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  • Marijuana and alcohol have long been portrayed as relatively similar vices with a variety of risks and a few benefits.
  • Based on the available peer-reviewed scientific research, however, one appears to pose more health risks overall.
  • That said, there are dozens of health factors to consider when comparing the substances — from one’s family medical history to the legality of each drug.

Which is worse for you: weed or whiskey?

It’s a tough call, but based on the peer-reviewed science, there appears to be a clear answer.

Keep in mind that there are dozens of factors to account for when comparing the health effects of alcohol and marijuana, including how the substances affect your heart, brain, and behavior, and how likely you are to get hooked.

Time is important, too — while some effects are noticeable immediately, others only begin to crop up after months or years of use.

The comparison is slightly unfair for another reason: While scientists have been researching the effects of alcohol for decades, the science of cannabis is murkier because of its mostly illegal status. 

Here’s what we know about which substance is more harmful.