What are the dangers of mixing alcohol with weed?

A rolled weed with a lighter and alcohol

While getting crossfaded can offer cannabiseurs the perfect mix of both worlds, sometimes this enhanced buzz isn’t always the most enjoyable experience. Both alcohol and marijuana are psychoactive substances that have the power to change the way people think and feel, and when heavily mixed, they can have mind-altering effects that make some users sick and paranoid. So, before you get drunk and stoned, have a read to better understand the effects weed consumption has on alcohol use.

You can “green out”

Depending on your experience and tolerance level, drinking alcohol intensifies the effects of the weed, and semi-occasionally, causes the user to “green out” from higher consumptions. While getting crossfaded offers an enjoyable high for many cannabis users, for others it’s uncomfortable, leading to a much stronger high than they are used to. Generally speaking, alcohol increases the absorption rate of the main psychoactive compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the reason for this appears to be because alcohol widens the blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract, allowing for the faster absorption of the THC. So, when a user consumes beyond their limits, they may experience common side effects of “greening out” which includes some or all of the following unpleasant physical symptoms: 

  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Decreased coordination and muscle control

You’re mixing an upper with a downer

Sometimes combining stimulants (uppers) with depressants (downers) gives users a range of sedating effects, including paranoia and panic. Keeping in mind that marijuana (upper) impacts certain areas of the brain, including the ones that are responsible for memory, thinking, and pleasure, whereas alcohol (downer) affects the central nervous system, heavily impacting your motor skills, a heightened high can appear amplified, even in small doses. So, aside from affecting the user’s judgment, mixing these two drugs can send mixed signals to the heart, speeding it up or down to accommodate the psychoactive symptoms of both alcohol and weed.

Things to consider before mixing the two substances

In the event that you decide to mix weed with alcohol, consider the following variables first: 

  • What’s your tolerance level with each substance?
  • What strain of weed or strength of alcohol are you planning on using?
  • Are you going to smoke, vape or take edibles?
  • How long will you wait between taking each substance?
  • Have you taken any other substances (including tobacco or caffeine)?
  • Are you on any sort of medication that could alter the effects of weed or alcohol?

Remember to start slow and keep track of how much of each substance you’re consuming so that you will feel the right amount of buzz without any of the discomforts that can come with mixing the two substances. 

Have you ever been crossfaded? If your reaction was bad, how did you go about handling it?

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