Alcoholism and Medical Marijuana
Recent studies on the benefits of medical marijuana show how significantly less dangerous marijuana is to individuals and society than alcohol (UK: Journal of Psychopharmacology: Popular Intoxicants--What Lessons Can Be Learned From The Last 40 Years of Alcohol and Cannabis Regulation?). Cannabis will not kill the liver, destroy brain cells, or otherwise permanently damage necessary organs of the human body. Also new studies show that cannabinoids actually protect neural cells from cell death during the "drying out" period of alcohol withdrawal. Where many cells would die from the withdrawal of alcohol from the body, cannabinoids protect the cells from dying! The study took the extra step to prove the opposite is true as well by introducing a cannabinoid antagonist and cell death was accelerated during alcohol withdrawal. (Pharmacological Activation/Inhibition of the Cannabinoid System Affects Alcohol Withdrawal-Induced Neuronal Hypersensitivity to Excitotoxic Insults).
Alcoholism Dependency and Medical Marijuana
What does this mean for patients with alcoholism? It means they finally have a choice in going "cold turkey" and taking chances that they might fall off the wagon because the disease won't let go of them or they can take medical marijuana to ease their discomfort and protect their brain cells during withdrawal. However, this is fairly new research, and the patients with the best opportunity are those who already reside in a legalized medical marijuana state and have very forward thinking doctors who feel that prescribing the medical marijuana would benefit this group of patients. All the right factors have to be in place for these patients to receive the benefits of medical marijuana.
Since the majority of people who depend upon alcohol to "get high" can transfer those sensations to pot because they already smoke, this is an easy choice. The transition can be quite smooth, and significantly cheaper than booze and alcoholism in the long run. However, the previously mentioned study regarding the protection of neurons in the brain during withdrawal by medical marijuana, the marijuana was vaporized and inhaled into the sinus passages providing direct contact with the brain. This is necessary to note should you find a marijuana doctor and wish to discuss how to take your prescription for your withdrawal symptoms