All the reasons to stop drinking for me
Recently, a study conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction found that those who drank more than two alcoholic beverages a week were at higher risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other health ailments. I mean, are we really that surprised? The results of this study are a bit obvious to me as an individual who has never been able to consume alcohol in large amounts. It reminded me of a post I wrote years earlier that discusses the cross-overs of this topic. It just solidified all the reasons why I’m breaking up with alcohol with the help of cannabis.
Several years ago, I came across LAT Magazine by 48° North (now defunct) sitting on a table at a booth inside the new Superette Shop in Yorkville, Toronto, like a coffee table book made for the ages. A beautiful and sleek introduction to the 48° North community and conversations.
Inside this beautifully printed cannabis zine was an article written by Kate Growney, a writer based in Hawaii. Her “Exit Strategy” piece was about her ‘break up’ with wine. I remember finding this piece to be the most exciting and relatable, especially when she shared how her life had changed when she developed an allergy to alcohol. She writes about her relationship with alcohol, specifically with wine, like a memoir, and that cannabis is a saviour in her life. For myself, alcohol was destructive, and cannabis was stigmatized. Growney’s exit strategy is one that I can stand behind and respect. She closed her article by promising that wine can no longer be a negative experience in her life and to get creative with cannabis instead. I’m with you.
Asian flush Intolerance to alcohol
I, for one, never developed an allergy to alcohol. I was born with it (an obvious reason to stop drinking). However, this doesn’t mean I never enjoyed an evening with a drink, especially wine. I also never grew up with parents who were regular alcohol consumers, and I never understood wine or any alcohol as a method to enhance an experience. I thought it stood alone, so I never understood its appeal. It wasn’t until my adulthood that I learned (the hard way) wine/beer/liquor/spirits, all of it had to have a companion, be it an experience like food, an event or an activity (besides driving).
Although I never realized it was an allergic reaction. My experience of the Asian flush or the red-faced-mayhem for me took the form of flushing on my face, ears, and neck, and it would gradually creep through the rest of my body, like my chest and legs, leading to a full-on headache or nausea. Some heavier liquors would cause swelling in my throat.
I know women who get hives and vomit from one shot of heavy liquor or red wine. It’s awful. The worst part is having someone point it out to you. The embarrassment was the most frustrating. Although understanding alcohol-related allergies have been more normalized and mature, it wasn’t always like this.
It wasn’t until the last ten years that research began popping up regarding this’ reaction.’ It was still very underrated, and many still don’t believe me when I say this is a thing. Intolerance or allergies to alcohol is prevalent. And it’s not a myth. Those who suffer from this intolerance are missing a genetic enzyme that helps them break down alcoholic contents, which causes a visible bodily reaction – something I sometimes call ‘the mayhem.’
Breaking up the relationship between alcohol and I
Before I start talking about weed, I have to explain my relationship with alcohol. It’s a product or legal substance that I relate to letting loose and being lazy. I think the alcohol industry has marketed it as a glass of ‘relaxation,’ It may be suitable for some, but it’s not the same form of relaxation for me. It’s an excuse to be excused from life, priorities, responsibilities, work, and even reality, an escape that will take me ages to return.
Consuming alcohol is a straightforward way to become more irresponsible and make bad decisions, like not eating (properly) or staying hydrated. In simpler terms, it’s my way of letting myself “be bad,” which is not a relationship one should have with alcohol.
Before I start sounding like I’m bashing alcohol, I have had some great experiences with alcohol. All of which were in the great company of good people, food, and activities. Suffice it to say that I don’t hate alcohol, but my relationship with it is very strained and must be consumed responsibly.
Such as no hard liquors or beers. I’ve limited myself to wine with very small amounts of alcohol. It’s a slippery slope for me to drink and fall deep into a dark lazy place. I must be sure that I have food with it, and to pace myself along with all of the other considerations, it’s so much work for me to safely and responsibly consume alcohol. So, in general, not a relaxing experience at all.
Breaking up with alcohol for cannabis
To me, cannabis is like a bubble bath. It’s something you can have every day or not, and it won’t affect you the next day. In all fairness, cannabis can also be a method for me to be ‘lazy,’ but it’s not as harsh. I can return to productivity the next day just as quickly if I choose to. Most importantly, cannabis is a substance that I associate with rest.
I struggle with the idea of disconnecting and finding a work-life balance. My mind never stops spinning and spiralling out of control from my many to-do lists or trying to find that perfect morning routine. These self-inflicted pressures eventually become a hindrance.
Cannabis helps me here because it makes me stop without falling off. The best thing I learned about cannabis was that recovery isn’t needed the next day. It is the recovery. There is no hangover—something I found super pleasant and refreshing. Suffice it to say that I have made cannabis boo-boos and greened myself out; instead of straining my relationship with cannabis, I feel more aware and comfortable experimenting.
CBD for quitting alcohol
CBD is known for its non-psychoactive effects, but it just means that it affects your body differently. A recent study showed that CBD could help with the process of quitting or lowering the consumption of alcohol by eliminating the craving for it. However, cannabis and alcohol should never be mixed together.
It’s also important to note not to rely entirely on CBD to quit or reduce your consumption of alcohol. Be intentional with your CBD consumption and also make healthy changes. Don’t use cannabis or CBD as a crutch to replace one controlled substance with another. Remember to consult a doctor if you are suffering from severe alcohol consumption or are looking into this as a method to reduce your alcohol consumption.
Decide for yourself how to consume any of these controlled substances safely and responsibly
Are we really surprised by the results of this recent study? I’m pretty sure there have been countless studies and articles written regarding the harmful effects of alcohol consumption. But is it really enough to deter people from consuming alcohol? I would say not.
Although I say I’m breaking up with alcohol and choosing to consume cannabis instead, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not an entirely clean-cut decision. I think it’s more of striking a delicate balance between the two concerning your health.
Let us know in the comments if you’re breaking up with alcohol for cannabis, and share your thoughts on this recent study and whether it influenced your decision.
Please note this article is written for general and public education purposes only. Although we conducted our research on this topic from sources that are believed to be reliable. We do not claim the information presented here is accurate. The team at Very Jessica Fung is not responsible for injury, loss, or damage, personal or otherwise, that could occur when consuming cannabis and/or drugs. Please review the VJF legal disclosure for more information regarding our content.