Dry January with a cannabis twist

dry january

Amid the workout challenges and diet overhauls, Dry January has risen. The month of sobriety is claiming a space as one of the most sought-after New Year’s resolutions of the modern age. Dry January is a popular wellness challenge that entails quitting alcohol for the first month of the year. The practice seemingly came out of nowhere, but everything has an origin, and Dry January is no different.

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The history of Dry January

Abstaining from alcohol in January is a concept started in 2012 by Alcohol Change UK (previously known as Alcohol Concern). The practice may date back to Finland in 1942 as a strategy to save resources, but no concrete evidence supports the claim.

The modern challenge has always been geared toward moderate drinkers. It was never intended for those with addiction issues or to be used as a detox method. The first year, 4,000 people pledged to abstain, and over two million people in the UK joined by 2015. In 2022, 175,000 signed up in the UK, but the movement had become international.

In 2023, 16 percent of U.S. adults stuck to the program, and 175,000 signed up in the UK. It’s nationwide y’all, and for good reason. The benefits of Dry January range from better sleep to bigger wallets.

Benefits of Dry January

The upsides of quitting alcohol, or even drinking less, have been studied in varying degrees over the years. Every study supports the idea that cutting back on booze has benefits.

One doctor set out to specifically study the effects of Dry January in 2015 with a small sample size of 10 New Scientist journalists. Applicants were given blood tests, a liver scan, and answered a questionnaire. Check-ins occurred before the month, after the sober month, three months, and six months later. The 10 participants showed reduced cholesterol levels and lower blood sugar. They also lost an average of almost seven pounds each and 40 percent less liver fat.

These are impressive findings. Though the cohort was very small, abstaining from alcohol for a month might not be a bad experiment for the wellness-minded. The idea of letting go of that after-work wine or post-dinner beer could make the evenings feel lacking, but that’s where cannabis may help.

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Cannabis and Dry January

Replacing one habit with another is no way to quit, but it can help soften the blow of going cold turkey. Cannabis may be a good fit for those who enjoy a cocktail to relieve stress, get to sleep, or socialize with friends. All it takes is finding the right product.

Flower, vape pens, dabs, edibles, and even topicals are valuable to someone who would like to relax or get to sleep without a hitch. Finding the right product depends on consumer preference. The current market has everything from grab-and-go sixers of THC seltzer to pre-rolled joints that evoke a social vibe.

There are a bounty of cannabis drinks available, from full cannabinoid bevvies at the dispensary to hemp-derived options available nationwide. The simplicity of swapping a can of beer or a seltzer for a weed option makes this product factor ideal for the Dry January crowd.

Those feeling more adventurous may find themselves staring at an extensive menu wondering where to start.

Answer these questions to pinpoint the right portion of the dispensary menu:

  • Do I want to inhale, eat, or absorb my weed?
  • For the inhalers: is there a preference to remain smoke-free?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What is my cannabis experience (tolerance)?

The right product will help a consumer go home and have a successful Dry January. Having answers to these questions top of mind when shopping will keep product recommendations pointed in the right direction.

Happy Dry January

Dry January aims to cut alcohol consumption and inspire people to explore life without beer, wine, cocktails, and spritzers. If responsible cannabis consumption helps accomplish that goal, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea for the casual participant.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.