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Science: Cannabis Relaxes, Alcohol Antagonizes

Alcohol vs Cannabis Cannabis Now
Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now


Science: Cannabis Relaxes, Alcohol Antagonizes

We would never suggest anyone surreptitiously sneak cannabis into anyone’s body without their knowledge. But if you did, things might be calmer around the dinner table.

That bellicose uncle of yours who always makes an embarrassing scene at Thanksgiving while you and your cousins — fresh from a trip outside to sneak a joint — cringe quietly into your meal?

It’s not (entirely) his fault he’s an aggressive mess while all you want to do is relax and eat. It’s his booze — and your weed.

Cannabis does indeed chill you out, while aggression comes along with alcohol use, according to a recent study conducted in the Netherlands.

In a study, results of which were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers recruited heavy drinkers (more than three drinks for men; two or more for women) and heavy cannabis users who smoked three or more times a week.

The drinkers were fed drinks until their blood-alcohol counts reached 0.08, the legal threshold for intoxication, and the cannabis users were given 300 micrograms of THC per kilogram of bodyweight via vaporizer. (For context’s sake, that’s about 25 milligrams of THC for an 180-pound person — enough to get most people plenty ripped.)

The researchers then had the smokers, the drinkers, and a sober control group undergo a battery of tests: looking at violent photos, and then playing a computer game which, researchers told the test subjects, pitted them against each other (when it was really the computer they were competing against).

In both instances, “the alcohol users… acted more aggressive when they were drunk than when they did when they were sober,” according to the Washington Post. “By contrast, the smokers became less aggressive when they were high.”

This was evident in the computer game test particularly: the drinkers acted more aggressively towards their opponents — while the cannabis users acted less aggressively, the researchers found.

“The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression,” the researchers wrote.

Do you agree? Is cannabis more relaxing than alcohol?

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