Can Cannabis Be Considered a Substitute Medication for Alcohol?

Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman


Alcohol Alcohol. 2014;49(3):292-298. 

In This Article

Materials and Methods

Electronic searches were performed using PubMed, Google Scholar and ISI Web of Knowledge. Articles including 'alcohol' (or 'ethanol') and cannabis [or 'marijuana' or 'Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)', the predominant psychoactive compound in cannabis] in the title or as a keyword were considered for this review. Only studies with humans were included. Based on the title and in some cases the abstract, articles were considered for inclusion, then read and organized according to each of the seven criteria. For example, articles regarding health economic costs were discussed and cited under Criterion #7 ('should offer significant health economic benefits'). The objective here is not to provide an exhaustive literature review; for example, genetic and neurobiological studies would certainly supplement the studies cited. Instead, the current goal is to present representative behavioral studies as a step toward determining cannabis' feasibility as a substitute for alcohol.