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Dry January 2022 continues a fairly recent tradition in which participants choose to begin the new year alcohol-free. If you’re a drinker, it might seem daunting to become a teetotaler for 31 days, but we think it’s a worthwhile effort. Luckily, cannabis can make Dry January much more bearable.

Before we dive into the ways cannabis can help you turn over a new leaf, let’s answer a couple of the most common questions about Dry January.

What is Dry January?

The first official Dry January happened in 2013, as part of a public health campaign in the United Kingdom. According to the Alcohol Change UK website, about 4,000 people signed up to participate that year.

Since then, Dry January has exploded in popularity in the UK and beyond. By 2017, as many as 4 million Britons said they would try to give up alcohol in January. The Dry January trend also made its way to the United States, though not as part of an official public health campaign.

What Are Some Dry January Benefits?

According to an entry in the British Journal of General Practice, Dry January participants have reported a number of benefits in their health and wellbeing.

“Participants testify to how great a month off from alcohol can be; they sleep better, have more energy, some lose weight and save money, and others notice improvements in their skin and hair,” the journal says.

People who don’t drink also have a reduced risk of heart and liver diseases, high blood pressure brain damage, and cancer.

Dry January could be the perfect opportunity for you to begin a long-term or even a permanent break from alcohol.

Replacing Alcohol With Cannabis

People who’ve used both cannabis and alcohol often find the former makes an ideal substitute for the latter.

“I think it’s taking a lot of people away from alcohol. I’m actually a person that’s exactly that, right? You know, I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since 2017, and I credit cannabis with helping me to stay away from it,” said WholesomeCo attorney J.D. Lauritzen in a 2021 Discover Marijuana webinar.

Several Utah in the Weeds guests and many of our own patients have similar stories.

In a 2009 study, researchers surveyed hundreds of Medical Cannabis patients about substituting cannabis for alcohol and other drugs.

“The most common reasons given for substituting were: less adverse side effects (65%), better symptom management (57%), and less withdrawal potential (34%) with cannabis,” the study’s results say.

Using CBD to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Studies in mice have found cannabidiol (CBD) has the potential for reducing alcohol consumption in several ways.

“Experimental studies converge to find that CBD reduces the overall level of alcohol drinking in animal models of AUD by reducing ethanol intake, motivation for ethanol, relapse, and by decreasing anxiety and impulsivity,” according to a review in the Frontiers of Pharmacology journal.

Dry Cocktails for Dry January

Our friends at WB’s Eatery have just the thing for easing the transition to living alcohol-free. They sell a collection of dry cocktail kits, which include mixers and alcohol-free alternatives to whiskey, tequila, or rum.

These dry cocktail kits pair well with your favorite cannabinoids too! Try adding a bit of CBD oil or THC tincture to the mix for best results.

Get Your Medical Cannabis Card

Take our online assessment to see if you might qualify to be a Medical Cannabis patient in Utah. Unfortunately, the desire to stop drinking is not one of the qualifying conditions. But you may have another condition, such as chronic pain, that qualifies you.

Our clinicians can help you make cannabis part of your healthy lifestyle, no matter the time of year.

by David Wells, Content Producer & Analyst

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