Alcoholism is a tricky disorder. While you watch some people effortlessly control their consumption, for you, it feels nearly impossible to stop once you’ve started. Thankfully, alcoholism is treatable as long as you’re willing to get the help. You have a few options; however, many people have recently started looking into medical marijuana for alcoholism and if it can help curb the addiction. 

Cannabis for alcoholism is a bit complex, but there is some surprising promise behind its use. Here, we will explore whether or not you can turn to cannabis to treat alcoholism, the benefits, and more. So, let’s find out: can marijuana help alcoholism? 

medical marijuana for alcoholism

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disorder characterized by uncontrollable drinking and a persistent preoccupation with alcohol. While some people can turn to alcohol a few times a week to have a fun night, those with alcoholism will struggle to complete regular tasks without wanting to drink. Even going to work and driving while intoxicated can become familiar to those struggling with an alcohol use disorder. 

Those with alcoholism will likely experience withdrawal effects when not drinking, as their bodies constantly crave alcoholic substances. This may result in binge drinking, as well; this means that you’ll have large amounts of alcohol in one night, at one time. 

If you’re worried that you or a loved one may suffer from alcoholism, here are some of the most common symptoms

  • Spending most of your time drinking or recovering from drinking
  • Constantly thinking about drinking alcohol 
  • Craving alcohol
  • Being unable to limit how much you drink
  • Being unable to complete tasks (working, school work, cleaning ) due to alcohol use
  • Breaking off relationships or reducing social activities to drink
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol and increasing amounts 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking

When you notice that you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to seek professional help immediately. 

Health Complications of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is dangerous for a lot of reasons. Not only does this disorder put those around you at risk of your actions, but it also comes with severe health complications. The health complications of alcoholism are widespread, but here are some of the most significant: 

Liver Damage – Many people with alcohol use disorder will experience severe liver damage over time. This is because it’s the liver’s job to flush out alcohol and keep your body from building up these toxins. But, when you drink too often and too quickly, you don’t give your liver the chance to flush it out properly. Thus, alcohol damages and kills liver cells, leading to other major complications like cirrhosis or fatty liver disease.

Heart Disease – When you drink too much alcohol, your body becomes more susceptible to blood clots and high cholesterol — two things that contribute to heart disease. Over time, your body will struggle to pump the right amount of alcohol to the heart, putting you at severe risk for heart attacks or even death.

Cancer – That’s right: many studies have found links between alcoholism and different types of cancer. In general, alcohol has extremely damaging properties that can harm all parts of the body if abused. Thus, the disorder has the ability to lead to breast cancer, liver cancer, and exacerbate lung cancer. 

Can Marijuana Help Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a scary disorder that can rip apart families with ease. Thankfully, there are solutions. So, can marijuana help alcoholism? Is marijuana safer than alcohol? Yes, and yes. 

Studies show that medical marijuana for alcoholism may be incredibly beneficial because of the plant’s ability to help curb addiction. We’ll talk more about this in detail later, but these properties show serious potential in reducing alcohol cravings and helping to find healthier, more natural alternatives. 

Alcoholism brings about a lot of uncomfortable side effects that only make someone want to drink more to get rid of them. Medical marijuana, however, may be able to alleviate a lot of these symptoms, making it easier to fight addiction. For example, if you suffer from extreme anxiety or depression, the uplifting yet calming properties of cannabis may be just what you need to get your mind off of the bottle. 

You might be turning to alcohol because of uncontrollable stress or other psychological factors, too. Cannabis for alcoholism may help with this, as well. Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in the body, helping to re-regulate systems and create balance. Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone, and it isn’t always easy to regulate this hormone on your own. MMJ, though, does it quite effortlessly

However, we have to stress that medical marijuana for alcoholism acts differently for every person. While cannabis and alcohol might create an excellent relationship for some, this isn't always the case. If you decide to turn to cannabis to treat alcoholism, do so with caution. If you notice any adverse reactions, stop consuming MMJ immediately and consult your doctor. 


Treating Alcoholism With Medical Marijuana

When it comes to treating alcoholism with medical marijuana, as successful as it can be, it’s important to keep some things in mind. 

Alcoholism is an addiction. Just like with alcohol, you can also become dependent on cannabis. While the substance itself doesn’t have any addictive properties, those with predisposed addictive personalities may latch onto cannabis in an unhealthy way, even if it means no longer drinking. 

While the lack of alcohol is obviously positive, you don’t want to just replace it with another dependence. Thus, you do have to be careful with enjoying marijuana for alcoholism. This is something that you must do with care, compassion, and caution. Even though cannabis is healthier than alcohol, it doesn’t mean you can rely on it. 

To healthily and productively treat alcoholism with medical marijuana, you want to make sure you’re enjoying small doses somewhat infrequently. This will help avoid any significant dependence. For example, just one hit in the morning and one hit in the evening may be perfect for keeping you feeling at ease throughout the day. 

Or, you can have one edible, enjoying the effects all day long. Other consumers may find that vape products are best because they’re easily portable and ready for you whenever you start to feel a craving coming on. The choice is yours! Find whatever cannabis consumption method most appeals to you and see if you can incorporate it into your routines, replacing alcohol with some herb.

medical marijuana for alcoholism

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Marijuana for Alcohol Withdrawal

A great way of utilizing cannabis is by trying marijuana for alcohol withdrawal. Those who are trying to overcome addiction will often find themselves in withdrawal, suffering from uncomfortable side effects simply in the name of getting better. These withdrawal symptoms can be strong enough to cause a relapse, which is more than frustrating for recovery. Thus, finding something that can mitigate these symptoms may be life-changing. 

Medical marijuana is known to directly combat many withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, nausea, pain, and stress. As we talked about above, MMJ and anxiety are well-known, and the plant can help immensely when bringing down stress levels. In terms of nausea, cannabis works beautifully to ease stomach upset, stimulate appetite, and bring some serious relief. 

Whether it’s the mental or physical aspects of alcoholism you’re struggling with, medical marijuana may be able to help. The plant shows serious promise for helping with mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. At the same time, its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties work wonderfully for combatting the more physical side effects. 

For those recovering from alcohol abuse disorder, turning to medical marijuana during withdrawal may be the best choice to make to keep you on track. Recovery is already hard enough, so why not find something that makes the whole process more manageable? 

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Alcoholism

While you may not be able to get a medical marijuana card for alcoholism alone, the disorder brings plenty of side effects that can. Currently, numerous states across the US accept medical cards for qualifying conditions such as:

If you experience any of these symptoms because of your alcoholism, you can easily make a case for getting your medical marijuana card. But, where’s the best place to turn to do so? Elevate Holistics. 

Elevate Holistics is a telehealth platform specializing in helping people like you get the medical recommendations they need for an MMJ card. Our board-certified physicians know cannabis better than most, and they understand the frustrations of limiting qualifying conditions. But that’s why we work tirelessly to ensure you don’t hang up our Zoom call empty-handed. 

If you’re hoping to enjoy medical marijuana for alcoholism, start by getting a medical marijuana card first. Simply book an appointment using the button below and Elevate Holistics will guide you the rest of the way.