Is Mixing Alcohol and Weed Safe?
Alcohol and cannabis are both intoxicating substances that can alter your state of mind. They can both impair judgment, cognition, and coordination, but they each have their own unique set of effects as well. Some people like to combine weed and alcohol to experience the effects of both substances. This is often called getting “crossfaded.” But is mixing alcohol and weed safe?
September 14, 2021
What it feels like to mix alcohol and weed
Getting crossfaded typically enhances the effects of both substances. Many users report that they feel extra high and drunk when they combine the two substances. As such, crossfaded highs can often go downhill and make people feel terrible.
It can be difficult to find a comfortable level of combining alcohol and weed. People who get crossfaded often find themselves going over the edge with one or the other. This can lead to dizziness, nausea, and heightened anxiety among other uncomfortable symptoms. A common experience for crossfaders is to get “the spins.” This is an uncomfortable spiraling feeling that typically gets worse when laying down.
It is common to get crossfaded by smoking weed after drinking alcohol, but it is also possible to get crossfaded the opposite way. What really matters is that both substances are in your body causing synergistic, often less-than-desirable effects.
If you nail the combination of just the right amount of weed and alcohol, you may have a fun time and feel on top of the world. Since it is so easy to overdo one or the other, though, this outcome is rare. The more common outcome is a “green out,” an experience we’ll cover more later in this blog.
Is mixing alcohol and weed safe?
As you can probably guess from the context we’ve provided so far, mixing the two substances is not recommended if you’re looking for a safe experience. Some people are able to handle the combination, but the risks often outweigh the benefits.
In fact, some medical experts believe the activity is inherently dangerous. Since cannabis can help prevent nausea and vomiting, it can potentially disrupt your natural instinct to vomit if you’ve consumed too much alcohol. This can be disastrous if your body needs to purge excess alcohol.
There’s also the issue with judgment and cognition. Both substances can lower inhibitions and impair judgment, and when combined, the effects can be much stronger. Even if you don’t feel sick or uncomfortable from combining the two substances, your judgment and cognition will likely be severely impaired.
It’s never safe to drive while under the influence of any substance. When you combine cannabis and alcohol, motor skills significantly decline. The combination of reduced motor skills and impaired judgment can be extremely dangerous if a vehicle is involved. This is another reason why mixing the two substances can be dangerous.
There is not a lot of research to go off of when discussing the safety of mixing weed and alcohol. The most common potential outcomes discussed include impaired judgment, dehydration, mental health problems, and reduced cognitive function. Many of the negative effects experienced from mixing the two substances can also occur from using just one of the substances.
Alcohol may increase THC absorption
Researchers have found that alcohol may increase the body’s absorption of THC. This explains why many crossfaders find that they get much higher if they smoke weed after drinking alcohol. It’s also how many crossfaders accidentally misjudge their tolerance.
When someone smokes weed after drinking alcohol, they typically get higher from extra THC absorption along with the combined effects of the two substances. This can lead to a “green out.” Green outs are unpleasant experiences often filled with nausea, anxiety, dizziness, and vomiting.
On the other hand, an older study suggested that weed may slow down the rise in blood alcohol levels in the body. Before we say anything more, keep in mind that this comes from an old study’s findings that some have disagreed with and questioned. If we accept the study’s assertion that weed may slow down the rise in blood alcohol levels, this means people may end up drinking more than usual. This could potentially increase the risk of dangerous behavior or alcohol poisoning.
How to manage a crossfaded high
We know that getting crossfaded can increase many different risks and ruin the night. That doesn’t mean it never happens.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we get carried away. We smoke a joint after enjoying a cocktail and realize we’ve made a huge mistake. It may be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it’s usually something that time can heal.
Of course, if you or a friend has consumed too much alcohol and are exhibiting signs of alcohol poisoning, the following suggestions do not apply. If there is any question that anyone’s health may be in danger, get medical help immediately.
If you just happened to overindulge and are feeling the awful effects of a green out, the following suggestions may help:
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
You can’t do much to lessen the high you are experiencing, but you certainly can help hydrate your body and dilute some of the alcohol inside. Experts recommend always drinking a 16-ounce glass of water for every 12-ounce beer or 4-6 ounces of liquor consumed.
Assuming you got carried away and failed to keep up the water intake, drinking some now and ceasing your alcohol intake is crucial. It won’t take the intoxication away, but it can add some comfort to an otherwise uncomfortable situation. Plus, the more hydrated you are, the less likely you are to have a terrible hangover tomorrow.
Cool off and lay down
Crossfaded highs can often lead to feeling hot and clammy. Laying down is a good way to wait out the high in a safe space, but it may be uncomfortable if your body feels like it’s going to burst into flames.
An icepack or a wet, cold towel on your forehead or chest can help alleviate some of the discomforts. Cooling your body off may make it a little easier to lay down and fall asleep.
Of course, laying down while crossfaded is likely to send you spinning into the void for a bit. It’s incredibly uncomfortable, but your body will eventually settle down and allow you to doze off. You might not wake up feeling super hot, but you will have at least gotten some rest.
Be sure to keep some water beside the bed so you can hydrate whenever you wake up.
Mixing alcohol and weed is not something we recommend. It can easily go downhill and lead to intensely negative experiences. Beyond the uncomfortable side effects, it can also lead to risky behavior or dangerous situations. For these reasons, we think the two substances are best used separately. Or at least with caution.
But hey, we’re not here to tell you what to do. It’s easy to get carried away or indulge in behaviors that aren’t recommended. The best thing you can do is be informed and equipped with the tools to manage the experience.
Visit Piece of Mind Cannabis today! We’ve got beverages, tinctures, vaporizers, flower, and so much more at our Bellingham dispensary, Spokane pot shop, and other dispensary locations!
Stop by and say high!
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