Tattoos are a great form of self-expression. However, even though people are excited to get their new ink, it can be pretty nerve-wracking. People get nervous about how their new tattoo will turn out and some get even more nervous about the pain. To take the edge off, many people turn to alcohol or weed so it’s no wonder people question if you can smoke or drink after getting a tattoo. However, while both can do a great job of silencing jitters, they might pose different problems.

Photo: Unsplash

Can You Drink After Getting a Tattoo?

It seems that having a beer after your tattoo may not actually not be a great idea. According to Authority Tattoo, loading up on booze can actually delay the healing process. You’ll notice that your tattoo still bleeds up to two days after you have it done. Since alcohol thins the blood, it may cause excess bleeding. Authority Tattoo says, “While your tattoo continues to leak out excess fluids, the skin around the area is going to have greater difficulties scabbing as quickly as it normally would, which in turn can cause delays in the healing process, and increase the risk of infection.”

Alcohol can also affect the body’s ability to regenerate and heal properly while you sleep. That’s why Authority Tattoo recommends allowing the body to be in optimal condition for 2-3 days after the tattoo so that the tattoo can heal properly. 

In addition to that, if you’ve opted for painkillers after the procedure, you may want to turn down alcoholic beverages for the duration of treatment. Drinking after getting a tattoo could cause a dangerous interaction between the alcohol and the painkillers. The good news is the swelling and redness should go down within a week. If it hasn’t you may want to see a doctor. 

Can You Drink Before Getting a Tattoo?

No, don’t drink before getting a tattoo. As a matter of fact, many tattoo parlors wont even provide service to someone who drank. While getting a bit tipsy may relax your nerves before a tattoo, it can cause many other problems. 

As mentioned before, alcohol thins out the blood and so that may cause excessive bleeding while you’re getting your tattoo. According to Insider, “When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design.” In addition to that, the bleeding could thin out the ink. 

Drinking alcohol before getting your tattoo may lead to you regret if you’re just getting a spur of the moment tattoo. As Insider says, “alcohol impairs judgment, and you don’t want to make permanent decisions while impaired.” 

In addition to that, alcohol is notorious for making people barf. If you know you’re prone to upchucking after drinking, it’s probably best to avoid alcohol before your tattoo. 

Finally, some people drink and forget what happened later. You don’t want to forget any of the important aftercare instructions from your tattoo artist if you get inked intoxicated.

Mushroom bong frog house sale

Smoking and Tattoos

There isn’t a lot of information available regarding smoking and tattoos. We need more scientific studies. However, there are some things worth considering based on what we know. 

According to Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, smoking can cause tattoos to fade. Backe is quoted in Bustle saying, “Smoking reduces collagen production in the body which is the key ingredient in maintaining your skin’s elasticity. This can lead to pigmentation bleeding out of your tattoo.” It seems that the article was talking about cigarettes but since marijuana smoke and cigarettes have similar chemicals, we can’t definitively say that that isn’t also true for weed. 

On the other hand, a study shows that nicotine affects wound healing. This particular study looked at the role of nicotine and smoking and wound healing. It concluded, “Smoking has a …….. prolonged effect on inflammatory and reparative cell functions leading to delayed healing and complications.” Since tattoos are considered wounds initially, that may ring true for tattoos as well. 

Cigarette smoke is also linked to bleeding but there isn’t really information on how it affects tattoos. 

Should You Smoke Weed Before Getting a Tattoo?

There isn’t a lot of information available about smoking weed before getting a tattoo. We can only infer based on what is available. In terms of medical reasons, taking a hit from your rig may cause problems. According to a Marijuana Research Report, weed has been shown to increase the heart rate. Marijuana can also cause an increase in blood pressure. Both of these could prolong or exacerbate bleeding, especially if you have issues clotting. 

In addition to that, remember people have different reactions to weed. Some people will be able to ditch their anxiety and be calm for the tattoo and have the pain dulled. On the other hand, some people get more anxious when they use weed and feel more pain. If you’re someone who gets high and jittery, then you may not want to use weed before your appointment. Being anxious can make the experience worse for you. Being jittery and moving around can make it harder for the tattoo artiste to get the job done. 

We have good news for stoners. The reason some people get really anxious after using weed is because of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive compound in weed responsible for high and for some people, anxiety. Authority Tattoo recommends opting for Indica heavy or CBD heavy strains. In addition to that, many people report not feeling anxious using delta 8 THC so that may be something you want to look into. We recommend trying these strains before actually going into the tattoo parlor so that you know how you’ll react beforehand. 

Getting Tattoos While High Experiences

Inked Magazine interviewed Circa Suicide, a tatted cannabis influencer about her experience. According to her, using weed provides relaxation and allows her to sit through lengthy tattoo sessions. Circa Suicide says, “Its really nice and relaxing to get tattooed high. I find that I’m more calm and relaxed instead of all tense and excited.”
She also reported that using weed makes the experience less painful. However, the influencer did mention that being too high wasn’t ideal. Circa Suicide said she was hyper focused on the needles which made the experience less pleasant. Finally, she recommends Indica strains when getting tattooed.

Is it Safe to Smoke After Getting a Tattoo?

There isn’t a lot of information available on this and whether or not it’s safe. However as said before smoking cigrattes could prolong wound healing. 

In terms of smoking weed, you may be able to get relief from the pain afterwards by smoking weed. Weed provides pain relief for many people. Cannabidiol (CBD) may also reduce inflammation and pain which you may be experiencing post tattoo. 

Circa Suicide says that she uses weed throughout the healing process for the anti inflammatory and anti microbial properties. She said, “I feel like continually medicating through the healing process helps me greatly. I also use medicated salves during healing to speed up the process and help with the annoying healing pains.” The tattoo enthusiast says cooking the cannabis is better to reap the rewards. 

If you’re already on other medication, it’s best to ask your doctor about using weed to avoid an undesirable interaction.


Can you drink alcohol after getting a tattoo? Drinking before and after a tattoo is a no-no. In terms of smoking, the area is a bit more grey. It doesn’t seem like cigarette smoking is ideal for getting tattoos or the healing process. However, there isn’t much information about cigarettes and tattoos. In terms of using weed, there is even less information available. Based on the information we have available, it seems to depend on the person. Some people may have a great experience using weed before and after tattoos while some may not.

Do you have more burning questions around cannabis?

Email us at [email protected] with your questions/topic suggestions and we will get back to you! 


Newest cannabis articles and trending smoking accessories in your inbox

Related Posts