Cannabis Science

Mixing Weed and Alcohol

Mixing Weed and Alcohol

Many things go great with weed such as movies, food, and friends. However, some things aren’t great to mix with weed such as getting a tattoo, dental surgery and driving. But what about other drugs, like alcohol? Even though people have been mixing weed and alcohol for years, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. Here’s what we know. 

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What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and Weed?

Mixing alcohol and weed, also known as crossfading, can cause an intensification of the drugs’ effects. 

According to Healthline, alcohol causes an increase in the absorption of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Therefore, if you have a drink before smoking a blunt then you’re likely to get a stronger high. 

A study of 19 participants saw an increase in THC levels in the blood after mixing weed and alcohol. In this case, they had alcohol first and weed 10 minutes after. 

In a contrasting study, with heavy weed users, there wasn’t a change in THC levels. The study said, “Concentrations and pharmacokinetics of 11-hydroxy-THC and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCA) were not significantly influenced by ethanol.”

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol After You’ve Smoked Weed?

Having a cocktail before a blunt may result in not feeling that tipsy but actually being drunk. According to Healthline, “Using weed before drinking alcohol may minimize the effects of alcohol. This means you might be tipsier than you feel, increasing your risk of becoming overly intoxicated.”

Healthline also says that the few studies about this phenomenon are inconclusive. 

What Happens When You Mix Alcohol With Edibles?

Medical News Today says that it’s best to avoid eating edibles when drinking. The reason they gave was that people tend to eat more when they drink. Since edibles give a more intense (and longer high) then it may be uncomfortable for many people. 

While it’s very unlikely that you’d overdose on weed in the traditional sense, eating too many edibles sometimes causes people to end up in the hospital. While they’re generally fine, they don’t feel fine and that’s not a great end to a night out anyway. 

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Is Weed and Alcohol a Bad Mix

They definitely can be a bad mix for some people. While Healthline admits that occasionally mixing alcohol and weed likely won’t cause major health problems, a great time isn’t guaranteed. 

For people sensitive to weed or a newbie, Healthline advises not mixing the two.

As we always remind you, drugs affect people very differently. So, one person may mix weed and alcohol and have a great night while someone else may end up throwing up and possibly hospitalized. 

For example, throwing back some shots before you use weed could either cause you to have an intense high or a green out. 

Green outs, according to Healthline can cause dizziness, sweating, nausea and vomiting. These are all side effects (for some people) for both weed and alcohol separately. It may be because both drugs sometimes act in similar ways. 

Alcohol is a depressant and weed can also act as a depressant, as well as a hallucinogen and stimulant. Since everyone is different, you may experience various effects common to depressants, hallucinogens, and stimulants mixing the two. 

Risks Associated With Mixing Weed and Alcohol

What happens to you when you mix both substances depends on several things. According to Healthline, your tolerance to both drugs, whether or not you’re on medication, and how much of either you use, could affect your experience.

Regardless of how well you can handle both, there are still some risks associated with pretty much every user. Some of these risks are:

  • Change in judgement – According to Medical News Today, since both drugs can alter people’s judgement, combining both may further intensify that. 
  • Increase chance of dependence on weed and alcohol  A review says that people who mix both tend to use both of them more. This can cause dependence. 
  • Car accidents – People who mix both may think they’re okay to drive and it’s not a great idea. It could lead to fatal car accidents.
  • Dehydration – Alcohol is already a diuretic, which means it makes you pee a lot. However, you could be further dehydrated by vomiting which happens from not only mixing both drugs but can be caused by either drug. 

How to Recover From Mixing Weed and Alcohol 

If you have a bad reaction from mixing weed and alcohol, there are a couple of things you can do to feel better. Healthline suggests doing this during a green out:

  • Focus on something else so you can stay calm
  • Drink some soup
  • Add lemon juice to some water 
  • Stay hydrated
  • Smell ground or crush peppercorns (from a distance)

When To Go to the Hospital 

You may be more susceptible to alcohol poisoning when you mix both drugs. That’s because you may not feel the effects of the alcohol as strongly and so you drink more. Alcohol poisoning is a serious condition and so it’s important to get help ASAP.

According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of alcohol poisoning are:

  • Passing out and can’t be awakened
  • Low body temperature
  • Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  • Pale or blue skin

Mayo Clinic says that someone doesn’t need to have all of these symptoms in order for it to be considered an emergency. If someone is unconscious and won’t wake up after drinking, they could die and need immediate medical attention. It’s also advised that you don’t leave them alone either because they may choke on their vomit.


While mixing weed and alcohol could cause an intense high for some, for others, it’s an unpleasant experience. It’s generally advised not to mix both drugs because of all the things that can go wrong, especially if you’re not used to it. If you do decide to mix both, go slow and be careful.

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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].

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