In the essence of starting the new year with a fresh, clean slate, many people create a list of resolutions. For some people, this involves steering clear from alcohol for a whole month, a practice better known as “Dry January” and “Dry February.” This resolution is reasonable considering the excesses of drinking and overindulging during the holiday season. But, how effective is Dry January or Dry February?
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Dry January and Dry February: from where it started, to its potential benefits, to how it can affect your social life, and finally, how cannabis can be an effective substitution to alcohol in order to complete the challenge successfully.
Keep on reading to learn more!
What Is Dry January & Dry February
The idea behind Dry January originated in the U.K. in 2013. Alcohol Change UK, a non-profit organization, initiated the campaign which involved abstaining from alcohol for the whole month of January to raise funding for alcohol abuse awareness and treatment. Their campaign was a success with seven out of 10 participants choosing to drink more wisely following Dry January. Several years later and millions of people worldwide continue to participate in this one-month alcohol-free challenge.
How Can Dry January & Dry February Benefit You?
Whether as a strategy to reset and detoxify your body or as a baby step to assess your relationship with alcohol, taking part in Dry January and Dry February can work wonders for you. According to their website, participants generally experience the following significant benefits:
- 86% save more money
- 70% have better sleep
- 66% have more energy
- 65% notice generally improved health
In addition, cutting back on alcohol consumption can cause dramatic improvements in your skin health. As a diuretic, alcohol contributes to dehydration, leaving your skin parched. Alcohol use has also been thought to trigger an increase in estrogen and cortisol production, resulting in breakouts and accelerated aging.
The Benefits of Using Cannabis During Dry January & Dry February
Despite its advantages, Dry January and Dry February comes with its own set of challenges, especially during a pandemic where isolation is encouraged. When an opportunity arises to connect with a loved one, it’s hard not to be tempted to drink, especially if those around you are. Unfortunately, drinking culture has been so normalized that it has created a strong social stigma that perceives individuals who do not drink alcohol as weird or out of place.
To combat this, there’s been a growing interest in using cannabis as an alcohol alternative for those taking part in Dry January and Dry February and beyond. Here’s why cannabis could be the perfect substitute for you:
Top Reasons Why Cannabis Can Be an Alternative to Alcohol
- Cannabis delivers a pleasantly stimulating, soothing, and euphoric effect, which is perfect whether you’re staying in or going out with friends.
- It’s discreet and does not draw too much attention, making it easier for you to mix socially at parties.
- Cannabis drinks have a controlled THC content that allows you to be present and at the same wavelength as others.
- Unlike in alcohol, there are fewer chances of getting a hangover from consuming cannabis.
There’s a lower risk of misuse and fatal overdose when using cannabis. A 16-year study of more than 65,000 Americans, published in the American Journal of Public Health, suggests that healthy cannabis users were not more likely to die earlier than healthy people who did not use cannabis. On the contrary, in 2014, alcohol was responsible for 14,826 deaths in Canada, representing 22% of all substance use deaths.
*Note: We have to acknowledge the vast discrepancy in the amount of research comparing cannabis vs. alcohol.
Here are some ways individuals are choosing to incorporate cannabis use as a Dry January and Dry February alternative:
Bring Cannabis-Infused Drinks to Parties
While smoking a joint or munching on an edible cannabis-infused cookie may set you up for a good time at parties, you still might face questions as to why you’re not drinking. This is where cannabis beverages come to the rescue.
“If you’re drinking one, you’re going to be more accepted as one of the people partying,” William Wilson, a sales rep based in Toronto who quit drinking for good, shared in an article by The GrowthOp. “Socially, it’ll be a huge step in the right direction for people that have quit drinking who are able to go out and just do that again.”
Swap out the alcohol for these refreshing THC cannabis drinks:
- Tweed Houndstooth Soda
- Houseplant Grapefruit Sparkling Beverage
- Mollo 5.0 Beverage
- Little Victory Blood Orange Sparkling Beverage
- House of Terpenes Myrcene & Tonic Sparkling Beverage
Destressing with Cannabis at Home
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and stringent lockdown measures forcing everyone to stay at home, remaining committed to Dry January and Dry February can become more challenging.
In a recent survey from the American Psychological Association, nearly 8 in 10 (78%) adults reported that the pandemic has become a significant source of stress in their life. Additionally, 25% of Canadians (aged 35-54) are drinking more while at home due to these stressors, boredom and lack of a regular schedule.
So, if drinking a cold beer with friends or a glass of wine at home has always been a fun and soothing way to destress and cope, how do you do that without breaking your pledge for a Dry January and Dry February?
We recently planned the perfect night-in with cannabis; some of these tips include
- Brew a relaxing cup of cannabis-infused tea.
Are you thinking of capping the night with a warm beverage and some quiet time? Sipping a cup of cannabis tea is the perfect strategy to slow down and soothe your senses after a stressful day. While waiting for those blissful bedtime vibes to kick in, try listening to your favourite record, reading a book, or simply closing your eyes until it hits you. Generally, Indica-dominant varieties are the best strains for infusing cannabis tea for nighttime consumption.
- Schedule a cooking date with friends and try these cannabis-infused recipes.
The Dry January campaign is in place to raise awareness for the ability to have a blast with your friends without getting drunk. Alcohol doesn’t have to be a staple in your social lives. If able, invite a couple of friends over to your place or gather your roommates to try a style of cooking that’s a little more experimental. Start with a base of homemade cannabutter or canna-oil and have fun with a recipe!
Stock Up on Smokey’s for Dry January and Dry February!
There are many ways to indulge in life’s simple pleasures without compromising your integrity. Sooner or later, the month is over and you’ll discover that you did not only survive but thrive during the whole experience.