Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Beth Skwarecki
While alcohol is widely recognized for its impairing effects and links to various health issues, edibles containing THC offer a different set of experiences and potential consequences.
Understanding these substances’ short-term and long-term effects and considering other factors, such as recommended limits and legal implications, is crucial for making informed choices.
In this discussion, we will explore the intricacies of Alcohol Vs. Edibles. We’ll be comparing their effects on the body and delving into the various factors that come into play.
Effects on the Body: Alcohol Vs. Edibles
The effects of alcohol and edibles on the body can have significant impacts on various organs and bodily functions.
Alcohol affects the brain’s communication system, leading to impaired judgment, mood changes, and coordination issues. It is responsible for over 140,000 deaths annually and is a carcinogen, contributing to 5.6% of cancers and 4% of cancer deaths. Excessive alcohol consumption can harm organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas, gut, lungs, kidneys, and immune system.
On the other hand, edibles contain THC, a substance in cannabis that induces relaxation, giddiness, or euphoria. Overconsumption of edibles can cause anxiety, panic, paranoia, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and altered perception.
Both alcohol and cannabis impair driving ability and increase the risk of car accidents.
While more research is needed on the long-term effects of edibles, they are generally considered safer than alcohol, and fatal overdoses are very rare.
Understanding the short-term effects of alcohol and edibles is crucial in assessing their immediate impact on the body and mind.
Alcohol effects typically occur within 15 to 45 minutes, while edibles can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in. Overconsumption of edibles can happen when people don’t feel the effects initially and take more, leading to discomfort. Alcohol is metabolized within 4 to 8 hours, while edibles can peak in 2 to 3 hours and last up to 8 hours.
To provide a clear comparison, the table below highlights the key differences in short-term effects between alcohol and edibles:
|15 to 45 minutes
|30 minutes to 2 hours
|Can lead to discomfort
|Can occur due to delayed effects
|4 to 8 hours
|Effects can last up to 12 hours
While extensive research has been conducted on the long-term effects of alcohol, the understanding of the long-term effects of edibles is still limited.
Alcohol addiction is known to have severe consequences and is often considered more life-destroying than cannabis use disorder. Additionally, alcohol consumption has been linked to various health issues, including organ damage and increased risk of certain cancers.
On the other hand, cannabis, when used responsibly, may have potential health benefits for chronic pain and certain conditions. However, more research is needed to fully comprehend the long-term effects of edibles on health and behavior.
Individuals need to consider their own preferences and risks associated with both substances before making a choice. Seeking support is recommended if one suspects the development of substance use disorder.
Other Factors to Consider
Moving beyond the discussion of long-term effects, it is important to consider several other factors when comparing alcohol and edibles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends limiting alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. On the other hand, edibles vary in THC content, and it is crucial to start with low doses to avoid unwanted side effects.
Additionally, long-term cannabis users should consider tolerance breaks to prevent dependence. Legal and social implications also differ between cannabis and alcohol use, which can impact behavior and societal norms.
It is worth noting that edibles are not hard on the kidneys and do not cause cirrhosis or liver failure, making them a safer option for the liver compared to alcohol. Furthermore, low-dose edibles have been found to promote a restful night’s sleep without unpleasant side effects or next-day grogginess.
However, it is important not to rely too heavily on edibles for sleep. Ultimately, the choice between alcohol and edibles is up to the individual, with both options carrying risks. Seeking support is crucial if one feels like they may be developing a substance use disorder.
Specific Comparisons: Alcohol Vs. Edibles
When comparing alcohol and edibles, it is important to consider specific factors that differentiate the effects and risks associated with each substance.
Here are three key comparisons to keep in mind:
Kidney and Liver Health:
- Edibles are not hard on the kidneys and do not cause cirrhosis or liver failure.
- Cannabis is considered safer for the liver compared to alcohol.
- Edibles are a safer option for the liver overall.
- Alcohol can disrupt sleep and may lead to next-day grogginess.
- Low-dose edibles can promote a restful night’s sleep without unpleasant side effects.
- However, it is important not to rely too much on edibles for sleep.
- Research indicates that the deleterious effects of alcohol are worse than of cannabis consumption.
- Edibles are considered a safer option, with fewer associated risks.
- It is crucial to seek support if you feel like you may be developing a substance use disorder, regardless of the substance chosen.
In conclusion, both alcohol and edibles have potential risks and benefits associated with their consumption.
Alcohol can impair judgment and coordination and has detrimental effects on various organs, while edibles containing THC can induce relaxation and euphoria but can also lead to adverse effects and addiction.
While cannabis is considered safer than alcohol overall, responsible use and keeping all cannabis products out of the reach of children is crucial. Further research is needed to understand the long-term effects of both substances fully.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.