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What are the effects of combining Alcohol and Cannabis?

Weed and alcohol are often mixed to produce a unique substance capable of producing the combined effects of consuming either alcohol or weed in their separate forms. If you’re worried about what would happen when you combine two psychoactive compounds, then you’re lucky because there’s actually nothing much to fret about as long as you consume them responsibly. Besides, no research or evidence was able to link mixing weed and alcohol to any major health complications or problems. However, there exist a lot of variables that you may want to consider to avoid potential negative short-term effects.

Mixing Alcohol and Weed

One thing this mixture can guarantee is intensified weed effects. This is due to the increase in the body’s absorption of the weed’s psychoactive ingredient, the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. Although some people prefer to experience a more potent high than others, mixing alcohol and weed to reach this feeling might result in a range of usually uncomfortable and uncontrollable complications that might lead to severe complications. It’s also important to remember that people may react differently to the said combination. You might find one person’s bodily reactions to be either totally or slightly different from yours. Hence, making informed decisions is important before trying potent and possibly addictive combinations.

How Does Weed Interact with Alcohol in the Body?

Both alcohol and marijuana produce distinct effects on the central nervous system. The central nervous system is a part of the brain responsible for memory, thought, pleasure, and the perception of time, and senses are affected by marijuana. Alcohol, in particular, is a depressant that has a profoundly short-term to long-term impact on memory, judgment, cognition, motor skills, and the entire central nervous system. Some research, however, showed that consumption of alcohol in moderation may somehow reduce one’s risk of possibly developing or dying from heart disease. Besides that, alcohol is also seen as potential diabetes prevention. One of the typical immediate effects of alcohol is slurred speech, poor memory, sudden development of impulsive behavior, and a slowed reflex. These effects, however, do not last long in the body and can be washed out after some time. Weed on the other hand produces a high feeling due to the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content ingested as a person introduces weed into the system. THC like alcohol is a depressant, hence, the slowing of brain activity resulting in less motor coordination, poorer memory, reduced attention, and other short-term effects of drinking alcohol. The THC works as it regulates the brain chemistry of the Endocannabinoid (EC) system of our bodies.

So, mixing weed and alcohol tends to intensify the respective depressant effects of its compounds. Serious complications may be possible for those who carelessly mix alcohol and weed for purposes of increased hyperactive effects.

The weed before Alcohol vs. Alcohol before weed: Does it Make a Change?

While there is a handful amount research conducted on the possible consequences of consuming alcohol before weed, there aren’t many studies conducted to discover the effects of doing the opposite approach.

A study conducted in 1992 showed weed use as an effective tool to slow down alcohol absorption, therefore, delaying intoxication. Although this may sound like an advantage, it may also make it even more difficult for the users to assess how impaired they might be. Weed use for slowed alcohol absorption was questioned later in 1993 by some researchers and still remains a question until this day. In any case, if you’d still opt to use weed before alcohol, just make sure to pay more attention to the number of drinks that you’ve had or aim to consume less alcohol than you normally would when not using marijuana.

While the effect of changing the orders between weed and alcohol use, remains unsure, what is known is that the effects of consuming cannabis about 15 minutes after consuming alcohol could greatly impair a person’s ability to drive even more than consuming alcohol alone.

Ways to Handle the possible adverse effects of mixing weed and alcohol?

If you happen to mix weed and alcohol and are experiencing negative side effects, it’s likely because of the alcohol’s effects that intensified the high that you got from weed use. A “green out” is a colloquial term for the unpleasantness that results. When you have consumed too much marijuana, which happens with or without the use of alcohol.

The signs of having a green out include shivering, sweating, chills, sudden stomach issues, increased heartbeat, lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, and paranoia. These following tips can help you get through green outs, regardless of whether you’re trying to remain motionless in a spinning room or breaking out in a cold sweat:

Lie Down or Sit Still. Find a calm area to rest in if you are feeling lightheaded until you feel better. Ask a friend to drive you, in case you still have to drive yourself home.

Be Calm. Find anything to focus on other than your current discomfort, such as music, if at all possible. Patience is essential when dealing with sudden negative reactions. Keep in mind that your emotions will pass with time.

Get some lemon. One of the chemical components in lemons has been proven to somehow lessen the effects of THC on the brain. When you’re feeling too high, try mixing some water with lemon juice or zest to help relieve discomfort.

Crush some peppercorns. Similar to lemons, the aroma of crushed peppercorns consists of certain substances that are claimed to prevent instances of “greening out.” All you need to do is to grind or crush a few peppercorns and take a deep breath. Just remember to try to keep your distance and avoid actually getting the peppercorn in your nose.

Drink or Eat. A small snack or a sweet beverage can help boost your blood sugar and eventually make you feel better. You may want to try a heavy dish like soup broth or juice if you don’t have any other food on hand.

Have someone to talk to. Get a reliable friend to accompany you if you can. You can use them to pass the time and remain composed.


Although combining alcohol and weed may appear safe, doing so might still lead to excessive intoxication. However, if despite the risk, you’d still wish to continue mixing weed and alcohol, just be mindful of how much you’ve been consuming, especially if this is your first time trying to combine them.

It’s important to remember that mixing the two may cause deterioration in cognitive function and possible weed and alcohol dependence.

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