Alcohol may be an ingrained part of our social rituals, but its negative impact on health is undeniable.
The mounting scientific evidence suggests that if you drink alcohol regularly—even in moderation—it may have detrimental effects on your health. Let’s not forget the dreaded hangovers if you overdo it.
Alcohol is great for providing that relaxing high and lubricating your fun social events, but your casual Friday night cocktail sipping comes with a cost. Regular moderate drinking may do significant damage over time, impacting your physical and mental health.
When you consume ethanol (the main substance in alcohol), it travels through your gastrointestinal system where it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, alcohol circulates to all our tissues and organs, wreaking havoc.
The list of reasons why booze is bad for your body is long, but we’ll narrow it down to:
Short-term impact (hangover)
Neurotoxicity and brain damage
Many types of cancer
Damaged heart health
Potential for addiction and abuse
Short-term impacts of booze
The pounding headache, queasiness, fatigue, and foggy feeling after a night of drinking. Does this sound familiar?
Hangovers are your body's near-immediate reaction to the irritating effects of alcohol. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, which can cause nausea and pain. Even short term, alcohol dehydrates you, messes with your sleep, and leads to next-day deficits in focus, memory, and coordination. These cognitive impairments are comparable to being sleep-deprived.
If you’re a frequent heavy drinker, you probably don't give your body enough recovery time between hangover cycles, which only makes things worse.
Does alcohol damage your brain?
Alcohol is a neurotoxin. It actually kills brain cells and shrinks brain volume over time. Brain scans of heavy drinkers reveal real structural changes and cognitive decline, especially in regions involved in planning and self-control.
A 2022 study found that “alcohol intake is negatively associated with global brain volume measures, regional gray matter volumes, and white matter microstructure.” In other words, your brain can actually shrink in volume due to heavy drinking.
Even just one drink per day for years can cause brain damage that often leads to memory problems and worsened mental health. Booze also interferes with neurotransmitters involved in mood, sleep, and motor control.
The good news is that your brain may be able to recover after you completely cut booze out, although some permanent changes are still possible. But why risk any damage? Ditch alcohol and replace alcohol with healthier alternatives, such as craft mocktails that contain low amounts of cannabis.
The liver suffers some of the worst abuse from alcohol. Its job is to detoxify ethanol and remove it from our system. However, during this process, the liver generates harmful toxic byproducts that promote inflammation and liver cell death. Over many years of excessive drinking, it can progress to fatty liver, then permanent scarring and cirrhosis.
The liver sustains the greatest degree of tissue injury by heavy drinking because it is the primary site of ethanol metabolism. Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption produces a wide spectrum of hepatic lesions, the most characteristic of which are steatosis, hepatitis, and fibrosis/cirrhosis. (Osna, et. al.)
As it works to break ethanol down, the liver neglects other crucial functions such as protein synthesis, hormone production, and filtering toxins. Over time, your entire body suffers from liver dysfunction.
Heavy drinkers who quit can potentially allow some healing and regrowth of healthy liver tissue. But liver disease remains a leading cause of alcohol-related death. The liver does have amazing regenerative abilities, but too much recurrent damage adds up. Cirrhosis causes liver failure, fluid retention, bleeding problems, and even liver cancer.
They may help soothe gastritis and ulcers exacerbated by alcohol use, calming irritation without suppressing the immune system (like other anti-inflammatories typically do). So ditch the drinks that inflame your gut, and microdose cannabinoids for gentle relief instead.
Many rigorous studies have confirmed the carcinogenic effects of alcohol consumption, especially in relation to cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, colon, and breast. Even low to moderate drinking is associated with increased cancer risk, with heavy drinkers facing an exponentially greater likelihood of developing cancer.
A 2020 study found that about 4.1% of all new cancer cases worldwide were caused by alcohol consumption. The study showed that the more alcohol you consume, the higher your risk of alcohol-related cancers.
What’s even more alarming, “no level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health,” according to the World Health Organization. It has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen due to its “toxic, psychoactive, and dependence-producing” properties.
Here are some possible ways alcohol may lead to cancer:
Metabolized alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, a highly dangerous carcinogen.
Alcohol consumption increases the number of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which trigger oxidative stress and inflammation, cancer’s two best buddies.
Chronic alcohol use impairs the absorption of key nutrients in your gastrointestinal tract.
Alcohol damages the liver, increasing the risk of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
Alcohol can mess with your hormones, increasing the levels of estrogen which contributes to the development of breast cancer.
Alcohol can weaken the immune system, making the body less effective at eliminating cancer cells.
Excessive consumption often leads to weight gain and obesity, which is a known risk factor for many types of cancer.
Tobacco and alcohol often go hand in hand, but their synergistic effects increase the risk of developing cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus.
And don’t you worry about the equally cancerous tobacco. Our edibles are the easiest, most reliable, and healthiest ways of consuming cannabis—no smoke, no inhaling, no lung damage, and no toxic substances.
Drinking is fun and tasty—until you realize the amount of empty calories each drink contains. Beer belly isn’t a myth. Here’s why heavy drinkers may be packing belly fat:
Alcohol dampens fat burning.
It enhances appetite.
It lowers inhibitions, impairing your willpower to avoid fatty or sugary foods.
Over time, fat deposits around your organs but mainly your liver. The liver loses the ability to properly process nutrients and regulate metabolism, leading to unhealthy weight and liver disease.
Also, alcohol-related obesity doesn’t really say “healthy heart.” The fat deposits stored in and around the abdomen can severely impact cardiovascular function. One study found that those who drank less than one drink per drinking day daily had smaller abdominal measurements than those who drank less frequently but had more drinks per drinking day. This affects the distribution of body fat in the abdomen, which is a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Alcohol hurts your heart
You may have already known this but we’ll say it anyway: alcohol is terrible for your heart. The cardiovascular system faces significant strain from habitual drinking. Alcohol can elevate blood pressure and triglycerides, induce arrhythmias, and lead to cardiomyopathy which weakens heart muscle function.
Booze also encourages coagulation which raises the likelihood of strokes and thromboembolism. Over time, this accelerates the development of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), enlarged heart, heart failure, stroke, and other forms of heart disease.
The jury’s out: booze is bad for your heart on all levels. If you want to keep that cardiovascular system running smoothly, replace that glass of wine over dinner with one of our THC-infused mocktails. Whip up a classic Bloody Mary (without the booze, of course) and add a splash of our low-THC Buzz drops to bring out the mellow vibes.
If you’re in the mood for something creamy and cozy, try our pumpkin cream drink recipe. Only 2.2 mg of THC per full dropper, zero booze, sweet pumpkin flavor, a subtle kick of fall—what more do you need?
Need help deciding what product is best for you? Take our quiz, just three questions until your perfect match!
Let's be real: alcohol can be addictive stuff. The more you drink, the more your brain adapts to its feel-good effects. Eventually, you’ll end up needing more and more to get the same buzz. Before you know it, drinking isn't about fun anymore; it's about chasing that high and avoiding alcohol withdrawal.
Our brains run on chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. They're the signals that nerve cells use to communicate with each other. Booze messes with some of these key neurotransmitters involved in feeling pleasure, motivation, and stress regulation. It hijacks the brain's reward and stress pathways by altering neurotransmitter activity, which drives addictive behaviors that can eventually take you down the path of alcohol addiction.
Alcohol interacts with several neurotransmitter systems in the brain's reward and stress circuits. These interactions result in alcohol's acute reinforcing effects. Following chronic exposure, these interactions in turn cause changes in neuronal function that underlie the development of alcoholism. (Banerjee)
…another observational record review of 92 patients who substituted cannabis for alcohol showed that 100% reported cannabis as a very effective (50%) or effective (50%) substitute for alcohol. Ten percent of patients reported a year or more of alcohol abstinence and attributed their success to cannabis, while 21% reported a return to unsafe drinking when stopping cannabis use. (Subbaraman)
Cannabis microdosing is growing in popularity and it’s no wonder people are starting to realize it offers a healthier, safer alternative to unwinding with alcohol. Here are some more reasons to give microdosing weed a try instead of reaching for that next cocktail or beer:
The effects of low-dose edibles are subtle but beneficial. They enhance your mood, creativity, and focus without sedation, haziness, or impaired coordination. You get the sociable and upbeat feeling but with clearer thinking and memory compared to alcohol intoxication. (See why microdosing edibles for focus is so popular.)
Small amounts of cannabis ease anxiety and relieve pain naturally without major side effects or organ damage seen with alcohol.
Microdosing is non-addictive and sustainable for occasional use. You don’t experience withdrawal symptoms or become addicted when you consume small amounts of THC.
Unlike the infamous “beer belly” calories, our low-dose gummies and drinks provide the benefits without any extra calories weighing you down. A piña colada can have upwards of 500 calories, but the cannabis-infused, alcohol-free alternative would have none aside from the mixer ingredients.
No hangovers, regretted decisions, or embarrassing situations that you might put yourself in when drunk.
For an uplifting and healthy alternative to unwinding with alcohol, cannabis microdosing checks all the right boxes.
With that in mind, we crafted our micro-measured THC Buzz drops to infuse your favorite mocktails with. Our hemp-derived, water-soluble formula allows you to calibrate your buzz down to the milligram. Once you learn how to make a THC-infused drink, you will never go back to those god-awful hangovers and potential health risks.
How do you feel after drinking cannabis?
Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. At sufficient amounts, THC can produce a “high” and, at times, even some unwanted effects. But that’s the greatest thing about drinking our THC-infused beverages: they provide all the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis without the adverse effects.
THC drinks provide gentle euphoria that makes activities more engaging without making you feel sluggish and hazy—perfect for when you need a gentle nudge to get that work done. Our low-dose weed drinks enhance focus and creativity, allowing you to brainstorm with an upbeat buzz.
There are so many ways cannabis aids your brain and improves your cognition. Did you know that small amounts of CBD and THC can promote neurogenesis, a process that generates new brain cells? These compounds boost blood flow and stimulate the hippocampus, triggering the growth of new neurons.
We bet you also didn’t know that microdosing weed can help dementia patients improve cognitive function, activate underperforming regions in the hippocampus, and reduce inflammation. This one-two punch keeps neurons healthy and functioning, slowing the progression of memory loss.
In other words, you’ll feel relaxed yet focused, sociable but clear-headed, and mildly buzzed yet highly functional. Mix yourself one of our THC drink recipes and sip your way to an uplifted state of well-being.
Don’t believe us? Order our Bliss gummies and experience long-lasting euphoria and relaxation for yourself. They come from our carefully formulated THC microdoses, with only 5 mg of THC per gummy. Try a gummy after work and feel the stress melt away.
Are there side effects of drinking weed?
Low-dose cannabis beverages come with minimal risks for most people. Unlike high recreational doses that may come with side effects, microdoses contain only the smallest effective amount of THC and CBD. This avoids exceeding your personal tolerance, so instead of feeling impaired, intoxicated, or sedated, you feel enhanced and mildly buzzed.
Here are some tips for a smooth and pleasant microdosing experience:
Stick to recommended serving sizes. More is not always better with cannabis compounds but a tiny amount goes a long way.
Balance THC with CBD to mellow overstimulation. CBD tends to smooth out THC's potential for psychoactivity and both compounds offer many health benefits. Combine them to induce the so-called “entourage effect” and watch as they enhance each other’s effects and double the benefits.
Stay hydrated and feed your body nutritious foods to feel your best.
Avoid combining cannabis edibles or drinks with other substances. Don't mix what you don't know.
THC drinks affect everyone differently. If you’re extra sensitive to certain cannabis compounds, you may notice mild side effects from amounts that others enjoy with no issues.
How to prepare a THC drink
There’s nothing easier than to craft your own THC mocktail. You get to customize the ingredients, adjust the flavors, and decide whether you want to sip alone with your own thoughts or share these amazing weed beverages with friends.
You can use as little of our Buzz Drops as you’d like or a full dropper for a mellow mood boost. One full dropper contains exactly 2.2 milligrams of THC and 2.9 milligrams of cannabidiol, so you can adjust the potency of your drink.
To give you an idea about how easy it is, here’s one of our favorite THC drinks: a pink lemonade infused with cannabis. This buzzing mocktail is our favorite summer refresher, and it wouldn’t be complete without our liquid THC drops.
According to the CDC, moderate drinking is considered not terribly unhealthy and is typically defined as having up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Drinking more than this can lead to health concerns, including an increased risk of alcohol use disorder, liver disease, and several cancers.
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with many harmful effects, such as heart issues, irregular heartbeats, and blood clot formation, impacting blood vessels and increasing the risk of heart attacks.
There are people who can tolerate even the smallest quantities of ethanol without causing serious health problems, but this depends on factors such as individual tolerance, body weight and metabolism, and individual medical conditions.
What are the negative effects of alcohol on behavior?
Alcohol consumption can significantly impact behavior. Even moderate alcohol intake can lead to changes in behavior and cognitive abilities. Binge drinking, which involves excessive alcohol consumption in a short period, can result in poor coordination, harmful decision-making, and loss of self-control. This can lead to risky behaviors and accidents, like injuries due to falls or car accidents.
Alcohol misuse can also affect social behavior, leading to strained relationships and social problems, contributing to difficulties in maintaining regular social engagements.
Does alcohol have negative effects on society?
Alcohol can have detrimental effects on society. Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to:
Increased healthcare costs due to alcohol-related illnesses
Strains on mental health services
Decreased workplace productivity
Alcohol-related accidents and injuries that put a burden on emergency services and law enforcement
Family issues and domestic conflicts
Society as a whole bears the economic and social burden of alcohol misuse, so try to limit your alcohol intake or quit drinking completely. There are other ways you can enjoy a party without getting completely wasted. (Hint, hint: order our THC gummies or THC mixers.)
Why is it so hard to quit alcohol?
It can be challenging to quit alcohol because of both physical and psychological factors. Physiologically, alcohol is addictive. Prolonged consumption alters brain chemistry, leading to dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, encouraging continued alcohol use to avoid discomfort.
And then there are social and emotional connections to alcohol that can make it tough to quit. Habits formed around drinking, societal pressures, and the normalization of alcohol in various social situations further compound the difficulty of quitting. People often use alcohol to cope with stress or emotional issues, making it even more challenging to break away from its toxic grip.
Can I experience withdrawal symptoms when I quit drinking?
Withdrawal symptoms are common when you quit, especially if you’ve consumed large amounts of alcohol for a long time. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and might include:
In severe cases, withdrawal can lead to more dangerous symptoms like seizures and delirium tremens.
The severity of these symptoms depends on factors such as the duration and level of alcohol consumption, individual health conditions, and how abruptly you’ve stopped consuming. If you want to break free from your alcohol addiction in a safe, controlled way, seek medical guidance or a supervised detox program.
Are there any benefits of alcohol?
Some studies suggest that there are potential health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption, particularly red wine. It's believed that the antioxidants present in red wine, such as resveratrol, might have heart-healthy effects, possibly reducing the risk of heart disease.
Moderate drinkers claim they feel the social benefits. They say a few ounces of wine every day helps them ease social interactions and reduce stress. However, these benefits are often outweighed by the risks, especially when you exceed moderate levels of drinking.
Excessive alcohol consumption leads to a myriad of harmful long-term effects on mental and physical health, overshadows any potential benefits, and increases the risk of developing alcohol-related diseases. This can mean different amounts of alcohol for different people: for some, it is several drinks per week, while for those with a higher tolerance to ethanol, it may involve more than 20 drinks.
Daviet, R., Aydogan, G., Jagannathan, K., Spilka, N., Koellinger, P. D., Kranzler, H. R., Nave, G., & Wetherill, R. R. (2022). Associations between alcohol consumption and gray and white matter volumes in the UK Biobank. Nature Communications, 13(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28735-5
Osna, N. A., & Kharbanda, K. K. (2017). Alcoholic Liver Disease: Pathogenesis and Current Management. Alcohol Research : Current Reviews, 38(2), 147-161. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5513682/
Rumgay H, Shield K, Charvat H, Ferrari P, Sornpaisarn B, Obot I, Islami F, Lemmens VEPP, Rehm J, Soerjomataram I. Global burden of cancer in 2020 attributable to alcohol consumption: a population-based study. Lancet Oncol. 2021 Aug;22(8):1071-1080. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00279-5. PMID: 34270924; PMCID: PMC8324483.
No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health. (2023, January 4). https://www.who.int/europe/news/item/04-01-2023-no-level-of-alcohol-consumption-is-safe-for-our-health
Dorn, J. M., Hovey, K., Muti, P., Freudenheim, J. L., Trevisan, M., Russell, M., & Nochajski, T. H. (2003). Alcohol Drinking Patterns Differentially Affect Central Adiposity as Measured by Abdominal Height in Women and Men. The Journal of Nutrition, 133(8), 2655-2662. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/133.8.2655
Banerjee, N. (2014). Neurotransmitters in alcoholism: A review of neurobiological and genetic studies. Indian Journal of Human Genetics, 20(1), 20-31. https://doi.org/10.4103/0971-6866.132750
Subbaraman, M. S. (2014). Can Cannabis Be Considered a Substitute Medication for Alcohol? Alcohol and Alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), 49(3), 292-298. https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agt182
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