CBD, while some others ban it altogether. Those states often regard marijuana as any substance containing CBD or THC. Since marijuana is generally still illegal in many states, save for medicinal purposes in some, the use of CBD in those states is unauthorized.
There is little to no misconception, however, as to the legality of alcohol across the country. Alcohol is legal in all the 50 states of the United States except for a few counties that have decided to ban the use of alcohol on certain days, or have banned the sale of it entirely.
Finally, let’s consider the differences the addictive qualities of both substances.
CBD Vs. Alcohol Addiction
Is it possible to get addicted to CBD? To answer this question, one must understand how addiction works and what exactly triggers addiction.
Addiction is primarily caused by the release of excess dopamine into the brain’s pleasure center. Every addictive substance is known to release about two to ten times the naturally required amount of dopamine.
Fortunately, CBD does not release excess dopamine when consumed. Therefore, you cannot get addicted to CBD, no matter how much you consume. Instead, CBD aids the balancing of neurotransmitters in the brain. This means if there’s a high level of a neurotransmitter, CBD lowers it and vice versa.
Alcohol, on the other hand, releases quite a lot of dopamine into the brain’s reward center. Dopamine causes an alteration in brain chemicals, which enhances the feelings of depression. By increasing the dopamine levels in the brain, alcohol tricks consumers into thinking that it’s making them feel great. This is why consumers keep drinking and drinking to get more dopamine release, but at the same time altering other brain chemicals that enhance feelings of depression. Ultimately, consumers crave for more thus becoming addicted.
So, what do you think? Would you consider settling for CBD instead of alcohol?