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Is CBD Healthier Than Alcohol?

CBD is now widely used or consumed. Some of the popular ways to enjoy CBD are oil, gummies, vapes, and CBD edibles. Cannabis use by humans is not new, though the use of CBD extracts is relatively new. Humans also have a long history of alcohol consumption. Humans have consumed both cannabis and alcohol for more than a few thousands of years. Hence, it is appropriate to ask, “Is CBD healthier than alcohol?” especially in the context of rising CBD’s popularity.

We have some strong reasons to say that CBD is relatively healthier. This is because, if not abused, CBD does not cause almost any severe harm to health. It is non-addictive, and people are not much likely to abuse CBD. There are tens of known health benefits of CBD, CBD pen to boost your energy, and there are even CBD-based medications approved for treating health conditions.[1,2]

Alcohol, on the other hand, is never ingested as a medication. Of course, it may be used as a solvent or antiseptic, but those are different kinds of usages. There are few claimed and unproven health benefits of alcohol in minute amounts. However, people are not likely to consume alcohol in such small amounts.

Why CBD is Healthier Than Alcohol?

To understand why CBD is healthier than alcohol, we have to look deeper into the statistics of alcohol abuse and harm in the UK.

Alcohol is consumed much more widely than CBD, with more than 80% of people in England reporting alcohol use. More than half of adults drink alcohol excessively. Alcohol not only causes anti-social behaviour but also a range of diseases. It may cause liver disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and so on. It increases the risk of more than 60 ailments. In England alone, its abuse results in around a million hospitalizations a year and a few thousand deaths.[3]

The above statistics are alarming, aren’t they? Now, in contrast, consider CBD. It is non-addictive. It does not cause high or lead to anti-social behaviour. More importantly, even on regular use or consumption, it is not likely to cause any severe health issues. There are almost no confirmed reports of deaths due to CBD abuse.

Of course, abusing CBD may harm health. However, those issues occur at dosages much higher than usually consumed. There are sporadic reports of people developing severe ailments due to CBD use. Even in many such instances, the harm was somewhat due to contaminants than CBD directly.

What is good about CBD is that it does not cause any high. There are no chances of CBD addiction. There are no reported cases of CBD addiction either. Overdosing is also rarely possible with CBD, as most CBD products come in smaller packs, unlike alcoholic drinks.

Moreover, there has been a lot of research into CBD’s health benefits. There are hundreds of ongoing clinical trials. There are a couple of CBD-based medications that are already approved for treating rare conditions like resistant epilepsy in children.[2]

Also, note that any drug is only approved after extensive clinical trials. This means that CBD has been subject to those kinds of extensive clinical trials.

Commonly available CBD products, like oils, CBD-isolate, and CBD vapes, are also relatively safe. Moreover, they contain CBD in quite a low concentration.

There have been few reports of severe lung disease due to CBD vaping. However, further investigations found that lung ailments are not due to CBD. Instead, lung disease occurs due to contaminants present in CBD vapes, like vitamin E acetate, flavouring agents, pesticides, and other impurities.[4]

Hence, if someone uses high-quality CBD products, chances are slim that it would cause any harm. That is why The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has added CBD to the Novel Foods list.[5]

CBD’s addition to FSA’s Novel Food list means that the agency accepts that CBD is relatively safe for regular use or ingestion or inhalation, like other foods. However, it is categorized as Novel Food, meaning that people in the UK have traditionally not consumed it in significant amounts, and this is a cause for caution.

The Bottom Line

When comparing CBD and alcohol, it would be correct to say that CBD is much safer. Alcohol is addictive. People often abuse alcohol. Alcohol causes thousands of deaths in the UK alone each year and increases the risk of several ailments. There are very few known health benefits of alcohol and those too at very low dosages.

On the contrary, CBD is emerging as something with numerous health benefits. It never causes addiction or a high. It is not known to cause severe health issues. Of course, in rare cases, it may cause some adverse effects, but they are readily reversed upon its discontinuation.

CBD vapes are also quite safe, and there are just a handful of reports of severe lung injury. It means that CBD vapes might cause some harm to lung tissues, but it is not a common problem. You should also know about "how CBD affects the brain"?

In conclusion, if you enjoy CBD responsibly, it is a much safer and healthier option than alcohol.

References

  1. Rapin L, Gamaoun R, El Hage C, et al. Cannabidiol use and effectiveness: real-world evidence from a Canadian medical cannabis clinic. J Cannabis Res. 2021;3:19.
  2. Epidyolex 100 mg/ml oral solution - Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) - (emc) [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 11]. Available from: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/10781/smpc#gref.
  3. Alcohol statistics [Internet]. Alcohol Change UK. [cited 2023 Oct 14]. Available from: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/alcohol-statistics.
  4. Association AL. E-cigarette or Vaping Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 11]. Available from: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/evali.
  5. Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland update consumer advice for CBD [Internet]. Food Standards Agency. [cited 2023 Oct 13]. Available from: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/news/food-standards-agency-and-food-standards-scotland-update-consumer-advice-for-cbd.
Dr Preet Pal Singh Bhinder

This article was authored by: Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder.

This article was peer-reviewed by Dr M Mansoor Siddique (PhD). Dr Siddique has over eight years of experience working with CBD and CBD products.

Disclaimer: All of our products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is recommended to check with doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program. All CBD products sold have less than 0.2% THC content and abide by both EU an UK law.

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