Weed VS Alcohol

Liz Filmer
11 May 2022

When comparing Weed and Alcohol, there are many factors to consider. But, first, you must remember that they are very different substances, making comparisons difficult. 

Before comparing the two, it's vital to understand the following factors


There are far fewer extensive long-term studies that have been carried out on Weed than on Alcohol. At first glance, Weed may appear safer, but that may be because we aren't yet aware of specific risks.


There are a growing number of cannabis products and consumption options.

The form you consume Weed can significantly impact its short- or long-term effects. 

Individual biology

The effects of Weed and Alcohol differ for everyone. 

One person may have a low tolerance for Weed but a high tolerance for Alcohol. Or vice versa. 

Short-term effects of Alcohol

The sensation of inebriation is different for every person and include

  • coordination and reflex issues
  • impaired cognitive skills
  • impaired judgment
  • relaxation
  • giddiness
  • drowsiness
  • restlessness
  • shorter attention span 
  • nausea and vomiting 
  • hangover k

Short-term effects of Weed

The immediate effects of Weed can also vary and include 

  • coordination and reflex issues
  • impaired cognitive skills
  • impaired judgment
  • relaxation 
  • anxiety
  • giddiness
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • pain relief 
  • dry mouth 
  • dry, red eyes
  • increased hunger 

The verdict

The two have approximately the same impact on your mental abilities, reflexes, and judgment. Unfortunately, both can also make you worse for wear the next day, though this is more common with Alcohol.

Long-term health risks


  • Liver disease. Excessive drinking can cause chronic liver disease, affecting your body to process substances and detox. 
  • Pancreatitis. Alcohol abuse is a leading cause of this pancreas disease.
  • Heart damage. Heavy drinking can have a severe negative impact on the cardiovascular system.
  • Stomach and digestive issues. Alcohol can irritate the stomach in large amounts, causing pain, bloating ulcers and irritation.
  • Central nervous system damage. Possibly leading to numbness and tingling sensations in the limbs.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Long-term alcohol use can be a cause of this issue.
  • Infertility. Long-term or heavy alcohol use may impact both male and female fertility. 


  • Brain development issues. A 2014 study implies that ingesting Weed during the teenage years can lead to brain development issues later in life. However, the study did not confirm whether these issues would be permanent.
  • Schizophrenia. The link between schizophrenia and Weed is complicated and not yet fully comprehended. Despite this, some experts think that weed use is enough to trigger the onset of schizophrenia in particular people, especially those with a genetic disposition toward mental health issues. 


Weed seems to have fewer long-term risks than Alcohol. Still, again, there's a massive discrepancy in the amount of weed research compared with Alcohol. Furthermore, both Alcohol and Weed have addiction potential. In addition, it's possible to develop an emotional and physical dependence on both substances. So there's no easy answer to the Weed versus alcohol debate. On the surface, Weed appears safer, but there's currently not enough evidence to declare a definitive winner. The fact that everyone's response to each substance can vary so much is a big issue. The fact remains that what may appear safe for one person might be unsafe for someone else. 


Liz Filmer