Researchers have suggested that adults who smoke weed are five times more likely to turn alcoholics compared to those who do not smoke marijuana. Moreover, those who already have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and smoke cannabis will find it difficult to overcome the problem.

“Our results suggest that cannabis use appears to be associated with an increased vulnerability to developing an alcohol use disorder, even among those without any history of this. Marijuana use also appears to increase the likelihood that an existing alcohol use disorder will continue over time,” said Renee Goodwin, who co-authored the study.

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The team of researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York analysed the data of 27,461 adults who enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The adults first smoked cannabis at a time when they had no history of alcohol dependence or abuse.

Interestingly, adults who smoked marijuana and kept doing so for the following three years (23 percent) were five times more likely to develop an alcohol disorder compared to those who didn’t. Moreover, problem drinker, who didn’t smoke weed were more likely to be in recovery three years later, writes Metro.

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“From a public health standpoint we recommend that further research be conducted to understand the pathways underlying these relationships as well as the degree to which various potentially vulnerable population subgroups -- youth, for example -- are at increased risk,” said Goodwin.

Further research is needed to confirm these findings. If confirmed, investigating whether delaying or preventing use of marijuana reduces the risk of AUD among certain segments of the population will be necessary.