Let’s get the answer to this question out of the way right off the bat.
Yes. It is possible to safely mix and consume alcohol and cannabis in a number of ways for a heightened experience.
…and this is a big “however”…
If you choose to mix your alcohol and your cannabis (whether inhaling, ingesting, or infusing), it’s even more important to consume responsibly.
So, if you were looking forward to a nice glass of whine while enjoying a bit of marijuana-infused chocolate, that’s fine. Just take your time and savor the wine, enjoy the edible… and make sure that you take it a bit easy and control your level of consumption.
Many people think that “crossfading” – the term often used to describe using marijuana and alcohol together – will simply give you a combination of the effects one might expect to get from each substance individually.
The science behind this chemical combination, though, doesn’t quite work out like that. Instead, you might get an experience you weren’t exactly expecting.
So, let’s take a look at what we know about how cannabis and alcohol interact, and what it means for you.
What Happens when You Consume Simultaneously?
Both marijuana and alcohol have similar effects, but those effects are delivered through different mechanisms. And while there are still a lot of things that researchers are looking into, there are a few things on which most researchers agree.
In a study conducted in 2015, it was shown that “any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in blood.” That shouldn’t be too surprising, though, since mixing alcohol with any drug will result in the drug remaining in the body longer than it otherwise would.
Why? Because your liver always wants to metabolize alcohol first. So, whatever else you use will have to wait in line, without changing its chemical properties, while the liver works on dealing with the alcohol. This is why it appears that alcohol can increase the absorption of THC by up to twice as much.
If you’ve had a lot of experience with different marijuana products, this may help you experience something a little different. And it isn’t uncommon for people to use alcohol this way to stretch out the high they get from a smaller amount of marijuana.
Some research also suggests that marijuana may slow the absorption of alcohol, which means you likely won’t feel the effects of the drink as quickly as you normally would. This, in turn, can often leave you feeling like you need to drink more to get the same level of intoxication – even though your blood alcohol content continues to go up just like it normally would.
How You Combine Them Makes a Difference
How you combine alcohol with the cannabinoids in marijuana can make a big difference in the effects it can cause. This is why it’s important to consider things like the strength and volume of the alcohol you drink and the type of cannabis – particularly its THC content – that you ingest or inhale.
For example, cannabis-infused beer is becoming popular in places like Europe, but since the infusion process doesn’t deliver a very high level of THC, the intoxicating effect comes mostly from the alcohol alone. However, smoking or ingesting marijuana along with a beer can lead to a heightened experience, depending on whether you smoke/ingest or drink first.
So, before you take advantage of our California weed delivery and begin experimenting with this kind of crossfading, be sure you know everything about the two different parts and how they may impact your experience.
Know the Side Effects – “Greening Out”
If you’re going to experiment with the combination of these chemicals, it’s always best to understand some potential side effects. You’re probably already aware that cannabis stimulates your appetite, but it goes beyond that when you combine it with alcohol.
The simple fact is that combining alcohol and cannabis can have a different effect on you than just consuming one or the other alone. Yes, you can experience an elevated high by combining these two products, but if you keep going and push your limits too far, you can experience something that is often called “greening out.”
And even this side effect is a little hard to predict. It seems more likely to happen when a person drinks too much before smoking or enjoying some edibles. This goes back to what was stated earlier: drinking first simply opens up the body’s ability to absorb THC faster.
The physical effects of a green out usually include things like dizziness, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Some people can also experience anxiety and hallucinations.
Cannabis also has an antiemetic effect – it makes it difficult to vomit. So, if you’ve imbibed a little too much at once, your body will try to rid itself of all the extra alcohol by vomiting. If you can’t vomit, it means your body will have to try and cope with a bunch of toxins that it doesn’t want.
Always Be Smart
In the end, it’s all about being smart about your consumption habits. You need to learn what works for you and always be a little more cautious when combining chemicals. If you’re going to start experimenting with a little crossfading, always start slow and learn how it will affect your body.