Around 12% of Americans regularly smoke cannabis, and many more consume alcohol. But what happens if you consume these two substances together? Is this drug combination safe?
The effects of mixing alcohol with cannabis (or, “crossfading”) are hazey, to say the least. More research needs to be done on the subject before any conclusive health claims can be made. But when it comes to mixing cannabis with alcohol, there are a few things we know for sure.
Here’s what to consider before using alcohol and cannabis together.
Everything in moderation
It’s always important to enjoy both cannabis and alcohol in moderation, but it’s especially important when you combine them. Many consumers report that if you drink while consuming cannabis, both are likely to hit you a lot harder.
One beer while high might feel like two or even three beers. This means you need to be very careful with the combination as you can get very intoxicated quite quickly.
If you’re set on using alcohol with cannabis, here’s a good rule of thumb: if you consume a lot of one, you should take it easy on the other. This is especially important if your tolerance for cannabis and/or alcohol is low.
One of the best ways to ensure you have the best cannabis and alcohol experience is to consume the cannabis first. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, most people find it much more pleasurable to smoke or pop an edible first and drink later.
The worst possible way to attempt this combination is to be incredibly drunk before trying to smoke. Generally, this will result in nausea and dizziness. If you want to smoke after drinking alcohol, you need to do it reasonably early.
On the other hand, some people say using cannabis before drinking makes the effects of alcohol more pleasurable. You might even find you don’t need to drink as much to start feeling great.
Watch the hangovers
Consuming cannabis while drinking is somewhat of a balancing act. If you overdo it with either substance, things could go wrong. But if you find the right balance, the effects can sometimes be quite pleasurable.
With that said, even if you feel great on the night, this combination can cause awful hangovers. Both cannabis and alcohol dehydrate the body. This is a recipe for a hangover from hell when you wake up in the morning.
The trick to enjoying this combination is not to overdo it. If you’re planning on drinking a lot, maybe save the cannabis for the morning after. If you do use alcohol and cannabis together, make sure you drink water throughout the night and stay hydrated as much as possible.
Proceed with caution
Due to the lack of research on what mixing cannabis with alcohol actually does to the human body (and let’s not forget the terrible hangovers), it’s hard to heartily recommend combining cannabis and alcohol. While the combination is pleasurable for many users, there’s somewhat of a learning curve to consuming the proper amount, and there are plenty of ways it can go horribly wrong.
If you do decide to get crossfaded, start with a low dose of each and work your way up slowly until you feel just the right kind of buzz.