What effect does cannabis legalization have on college students’ use of other substances? And what about cannabis & excessive drinking?

How has the legalization of cannabis affected college students’ use of other substances? Recent research from Oregon State University (OSU) sought to answer this question.

Several previous research have demonstrated a decline in opioid use and overdoses in states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use, as well as a decline in binge drinking and alcohol-related traffic fatalities. In the OSU study, researchers examined data from over 900,000 students between 2008 and 2018, comparing states with and without authorized recreational usage.

The most noteworthy findings concerned cannabis & excessive drinking. Students in states where recreational marijuana usage is permitted were 6 percent less likely to engage in binge drinking. Furthermore, the longer a state had been legal, the greater the decrease in binge drinking. This was especially true for pupils older than 21. Given that the legal age to consume cannabis is 21 in eleven states and the District of Columbia, this shows that many students legitimately substitute cannabis for alcohol when it is permissible to do so.


The social benefits of legalization are becoming more apparent, and the physiological effects of cannabis may play a significant role. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis has been demonstrated to reduce alcohol’s toxicity. It has also been demonstrated that at the cannabis & excessive drinking research, to diminish the desire to consume alcohol. Neurodegeneration, or the death of brain cells, can occur in regions of the brain related with memory and perception due to binge-drinking.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown in a small number of preclinical trials to protect the brain against alcohol-induced harm. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Experimental Therapy shown that injecting CBD into mice slowed neurodegeneration by 60%. The scientists hypothesized that CBD’s antioxidant capabilities could account for the observed protection. cannabis & excessive drinking

In addition, researchers from the University of Kentucky evaluated the effects of transdermal CBD in a mouse model of binge drinking in 2013. The version of CBD gel that was the most potent lowered neurological effects by about 50 percent.

It indicates that legalizing cannabis not only reduces the frequency of binge drinking, but it may also reduce the damage alcohol causes to our health.


Intriguingly, the Oregon researchers found no statistically significant correlation between legal cannabis usage and opiate abuse. This may be related to the various reasons why people take opiates. Some students may smoke poppy sap for relaxation, but others may use opioids to relieve severe pain.

In addition, OSU researchers could not identify a correlation between the legalization of cannabis for recreational use and the usage of illicit drugs, providing further evidence against the fallacy that cannabis is a gateway drug.

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on cannabis & excessive drinking.


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