Alcohol use is a major risk factor for dementia, according to a new study from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. But switching from alcohol to cannabis could potentially reduce the likelihood of developing dementia due to excess liquor consumption. 

"The findings indicate that heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders are the most important risk factors for dementia, and especially important for those types of dementia which start before age 65, and which lead to premature deaths," said study co-author Jürgen Rehm. "Alcohol-induced brain damage and dementia are preventable, and known-effective preventive and policy measures can make a dent in premature dementia deaths."

One of those preventative measures could be consuming marijuana instead of alcohol, as Mike Adams of Forbes noted recently.

Current research suggests that cannabis can be used as a specific treatment for dementia. Other studies have shown that marijuana can be an effective means of combating various excessive drug issues, including alcoholism. That might be why binge drinking is on the decline in states that have legalized cannabis for recreational or medicinal use.

"In legal adult use cannabis states, the number of binge drinking sessions per month (for states legal through 2016) was -9% below the national average," according to the Wall Street investment firm Cowen & Company.

This decline in excessive drinking could potentially lead to a decline in dementia rates as well, which currently stand at nearly 10 million new cases worldwide each year. So next time you want to unwind, consider grabbing some bud instead of a Bud.