Cannabis Found Less Harmful Than Alcohol In New Study: Where Is The Demand Heading? Investor Market Tips

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A recent study led by Dr. Erika Rosen of the Alcohol Research Group and RTI International and published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, explores the differential impacts of alcohol, cannabis, and opioids on U.S. adults.

This research is significant for the cannabis industry as it highlights the relatively lower harms of cannabis compared to alcohol and opioids, presenting a strong case for cannabis-infused beverages as safer alternatives.

As consumer preferences shift towards healthier options, the cannabis beverage market stands to benefit from increased acceptance and potential regulatory ease, marking a promising growth area within the industry.

Impact Of Alcohol And Opioids

The study shows that over a third of U.S. adults have experienced harm from someone else's drinking. Specifically, 34.2% of respondents reported impacts from secondhand alcohol exposure, higher than harms from cannabis use, which was 5.5%. Harms from opioids were 7.6%. These harms include traffic accidents, and family, and financial issues, indicating the wide reach of these substances' impact.

Cannabis: Comparatively Less Harmful

The research indicates that individuals who frequently use cannabis are less likely to cause secondhand harm than those who consume alcohol above low-risk guidelines or use opioids.

This data suggests cannabis may have a less negative impact on bystanders, highlighting the need to reassess its societal and legal perceptions relative to more impactful substances like alcohol and opioids.

Demographic Disparities In Harm

The study highlights demographic differences in experiencing these harms. Women, white individuals and those who are separated, divorced or widowed report higher instances of harm. Black respondents report fewer harms from secondhand alcohol or opioid use but more from cannabis, potentially due to more severe legal consequences and societal stigmatization.

Shift In Consumption: Cannabis Surpasses Alcohol in Daily Use

For the first time, daily cannabis consumption in the U.S. has surpassed daily alcohol use, with a new study revealing that 17.7 million Americans reported using marijuana daily or near-daily in 2022, compared to 14.7 million daily or near-daily alcohol consumers.

This shift underscores the growing market potential for non-alcoholic cannabis products as more consumers opt for healthier and socially acceptable alternatives to alcohol.

Hemp-based cannabis beverages present a promising alternative to alcohol, capitalizing on their federally legal status which allows nationwide distribution under the 2018 Farm Bill. These beverages appeal to a broad market by offering customizable non-alcoholic options that deliver a mild buzz without alcohol's adverse effects.

Some of the alcohol companies that have invested in cannabis include Constellation Brands STZ and Molson Coors TAP, which have ventured into cannabis through significant investments in cannabis companies. Meanwhile, cannabis companies have also ventured into the alcohol industry; for example, Tilray TLRY acquired Montauk Brewing Company.

Cannabis rescheduling seems to be right around the corner. Want to understand what this means for the future of the industry? Hear directly for top executives, investors, and policymakers at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, coming to Chicago this Oct. 8-9. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.

Photo: AI-Generated Image. 

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Posted In: CannabisMarket SummaryNewsPenny StocksGuidanceEmerging MarketsRetail SalesSmall CapMarketsGeneralAlcohol Research Groupalcoholic beverage industryCannabis BeveragesDr. Erika RosenHempJournal of Studies on Alcohol and DrugsRTI International
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