Alcohol and marijuana are two of the most popular recreational drugs in the world (though alcohol is classified a bit differently. But what happens when they are mixed together? While the consensus is that drinking a few beers while smoking weed isn’t particularly harmful, there are potential effects of combining the two substances that you should bear in mind before doing so
Major health effects
The good news is that while many drugs are extremely dangerous to combine with alcohol, mixing cannabis with alcohol does not add toxicity to either drugs’ effects. Your body is not more likely to succumb to alcohol poisoning if you mix drinking with smoking weed. Mixing the two can, however, have other effects.
Smoking after drinking can make you higher
If a drunk person smokes some weed, they will likely feel more stoned than they would have had they been sober. As alcohol is a depressant, adding weed to the mix may cause the cannabinoids to have an exaggerated mental effect. This may take the form of the spins, lightheadedness and enhanced feelings of floating in the limbs. While the jury is still out as to how this happens, some evidence suggests that weed changes the way the human body absorbs alcohol.
Smoking before drinking can make you feel less drunk
Many people report that smoking weed before drinking causes them to feel less drunk than expected. There is some science to back this up. When the body’s cannabinoid 2 receptors are activated, it appears that it begins to absorb alcohol differently, resulting in a lower blood alcohol content. The extent of this impact is still unclear. In the meantime, cannabis users should make sure that the weed isn’t tricking them into drinking more than they should.
Mixing weed and alcohol can decrease inhibition
As both drugs have relaxing effects, mixing cannabis with alcohol can cause you to lose your inhibitions. The effect can be relatively benign, such as a group of people opening up about their personal lives in ways they might not otherwise, or it can cause you to engage in risky behaviors. On the lighter side, it may make you more susceptible to those well-known munchie cravings.
Many cannabis users have, at some point, have experienced a “green-out” after consuming too much weed (think of it as a weed hangover). While not a serious condition, it certainly causes people to feel nauseous. If combined with alcohol, which is well-known to make people sick when used in excess, a green-out is more likely. The condition is not dangerous, but neither is it any fun.
Everything in moderation
Cannabis is certainly one of the less dangerous drugs to mix with alcohol and is unlikely to cause major bad effects if done in moderation. The combination can, however, increase the negative effects of each if either or both are used excessively. It’s important to listen to their bodies (and know your limits) to avoid creating those embarrassing “high stories” and bad hangovers.