Drinking is a fun addition to a get-together or a party, but when alcohol starts to take over your life, you put yourself at risk for harmful (and sometimes irreversible) consequences. But why subject yourself to such side effects when weed is better than alcohol?

Let’s compare the two.


Alcohol comes with an overwhelming number of illnesses but switching to cannabis may or may not be for you.

  • Liver

The most commonly-known affected organ that alcohol can damage is the liver. When a person drinks too much or has been drinking for a long time (binge drinking and long-term alcoholism), they’re at a higher risk of developing liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver.

Weed’s CBD compound has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve pain that’s caused by liver disease. It’s also reported to be beneficial to an Alcohol Use Disorder sufferer’s liver as it may prevent damage to the liver.

  • Heart and Circulatory System

Hypertension is a common condition that many have, but when drinking is a part of a person’s lifestyle, they’re more at risk for developing it; when a person’s blood pressure soars at a dangerously high level, they can suffer from a stroke. Furthermore, alcohol drinkers are also more likely to develop cardiomyopathy (a heart muscle disease) and they’re at risk for heart failure.

The studies between marijuana and the circulatory system’s correlation are conflicting. Some researchers claim that it can help lower blood pressure, while some found that weed does the opposite. If more medical knowledge is eventually acquired and the studies find that weed does do the latter, then the risks are the same for alcohol and cannabis.

  • Respiratory System

Alcohol can cause respiratory depression, acute respiratory distress syndrome, alcoholic lung disease, and pneumonia. Chronic alcohol abuse is also found to decrease the level of the lungs’ glutathione levels — it’s an antioxidant that helps with tissue repair and strengthening the immune system.

One of the main concerns when smoking cannabis is the health of their lungs. While smoking weed can cause inflammation, chronic bronchitis, hyperinflation, and many other respiratory problems, you can still enjoy its benefits through the means of ingesting it in tincture, gummy, or edible forms.


Over 140,000 Americans die as a direct result of alcohol every year. Marijuana, on the other hand, has never been reported to be a direct factor in reported deaths that involve it; this is not to say that deaths from reckless decisions caused by the effects of cannabis haven’t been documented in the past.

That Said…

Weed certainly seems to be better than alcohol. Not only is it less dangerous to incorporate into someone’s lifestyle, it also comes with a pack ton of benefits. But, and this could be a big BUT, we may not have enough data on the consequences of regular marijuana use just yet. With states only beginning to legalize cannabis relatively recently, no long-term studies have yet been conducted that would give us the big picture. 

As always, enjoy responsibly!

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.