Mixing Alcohol and Weed: What are the Risks and Effects

weed and alcohol mixed

Alcohol can also cause people to feel more hungry than usual, which may lead them to overindulge on edibles. Marijuana use may contribute to cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and lowered IQ, especially in the developing brain. The American Psychological Association suggest that adolescents’ developing brains are especially vulnerable to long-term damage from weed use.

Mixing alcohol and weed

Much clinical research on co-use of cannabis and alcohol has been concerned with investigation of pharmacokinetic interactions between the two drugs. Lukas and colleagues [71] assigned casual cannabis and alcohol users to a cannabis dose group (placebo, 1.26% THC, or 2.53% THC). Cannabis slowed the absorption of alcohol, and subsequently reduced the psychoactive effects of alcohol, ultimately suggesting that cannabis may change the bioavailability of alcohol. Using similar methodology, a second study suggested that plasma THC levels were significantly increased when subjects first consumed alcohol [72]. The effects of alcohol and THC were evaluated alone, and in combination, across separate sessions, in a within-subjects, randomized, double-blind design. The authors reported no evidence for synergistic effects of acute combinations of very-low-dose alcohol and THC on subjective or physiologic response, or on cognitive performance.

Prevalence and Impact of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Cannabis

weed and alcohol mixed

In addition, because of the delayed onset, it can be hard to gauge the effects of the edible in real time while also consuming alcohol. Edibles can also produce a very strong body high that can be lethargic and overly relaxing – much like the effect of consuming a large amount of alcohol. Their combined use can cause blackouts, memory loss, and an increased likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. While it’s not entirely clear why drinking alcohol makes weed more potent, it may be because of the way alcohol affects blood vessels. This may allow the lungs to absorb more THC when someone smokes marijuana.

Are there other risks of mixing alcohol and weed?

The moral of the story about mixing weed and alcohol is to listen to your body and not overindulge in either of the substances. Be smart and remember to hydrate to prevent the bad time that can come with being crossed. Alcohol is one of the most widely consumed substances worldwide, with millions of people drinking it daily. Chemically speaking, alcohol is a broad term that refers to a class of organic compounds that contain a hydroxyl (-OH) functional group. The most common type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages is ethanol, which is produced through the fermentation of sugars and starches found in various crops like grapes, grains, and potatoes. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, there has been a rise in the popularity of infused beverages, which offer a unique and potentially safer way to consume both weed and alcohol.

Impaired Cognitive Function

Both weed and alcohol, together and on their own, are also potentially addictive and can lead to dependence and misuse. If you take medication, talk to your doctor before using weed, alcohol, or both. They may weaken the effectiveness of your medication or increase your risk for certain side effects. Adding alcohol to a low dose of THC impaired driving simulator scores by 21 percent.

This combo can lead to the most severe impairment and the highest risk of accidents and injuries. Therefore, you should be especially cautious about combining liquor and weed. Alcohol can dehydrate you quite quickly, and if you haven’t had enough fluids, this can heighten the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Cannabis can also leave you with a dry mouth (“cottonmouth”) and make you feel parched. Taken together, alcohol and cannabis can compound these side effects of one another, so it is imperative that you stay hydrated if you are consuming alcohol or cannabis – together or on their own. A dry mouth and increased thirst are also common side effects of cannabis, and taken together, the two substances can worsen the likelihood of dehydration.

Increased Anxiety and Depression

  1. Be smart and remember to hydrate to prevent the bad time that can come with being crossed.
  2. As compared to alcohol drinkers, co-users exhibit twice the risk of driving under the influence [9].
  3. These psychological symptoms can be overwhelming and distressing for the person affected.
  4. If you or someone you know has mixed alcohol and weed and is experiencing negative side effects such as vomiting, paranoia, or loss of consciousness, seek medical attention immediately.
  5. Used alone and in moderation, these substances can be consumed safely and legally in certain states.
  6. Because alcohol and weed are both depressants that act on the brain’s cannabinoid system, taking them at the same time may have a dramatic effect on your brain chemistry.

If you choose to combine the two into a beverage, a new level of understanding, responsibility, and moderation is required. People should note that the United States classifies shrooms as an illegal drug. Tolerance is a well-documented contributing factor to developing an addiction because it encourages continued use of the substance in increasingly higher amounts over time. Both natural and synthetic cannabinoids are mind-altering substances and, despite common misconception, are addictive. Cannabis is the term for all products that come from the plant Cannabis sativa. Remember, healthcare professionals are ready to provide help and support in times of need.

For example, individuals using higher levels of cannabis reported higher levels of alcohol relative to those using lower amounts of cannabis. Among college-aged drinkers, lifetime and past year use of cannabis increased as level of alcohol consumption increased [24, 25]. Conversely, wine can produce more potent effects than beer when consumed with cannabis, due to its higher alcohol content. For context, many people consider beer and wine to be relatively equivalent drinks. If a couple is out on a dinner date, for example, one person orders a beer and the other a glass of wine, no one will bat an eye.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or experiencing negative mental health effects, seeking professional help is important. Mental health professionals can provide art therapy for addiction guidance, support, and resources to address these challenges. Both alcohol and weed can have a significant impact on liver health, and when used together, the risks can be amplified.

If you’re old enough, you may remember hearing in the anti-drug class at school that when taken together, alcohol and cannabis double the effects of one another. While there is no evidence of a doubling effect, the research does indicate that the two substances do augment the effects of one another. Drinking alcohol and getting high at the same time – sometimes known amphetamine short term and long term effects as “crossfading” – can enhance the effects of both and potentially lead to some real side effects. Remember, consuming weed after drinking alcohol might make you feel less intoxicated, which can lead you to drink more than you usually would. In each session, participants consumed a different combination of placebo, low, and moderate doses of THC and alcohol.

Using marijuana before drinking alcohol may make it difficult to gauge how intoxicated the user is from alcohol, potentially leading to dangerous situations like driving under the influence. Findings from preclinical research support the existence of potential cross-tolerance between cannabis and alcohol that may have important translational implications for clinical research. With driving under the influence for example, blood THC concentrations obtained from drivers may be lower than set limits despite greatly exceeding them while driving. Therefore, more laboratory research is needed on pharmacokinetic interactions between cannabis and alcohol and performance impairments from co-use.

By pacing yourself and setting limits, you can avoid potential risks like overdose or making poor decisions while under the influence. If you find it challenging to moderate your use, remember that rehabilitation programs are available to offer support and resources tailored to your needs. If you’re experiencing alcohol poisoning, you need immediate medical help.

Drinking alcohol before smoking marijuana increases the absorption of THC and can intensify the drug’s effects. Because every individual is different, combining weed and alcohol can have vastly different effects from person to person. Your weed tolerance level, the strain used, the amount consumed, and how you consume it can affect your experience and how intoxicated you become. After combining marijuana and alcohol, some people may become paranoid and make dangerous choices. The short-term effects of alcohol can include impaired cognitive function, slowed reaction times, and altered mood. Long-term effects can include liver damage, brain damage, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of certain cancers.

Gov. Ron DeSantis sounded off his concerns over the smell of marijuana smoke becoming prevalent in public places in a March press conference. Love it or hate it, the whiff of weed is a burning issue for many when it comes to whether or not to totally legalize its usage. Both also have a high risk of misuse and could lead to dependence or addiction.

weed and alcohol mixed

Seek professional advice if you are wanting to have a drink while prescribed medical marijuana. There can be legitimate circumstances around the need to use marijuana. In this context, you need to pay careful attention to the effect alcohol may have when you drink while using marijuana. Even in the states that haven’t made marijuana legal see plenty of people using the drug for pleasure, as well as for medicinal purposes.

While this means that people who use an alcohol and marijuana combination may report a “higher high,” the lows can also become amplified. One study looked at how smoking weed affects the absorption of alcohol, and the other looked at how drinking alcohol affects the absorption of THC. Smoking cannabis, he found, activates your body’s cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2), which can affect how quickly your body absorbs alcohol.

Still, this is a pretty common combination that people try in an attempt to enhance the effects of both substances. Low to moderate doses can produce feelings of relaxation and euphoria, lower inhibitions, and make social situations more enjoyable (hence the term “liquid confidence”). However, higher doses can lead to impaired judgment, motor control, and coordination, increasing ketamine abuse hazards and overdose the risk of accidents and injuries. Meanwhile, as of 2023, medical cannabis is legal in 38 states, while recreational use is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. But while beer and weed may seem like a match made in heaven, combining the two can lead to unpredictable effects, including increased impairment and heightened risks of dangerous behavior.

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