Marijuana vs. Alcohol


People have different viewpoints concerning the effects of alcohol and marijuana. However, most claim that both can be beneficial or harmful depending on the dosage. For instance, a glass of wine can be soothing for the heart and also prevent certain diseases. On the other hand, high-level consumption can lead to adverse health and social effects. Similarly, marijuana, which has been legalized in several nations and states, has been acknowledged as having both recreational advantages but can damage the body and mind. Some of the benefits and adverse effects of marijuana and alcohol are shared, while some are specific to either. This paper compares these drugs in terms of their positive and negative impacts.

Alcohol Benefits

Many studies have shown the relationship between moderate alcohol intake and the reduction in the risks of heart diseases, clot formation, and other cardiovascular complications. Reasonable amounts of alcohol tend to increase healthy cholesterol hence the prevention of heart diseases. It is essential to realize that the different types of alcoholic drinks have varied effects. For instance, red wine is associated with a reduction in blood pressure due to its high concentration of polyphenols. The moderate alcohol consumption is important in safeguarding the brain’s blood vessels and the heart, hence reducing the chances of dementia (“Alcohol Boasts Some Benefits — but Only if You Drink It the Right Way”).

Marijuana Benefits

The positive effects of marijuana are quite different from those of alcohol. The active components of marijuana can help in the prevention of epileptic seizures. This is according to a study done in the year 2003 at Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, the drug is also associated with treating inflammatory bowel diseases, for example, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. This is due to the ability of THC the active component) to interact with cells and assist in gut function as well as immunity. The journal of Molecular Pharmaceuticals published a study concerning THC’s ability to reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. One of the most discussed benefits of marijuana is the ability to stop cancer from spreading, according to findings from the California Pacific medical center in 2007 (Canon).

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Disadvantages of Drinking

The detriments of alcohol become evident when drinking escalates from moderate to heavy. The most common alcohol-related disorders are liver inflammation (alcoholic hepatitis) and cirrhosis. Additionally, alcohol intake causes increased blood pressure, inflicts harm to the heart, and can also increase cancer risk, more so breast, colon, mouth, and liver cancers. Other research studies have indicated a strong relationship between heavy alcohol intake and osteoporosis. Last but not least, it can also disrupt sleep patterns, increase weight, and cloud judgment leading to risky behaviors and accidents. Social disadvantages include financial problems and family issues, among others (“Alcohol Boasts Some Benefits — but Only if You Drink It the Right Way”).

Marijuana Disadvantages

The social drawbacks of marijuana are similar to those of alcohol since the money used to procure the commodity or treat related disorders could have been used for other necessary items. Likewise, the drug’s effect on the users’ behavior can cause tensions among friends and family members. Other adverse effects include cognitive impairment, distorts perception, and balance and may also increase the risks of depression, especially in long-term smoking cases. Some side effects of marijuana include intense anxiety, fear, and panic. In some cases, users might experience an acute psychosis characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and loss of self-awareness (Canon).


Alcohol and marijuana have different benefits and harmful effects, and it is clear that the biological outcomes are dissimilar except for perception distortion and social impact. One must weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision on the use and dosage.


Works Cited

“Alcohol Boasts Some Benefits — but Only if You Drink It the Right Way.” 17 April 2016. Alzheimer’s Society. / 15 March 2020

Canon, Mikha. “Marijuana: The Benefits and Disadvantages.” 12 August 2015. Vancouver First Aid. accessed