Mixing weed and alcohol happens a lot — but can it be dangerous to smoke pot and drink at the same time? Possibly, according to research that suggests these two substances may be safer when keep separated.
Although having a drink while smoking marijuana may seem harmless enough, more studies are suggesting that combining these pastimes (also known as cross-faded) may result in some serious repercussions, some even fatal.
Read on for why research says the effects of mixing weed and alcohol may have you rethinking that glass of wine the next time you’re high.
The Effects of Combining Cannabis and Alcohol
Cannabis and alcohol are both psychoactive substances — but that’s pretty much where their similarities end. When using cannabis, the THC acts upon the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, resulting in a change in sensory and time perception, thinking and pleasure, just to name a few. Alcohol, on the other hand, heavily impacts motor skills because of how it influences the central nervous system.
Though some people report a “higher high” when combining cannabis and alcohol, research shows that the lows can also become amplified. For example, increased heart rate and impaired judgment symptoms are more obvious.
A 2015 study shows that when alcohol and cannabis are mixed the amount of THC in a person’s blood is far higher than if marijuana is smoked on its own. “The significantly higher blood THC … values with alcohol possibly explain increased performance impairment observed from cannabis-alcohol combinations,” said lead researcher Dr. Marilyn A. Huestis in the study.
Mixing Weed and alcohol Increases Risky Behavior
When combined with the ethanol in alcohol, the elevated effects of marijuana — such as impaired judgment and paranoia – may lead to riskier and possibly dangerous choices.
While experts agree that using too much marijuana isn’t usually going to be life-threatening on its own, drinking too much alcohol has been widely proven to be dangerous. In fact, one French study published in the journal PLOS-One, found that driving after drinking was significantly more dangerous than driving while high.
Mixing Weed and Alcohol Can Lead to Overdose
Not only does adding alcohol to the mix increase the risk of a car accident, but if you drink and smoke weed together, you also may be more likely to suffer an alcohol overdose. Research has revealed that marijuana has an antiemetic effect, meaning that it makes it more difficult for the body to vomit.
When a person consumes too much alcohol, the body usually responds by vomiting in order to eliminate the excess alcohol. Since smoking marijuana helps prevent vomiting — making it helpful to some chemo patients — someone who is high and drunk may be unable to rid itself of dangerous toxins, which can result in deadly consequences.
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