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Studies Show Rise in Cannabis Consumption, Decline in Alcohol Use

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The effects of cannabis and alcohol on the human body is always an ongoing debate. Some studies in the past attempted to determine the benefits and shortcomings of the two substances, and now another study is breaking things down. 

New research from Oregon State University’s (OSU) National College Health Assessment survey shows that in states where recreational cannabis consumption is legal, binge drinking alcohol has decreased.

A survey was distributed to students at OSU, and according to the data, researchers found that most of the aforementioned substances were unaffected by legalized cannabis. However, it was also clear that in the case of alcohol, binge drinking has decreased significantly. 

These findings coincide with a 2018 Forbes article mentioning a study that asked participants to recount which substances they have knowingly consumed, including nicotine, illegal drugs, misuse of prescriptions such as opioids and binge-drinking alcohol. After reviewing the data, researchers stated that binge drinking has decreased in states that have legalized recreational cannabis.

Additionally, research firm Cowen, Inc. found similar results when researchers examined a connection between alcohol and cannabis in their research. Their numbers showed that binge drinking sessions were nine percent lower in states with recreational cannabis compared to the national average. Researchers also found that people who can legally purchase cannabis were less likely to spend a portion of their budget on alcohol—opting instead for recreational cannabis. The study predicted that growing cannabis reform in states will continue the decline of binge drinking.

There is a lot of evidence that supports how alcohol is harmful to the body in comparison to cannabis. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, an estimated 30,000 people die every year because of health effects caused by drinking alcohol. So it is good news that unhealthy binge drinking is becoming a less common practice in states with legal recreational cannabis.

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