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Medical Marijuana Linked To Decreased Alcohol Consumption, Less Opioid Use

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 2/8/2017 Kelsey Drain

Are more people turning to weed than wine after a long day? © Photo courtesy of Pexels Are more people turning to weed than wine after a long day? Data shows people in California are turning from alcohol to medical marijuana as a safer, more natural alternative for alleviating everyday stress.

Coming home after a long day at work has become synonymous with pouring a big glass of wine, but is this long-held American tradition changing?

California-based medical marijuana technology company Eaze just released a new report which shows that alcohol drinkers in California are turning to marijuana as a safer, more natural alternative for alleviating everyday stress.

Many people would typically open a bottle of post-work wine around 7 p.m., but, according to the 2016 report from Eaze, orders for medical marijuana spiked nightly at the same time.

The company examined its data from over 250,000 cannabis consumers in 100 cities across California, in addition to over 5,000 unique survey responses. The survey showed that 82 percent of people point to marijuana as the reason they drank less alcohol.  

In the U.S., an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Out of the thousands of Californians surveyed by Eaze, as many as 11 percent said they’ve quit drinking altogether because of marijuana.

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Additionally, the research showed that 95 percent of medical marijuana consumers who’ve turned to opioids for pain management reported using less fewer opioids — thanks to cannabis.

Scientists are still studying the long-term effects of frequent marijuana use. Medical Daily previously reported that it has been linked to increased risk of Alzheimers and osteoperosis, as well as weakened heart muscles and worse verbal memory. Poor sleep and worse vision are also potential side effects of frequently consuming cannabis. 

It seems that everyone has their poison, and even though more people are turning to marijuana, they are still given choices of “delivery methods.”

For example, Eaze found that consumers who are drinking less alcohol and consuming more cannabis are more likely to order vapor cartridges. Meanwhile, those who used to rely on painkillers will probably order the traditional marijuana “flowers” — which are “what most people think of when referring to marijuana.”

The report also reveals California’s most popular marijuana strains for 2016, as well as medical marijuana’s popularity by gender, generation, and location.

<p> Marijuana's official designation as a <a href="http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml">Schedule 1 drug</a> - something with "no accepted medical use" - means it is pretty tough to study.</p><p> Yet both a growing body of research and numerous anecdotal reports link cannabis with several health benefits, ranging from pain relief to helping with certain forms of epilepsy. In addition, researchers say there are many other potential ways marijuana might affect health that they want to understand better.</p><p> A massive new <a href="http://nationalacademies.org/CannabisHealthEffects">report</a> released in January 2017 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) helps <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/new-national-academies-sciences-report-marijuana-cannabis-health-effects-2017-1?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=msn-slideshow&utm_campaign=bodyurl"> sum up</a><a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/new-national-academies-sciences-report-marijuana-cannabis-health-effects-2017-1?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=msn-slideshow&utm_campaign=bodyurl"> exactly what we know</a> - and perhaps more importantly, what we don't - about the science of weed.</p> What marijuana really does to your body and brain

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