Let me fire off this debate by first giving you guys a brief history regarding the existence of both Caffeine and Cannabis.
If we were to look past the horizon of our present timeline and peek into the text books of history, it can be seen that according to olden myths and legends, the consumption of caffeine in the form of Tea has been in circulation for the past 4000 years. If you come to think of it, we have been actually drinking something straight out of the old ages!
According to the most updated studies, Caffeine occurs naturally In over 6000 plants, and the modern world is just on the verge of replacing their daily water intake with caffeinated beverages such as coffee which also has been around for a long time, 1000 years to be exact.
The scientific name for Caffeine in the community juggles between quite a few, some prefer to call it “Theine” while others go for “Guanine”, but despite everything, they are essentially pointing towards the same thing.
Recent world rankings has implied that Caffeine, as of this moment stands as the 2nd most popular psychoactive substance to exists only superseded by Sugar.
If the whole scene of the consumption is brought into perspective, then around 120,000 tons of caffeine is consumed per year boiling it down to one caffeinated beverage for every single person on earth each day!
The popularity of Cannabis is creating huge splashdown these days due to the sudden eruption of the increasing demands for its legalization. While a vast majority of people are still considering Marijuana as simply being a recreational drug, due to its infamous reputation of being the most popular illegal drug on the market, The perspective from which people has started to look at it is eventually evolving and at some point Medicinal Marijuana might actually become a very standard and accepted form of Medicine.
In fact, very significant progresses are made in recent times.
The punishments however for having Marijuana in possession in countries where it has not been properly legalized is still at an all-time high with immediately issued long jail times and death sentences in some cases of large scale smuggling. Despite this, it has been estimated officially that around 20% to 50% of the global population are exposed to the consumption of Marijuana.
Similar to Caffeine, this has also been around the block for more than a thousand years.
The change in perspective regarding this drug comes due to the recent investigation which has discovered Marijuana as being a source for possibly thousands of new medicines, thanks to the wide variety of strains (Cannabinoids and terpenes) that are found in cannabis which has the power the substantially cure diseases which were previously thought to be incurable, with no possible side-effects whatsoever.
Now that you know a little bit about both of these, let’s bring the two into a showdown!
The Accompanying Effects
Caffeine is primarily a stimulant which is consumed to discredit the feeling of lethargy and re-energize a tired body which apparently helps a person to improve his/her focus and concentration.
Even more so, caffeinated beverages are also sometimes consumed to get rid of bad headaches. But a little known fact here is that, since caffeine is in itself a highly addicting substance, the headache usually occurs in people who are long time caffeine consumers as a form of a drawback effect which takes place due to the lack of caffeine consumption.
So, in a way, caffeine doesn’t really take away the headache, it just simply helps to suppress it.
It is not to say that Cannabis is not a stimulant. But it largely depends on the kind of strand which you are choosing to consume. There is a difference between those strains that are used for its time slowing down feeling of Euphoria and the countless beneficial medicinal effects which it can incur over the physical body. The study though, is still at a very early stage and people are just beginning to scratch the tip of the ice berg. But advancements have certainly been made in this field.
Risk of Overdosing
When compared with the more harmful substances out there, Caffeine and Cannabis are actually relatively low risk drugs but there is a major difference between them. The first one bears a risk of being lethal at a large dose.
Even though the numbers are few, but they still exist. Every year, there are some unfortunate people who die at the hands of Caffeine over dosage, which falls between a range of 3,200mg and 10,000mg at any single time.
To bring into perspective, Pure Caffeine powder boxes with 124gram packets contain about 124,000 mg of Caffeine which is easily an amount mounting up to a lethal dose.
It has also been argued as of recently that the number of deaths due to Caffeine addiction are gradually increasing and it is also playing a great role in inducing heart attacks in patients.
How does Cannabis stack up against this? Well, the crunched numbers are pretty good; in fact they are flawless as following the most recent update, there has been no cases of deaths related to Cannabis Over dosage!
If you are being encouraged now for trying it out by yourself, you should keep it in mind that the first small dose of cannabis usually gives a very unpleasant taste. While overdosing is not an issue here, still nearly every user feels a little bit uncomfortable if too much of it is smoked or ingested.
Deaths due to Over Use
This round also goes to Cannabis, as it has been estimated according to the US Bureau of Mortality statistics that long term caffeine use kills around 1000 to 10,000 people every year in the US alone! Whereas the deaths from increased Cannabis consumption is still floating at a baseline zero.
As with all addictive substances, Caffeine and Cannabis also has some withdrawal symptoms.
According to the experimentation done at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2005, withdrawal symptoms for Caffeine include headache, irritability, sleeplessness, confusion,, anxiety, restlessness, tremor, palpitations and raised blood pressure.
In contrast, the experiments discovered that the withdrawal effects of Cannabis if any takes place are very mild at its best typically ranging between irritability and mild insomnia.
Impact on Society
Both cannabis and caffeine are on the verge of becoming a part of life for an expanded number of populations, but even so, enumerating the costs and impacts on Society due to these two substances is hard. National Institute of Drug Abuse and the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse has put forward a strict limit on the usage of Tobacco and Alcohol. However, they exclude caffeine and many pharmaceuticals.
The fact is often been ignored that caffeine is responsible for many road accidents and deaths, but due to the fact that it is internationally recognized as a food, its true hampering outlook is still being ignored. We do hope though, that someday, when caffeine will be treated as a drug rather than a food, its true hindering value will be put into the judgement.
Exactly the opposite is true for Cannabis. While its positive benefits are countless in numbers, due to lack of proper awareness and education, it is often regarded as being only a recreational drug in the society. In the future though, if the current pace continues to rise, then at some point in time cannabis will be properly legalized around the major states of this world and then a very fair evaluation will be made which might even help to make it stand on its own feet as an internationally recognized form of alternative treatment.
A Hearty Conclusion
It is absolutely crystal clear that Caffeine carries much more risks In terms of over dosage and simply being much more harmful than Cannabis in practically every category. The only grey area for Cannabis would the feeling of sudden euphoria for new comers and amateur users. But the perspective, from which Cannabis and Caffeine are being judged, makes the conditions really dire for Cannabis. And while Cannabis holds a myriad of medicinal benefits, it is still being crushed under the weight of the positive publicity which Caffeine has garnered over the years.
Things are changing nowadays however, and we are keeping our fingers crossed, hoping for a better future for Cannabis.
If you were given the option now, where would you stand?