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When it comes to drugs, alcohol and weed are among the most commonly used substances. But what really happens when they team up? But there are a lot of variables to consider, including which one you use first and how you consume them.
Why is mixing weed and alcohol bad?
This generally in a stronger high. While this might be nice for some folks, it can cause others to green out.
This refers to a range of unpleasant physical symptoms that can result from a strong high. In a study19 participants drank either a placebo or small amount of alcohol.
Ten minutes later, they used a vaporizer to inhale either a low or a high dose of THC. The researchers found ificantly higher peak THC levels among participants who had alcohol versus those who had a placebo. This was true for both low and high doses of THC. However, this study was pretty small, making it hard to draw any firm conclusions.
Mixing alcohol, weed, and your mental health
The studies that do exist are old and mostly inconclusive. For example, a study had 15 participants smoke a placebo, a high dose of THC, or a low dose of THC on three occasions.
Weed appeared to slow down the rise of blood alcohol levels after consuming a high dose of alcohol. But a letter to the editor questioned this result. If using weed does indeed slow the absorption of alcohol, it might also delay feelings of drunkenness.
This might seem like a good thing, but it makes it harder to know how impaired you really are. A review of existing studies notes that people who use alcohol and weed together tend to consume more of both.
How alcohol affects thc
This can increase your risk for developing a dependence on alcohol, weed, or both. A study from evaluated performance on cognitive tasks among 21 heavy weed users who had consumed alcohol. Those who consumed just alcohol had worse cognitive functioning than those who only consumed THC. Those who combined the two had reduced cognitive performance than those who only consumed alcohol. Over the long term, combining alcohol and weed may be associated with decreased cognitive function and changes in brain structures, such as the hippocampus.
What really happens when you mix alcohol and weed?
In a study80 people participated in six testing sessions. In each session, participants consumed a different combination of placebo, low, and moderate doses of THC and alcohol. Then they completed a driving simulation. The researchers reported that combining THC and alcohol consistently impaired driving performance, with worse performance during nighttime simulations. Adding alcohol to a low dose of THC impaired driving simulator scores by 21 percent. Adding alcohol to a high dose of THC impaired driving simulator scores by 17 percent.
When mixing weed and alcohol, there are a lot of other variables to consider in addition to which one you use first. The safest bet is to avoid using weed and alcohol together. Keep a running tab in your phone, if you have to.
Remember, consuming weed and alcohol together can make you feel either more or less intoxicated than you would if you were using just one or the other. If you take medication, talk to your doctor before using weed, alcohol, or both. They may weaken the effectiveness of your medication or increase your risk for certain side effects.
The resulting unpleasantness is casually known as a green out. Usually, a bad reaction to mixing weed and alcohol will pass within a few hours. You may even wake up with some lingering effects the next day. Both weed and alcohol, together and on their own, are also potentially addictive and can lead to dependence and misuse. It might seem harmless to mix alcohol and weed, but doing so can be a slippery slope toward getting overly intoxicated.
Keep in mind that combining the two may be linked to a decline in cognitive function and an increased risk of dependence.
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What happens if you drink alcohol before using weed? What happens when you use weed before drinking? Other things to consider. How to handle a bad reaction. When to get help.
Weed and alcohol
The bottom line. Read this next. How to Conquer a Weed Hangover. Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. Does Weed Kill Brain Cells? And 5 Other Things to Know. Cocaine and Alcohol: A Toxic Mix. Medically reviewed by Dena Westphalen, Pharm. Medically reviewed by Jeffrey Chen, MD.