Cannabis Science

Can You Drink After Getting a Tattoo? Can You Smoke Weed?

tattoo artist tattooing arm

After a tattoo, you may want to reward yourself with a drink or maybe a blunt. However, drinking or smoking weed after a tattoo may not be a great idea. Besides keeping your tattoo, clean and dry, you may have to consider what you consume after. So, can you drink after getting a tattoo? Can you smoke weed after getting a tattoo? Here’s what we know. 

Photo: Unsplash 

Can You Smoke Weed After Getting a Tattoo?

Celebrating your fresh ink with a bong sounds like the perfect plan, right? 

Not so fast!

Smoking in general isn’t recommended after getting inked, at least not right away.

There is not a lot of information about whether or not smoking weed can affect your tattoo.

However, there is evidence that using cannabis can delay wound healing.

O’Real recommends abstaining from cannabis for about two weeks.

“Ideally body needs 10-14 days free of alcohol and weed, if not the healing process may take longer time. There is also a risk of [the] tattoo healing lighter (with less contrast) than what it should look like.” 

Abstaining from cannabis while you heal can also save you money in the long run.

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If your tattoo doesn’t heal properly, according to O’Real, your tattoo artist may need to charge you extra money for the time they will spend to fix a tattoo.

While you’re waiting for your tattoo to heal, make sure you follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions. 

O’Real recommends drinking plenty of water to flush the toxins out and getting some rest. 

Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting a Tattoo?

So, can you celebrate with a bottle of wine after getting a tattoo?

You should wait 48-72 hours after getting inked before you have a drink according to Sacred Raven Tattoo.

They said, “Though you probably want to celebrate before or after getting your new tattoo to dull the pain or take the edge off the soreness of your skin, be patient and self-controlled. Understand that your tattoo is like a medical procedure, where you’ll need to rest up and heal for a few days.”

However, O’Real recommends that you abstain from alcohol for the same amount of time you’d abstain from weed which is 10-14 days.

She tells us, “Treat tattoo like a fresh wound – less toxins [the] human body has to deal with the quicker it will heal itself.”

You may be wondering what’s so awful about having a drink after a tattoo.

Well, Sacred Raven Tattoo says alcohol may cause excessive bleeding and delay healing

O’Real agrees that drinking alcohol could prolong the healing process and result in your tattoo healing lighter than expected.

Even though you may want to celebrate after, it’s not worth the risk.

“The risk is really not worth it. ‘Fun’ times last a day or so, but your tattoo will stay with you for the rest of your life.” according to O’Real. 

Can You Smoke Weed Before a Tattoo?

You may be nervous about getting inked and figured out that taking a dab before would be the perfect solution. 

However, we recommend finding another way to calm your nerves. 

Dika O’Real, tattoo artist and owner of Tattoo Studio 58 actually recommends you abstain from weed for up to a day before you get your tattoo.

That’s because weed may thin your blood or increase your blood pressure.

There is evidence that weed may thin your blood as some of the cannabinoids display anticoagulant properties in rats. However, there isn’t a lot of scientific proof whether or not weed causes thinning in humans but it’s still a possibility. At the same time, there is evidence that weed may even cause clotting in humans. 

Just so you know, if weed thins your blood, that could increase the risk of bleeding during your tattoo session which can ruin the experience. 

In terms of blood pressure, there is evidence that weed may either increase or decrease your blood pressure. 

It’s better to just play it safe and take a mini weed break before your tattoo, especially if you’ve never done it before. 

So, how can you calm your nerves before your tattoo?

O’Real says, “I would suggest to bring headphones so you can listen to your favourite music or watch a Netflix show to take your mind of the pain. Little things like that really make a difference to the whole tattoo process.”

Can You Drink Before a Tattoo?

Drinking before getting your tattoo is not a better option either.

Even though it’s common for people to have a beer (or two) before getting inked, it’s not recommended. 

“Getting a tattoo after drinking alcohol (or being drunk whilst being tattooed) is not a good idea because alcohol thins the blood and it will cause more bleeding whilst being tattooed. There is also a risk of bad bruising too. Tattoo may heal much lighter than it would [have] if person came in sober and did not consume alcohol 24 prior the tattoo session.”

O’Real recommends that you abstain from alcohol for at least a day before getting your tattoo. 

You may be skeptical because you may have gotten a drunk tattoo or accompanied a friend and nothing happened.

O’Real explains to us that it’s not a guarantee that something bad would happen but there is still a risk. 

Takeaway

So, can you drink after getting a tattoo? Can you smoke weed? Experts recommend abstaining from weed and alcohol right before your tattoo and for some time after. The amount of time you should abstain depends on who you ask. However, to ensure your tattoo heals properly, two weeks seems like the safer option. Your reward will be a beautiful tattoo that stays with you forever. 

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About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].