Proving the Superiority of Cannabis and Hemp Over Alcohol Is Easy
It’s a crazy world in which we live… and a perfect example of the insanity of today’s society can be found in how we regard and treat alcohol as compared to cannabis.
Alcohol – A Proven Destroyer of Humankind
Booze is portrayed as a fun, harmless way to let go a bit, but a closer look at statistics behind the consumption of alcohol can be sobering.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, using data as recent as 2019, presented the following facts and statistics concerning alcohol:
- Alcohol Use Disorder Among Adults – of individuals aged 12 or older, over 14.5 million (or 5.3% of this age group) suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
- Alcohol Use Disorder Among Children – narrowing the age range down to ages 12 through 17, over 400,000 (or 1.7% of this age group) suffer from AUD
- Low Treatment Numbers of AUD – despite the alarming numbers shown above for AUD, only 7.2% of adults and 6.4% of children received treatment for their problem
- ER-Related Visits – emergency room visits due to alcohol-related conditions surpass 400,000 per year
- Alcohol-Related Deaths – almost 100,000 people die each year from alcohol-related deaths, making it the third-leading preventable cause of death (behind tobacco (#1) and inadequate diet/low physical activity (#2))
- Alcohol-Impaired Driving Deaths – in 2019, over 10,000 driving fatalities was due to alcohol-impaired incidents (responsible for 28% of all driving fatalities)
- Ever Had a Drink – in a survey from 2019, 85.6% of adults reported having consumed alcohol at some time in their life
- Current Drinkers – in the past year, 69.5% of adults reported having a drink; 54.9% of those same respondents indicated they had a drink in the past month
- Binge and Heavy Drinking – 25% of adults aged 18 or older engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.3% reported engaging in heavy drinking in the past month
- High-Intensity Drinking – this is basically binge drinking on overdrive; such events make it 70 times more likely an alcohol-related emergency room visit occurs
- Estimated Economic Toll – in 2010, alcohol misuse resulted in a $249 billion cost in the US alone; three-quarters of that cost can be attributed to binge drinking
Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, here are definitions of terms used in the above list:
- Alcohol Use Disorder – an umbrella term referring to a chronic condition involving an obsession with alcohol along with uncontrolled drinking
- Binge Drinking – a pattern of drinking excessively in a 2-hour period (excessive drinking is 5 drinks for males and 4 drinks for females)
- Heavy Drinking – there are two measures, either of which qualifies a person as a heavy drinker:
- For men, consuming more than 4 drinks in one day; for women, it is 3 drinks
- For men, consuming more than 14 drinks in a week; for women, make it 7 drinks
- High-Intensity Drinking – anything double or more than the binge drinking limits for either gender catapults a person into the high-intensity drinking category
Sadly, this list can go on and on. Yet alcohol is embraced as an essential part of culture not only in America but around the globe. So cannabis and hemp must be much worse than alcohol to merit their poor standing and acceptance in this same, health-conscious society, right?
Cannabis and Hemp – Accused Menaces of Humankind
First, A Soapbox Moment
Let us be the first to admit our own bias in favor of cannabis and hemp; this is not just a made-up fantasy but is based upon many factors, the most important of which is what we have observed with people who regularly consume cannabis, hemp, or both. Because of our passion for and bias towards cannabis and hemp products, we must readily admit that anyone who still refers to cannabis as “marijuana” triggers internal alarms warning us of a tendency towards anachronistic thinking!
We agree that cannabis is a drug because it is a substance capable of affecting a physiological or psychological change in the human body. Unfortunately, for too many decades, cannabis has been considered an “illegal drug” which makes it sound harmful, possibly deadly. The only reason it was an “illegal drug” was due to senseless and prejudiced governmental officials, not any imminent or long-term danger. We should begin to call cannabis and hemp plants “natural drugs” because that is literally what they are: naturally grown (as contrasted with lab synthesized) substances capable of affecting physiological and psychological changes in our bodies and minds.
Okay, putting our soapbox away now.
The Cannabis/Hemp Summary
Let’s put cannabis and hemp through a similar drill as alcohol just did. For this summary, we simply googled “cannabis abuse” and visited the top result from Google: Marijuana DrugFacts by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
We acknowledge our own prejudice was on high alert with their use of “marijuana” but wanted to keep an open mind to see if there was anything we could learn about unknown dangers or threats that cannabis and/or hemp may pose. Here is a summary of their findings, conclusions, and recommendations:
- Overactivated Brain Cells – THC is famous for its various effects on the brain that impact certain areas (not necessarily negative but altered responses or feelings):
- Body Movements
- Solving Problems
- Thinking Processes
- Uncomfortable Side Effects – there are no reports of teens or adults dying from cannabis consumption, but some side effects may occur, including:
- Psychotic Reactions (very rare)
- Warnings for Pregnant Women – while emphasizing more research is required, there are indications that pregnant women aged 24 or younger who regularly use THC may affect the fetus in terms of body weight and brain development
- Cannabis Abuse Disorder – as with any substance, a percentage of consumers will develop an abusive relationship with it; cannabis abuse disorder is estimated to occur in about 9% of users, a much smaller percentage than occurs among users of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs
As compared to the morbid list outlining the toll alcohol regularly takes on society, businesses, and families, the list of potential damages that cannabis may inflict is rather anticlimactic, to say the least.
In fact, the first two items are well-known by almost every cannabis consumer out there: yes, moods change, our body feels different, our thinking slows down, and sometimes a solution to a nagging problem suddenly shows itself to the mind. And yes again, any regular consumer has likely had moments of anxiety and paranoia (psychotic reactions, likely not). It’s all part and parcel of consuming and enjoying the THC delivered by the cannabis plant. It should also be emphasized that these concerns only apply to THC consumption, not other cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN.
By the way… we also googled “hemp abuse” to see if such a condition even existed. The first-page Google results listed a slew of headings highlighting “marijuana addiction” (with the exception of two results linking to articles about CBD!). So much for hemp abuse, apparently, and so much for presuming Google understands there is a difference between hemp and marijuana!
And Then There’s Medical Cannabis…
To further muddy the already murky waters of our understanding and perception of cannabis, hemp, and cannabinoids, there are now millions of people benefiting from a wide array of medical conditions by using CBD, CBG, CBN, and yes, even THC. This is why the majority of American states have already approved cannabis use for medical purposes, with a growing number of states also embracing the reality that millions more American adults also enjoy it for recreational purposes.
So far, the only medical use which alcohol offers is its ability to disinfect surfaces and wounds. A doctor rarely recommends a swig of booze to ease an ailment, unless it’s in a scene from an old Western or comedy sketch. It’s also highly flammable, so it can help heat surgical tools but that’s quite a reach as a medical aid.
The Rot Stuff or the Right Stuff?
Finally, consider how alcohol is manufactured as compared to cannabis and hemp plants. We can use elegant terms like “fermentation” or “aging” but what is really involved in the manufacturing of alcohol is allowing different plant materials (hops, wheat, rice, plums, and potatoes, to name just a few cultivated fruits, grains, and vegetables used) to turn rotten before we prepare it as a libation and quaff it down.
And what is the word we use when we consume such rotten beverages? Intoxicated. (To better emphasize the root of the word, it was put in boldface font: toxic.) Yes, poison. In other words, the Rot Stuff.
In our earlier list of alcohol facts, it stated that over 100,000 people are victims of alcohol fatalities each year whereas the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated unequivocally that no one dies from consuming cannabis, hemp, or cannabinoids.
What is one term used when we consume cannabis? High, which is altogether not a bad state and often an envious condition. And yes, there are other terms a bit more derogatory like stoned or ripped, but no one says a person is intoxicated or drunk from cannabis. This is simply because the effects are not the result of pouring toxic libations down one’s throat but instead are achieved by consuming (in a variety of manners: smoking, vaping, eating, tinctures, etc.) products that were simply grown (hopefully under optimal conditions), harvested, and put through as few unnatural processes as possible.
Or another way to put it… the Right Stuff.
At Fern Valley Farms, we strive to consistently deliver the Right Stuff, and based upon our customer responses and reorders, we are doing just that. For example, our outstanding line of hemp flower strains grown and cultivated on our grounds arrive at the doors of our customers as fresh as possible, in sealed bags with freshness packets included. Plus all products are third-party tested, ensuring no pesticides or other unnatural or unsafe additives pollute the pure products you purchase. There is clearly nothing intoxicating in our entire process and you can be fully informed as to the source and ingredients of each and every product you acquire from Fern Valley Farms. In the case of our flower strains, you even know the precise CBD content (as a percentage of the gram) and the terpenes that flavor and influence moods and energy when consumed.
By the way, alcohol is under the purview of ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives); it is difficult to ignore the other items regulated by this agency, all of which are clearly deadly! On the other hand, medical cannabis and hemp products are under the watchful eye of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which moderates more than polices the thousands of products we consume for nutritional or health purposes, including cannabinoid-based products.
It seems pretty clear: there is the Rot Stuff (alcohol) or the Right Stuff (cannabis, hemp, and a wealth of cannabinoids teeming with therapeutic properties). Both are legal but they certainly are not equal. As an adult, you get to choose; for many, that choice is a sensible balance of both substances for different reasons and results.
Meanwhile, let’s please stop picking on cannabis-related products and the millions of individuals who consume them for a variety of purposes; the products are proving much less damaging and more beneficial than alcohol as each year passes and the consumers are less likely to end up in a hospital from their use. Knowing the facts spread before us, the false accusations against cannabis, hemp, and cannabinoids could well be perceived as distractions from a larger problem in our society: the devastating ravages of alcohol abuse.