Brits are increasingly turning to cannabis as their drug of choice to help them get through Dry January, reports Metro.
The decision of many alcohol consumers to give up drinking for several weeks is always a tough one, but this year things have been made even worse by the lockdown measures. An anonymous drug dealer who sells high-potency cannabis on the dark web told Metro he has increased the prices for his product because of the influx of new customers.
According to him, people who have never smoked pot before are now looking for a way “to replace the hit they get off booze”.
The paper talks about ‘superweed’ from California now ‘flooding’ Great Britain. It may be true to some extent, but the truth is that a substantial part of street weed—including its most potent varieties—is now produced locally.
The cannabis scene in the UK is as bustling as ever, and the advent of so-called autoflowers has made things even easier for amateur gardeners and dark web entrepreneurs. International seed banks like FastBuds are selling cannabis seeds by the millions, and a good percentage of them find their way into clandestine grow rooms all over the country.
Meanwhile, the overall number of 16 to 59 year olds who have ever tried cannabis in their lifetime has been increasing only ever so slowly — from 23.3% in 1996 to 29.2% in 2014/2015, according to the British government. Compare this to cocaine consumption which jumped 216 percent in the same period! Another good news is that, among teens and young adults (16 to 24 year old) in England and Wales, the self-reported lifetime use of cannabis has dropped by 20.7 percent from 1996 to 2015.
It looks like this month could create a minor bump in these statistics because 6.9 million people decided to take on Dry January this year. This is 20% of all drinkers, or 1 in 8 of all UK adults. And some of those missing the familiar buzz will definitely want to replace alcohol with potent cannabis.
It is open for debate whether this will make any difference for the overall health of the nation. As Professor Zach Walsh from the University of British Columbia told Metro, it is probably less harmful to be high all day than drunk all day ‘in terms of liver damage’ and ‘risk of cancer’.
He added that he didn’t advocate the daily use of cannabis, but was simply speaking ‘from a harm reduction perspective’.
His colleague, Dr. Elspeth Kushnir from Ontario, who worked in an emergency room for 45 years, thinks that the most important factor is the moderation, adding that, in her experience, a moderate drinker isn’t on average less healthy than a moderate weed smoker.
All this is a food for thought for anyone contemplating whether to take part in Dry January. Maybe, it’s not such a bad idea this year, considering that almost one in three people surveyed by Metro said they drank more in 2020 due to the pandemic.