Higher Learning: The Science Behind Combining Cannabis and Alcohol

Home > Blog/News > Higher Learning: The Science Behind Combining Cannabis and Alcohol

Written by | July 9th, 2018

If you’ve been to a party in the past 50 years, it’s likely you’ve been offered a beer and a joint at the same time. You may like alcohol and you may like cannabis but too wary to combine the two. And while there is a great psychological joy to getting a little stoned and a little drunk at the same time, there are also certain scientific and sociological impacts you should learn about before you try it again. What do we mean, exactly? Let’s investigate.

Combining cannabis and alcohol has a nickname: It’s called “crossfading.” Just FYI. Also, passing out from being too stoned and drunk is called “greening out.”

400 years ago the two were used as an anesthesia: Way before cannabis and alcohol were taken out of pharmacies, the combination was used as a general anesthesia for surgery.

If you research the combination of cannabis and alcohol every article will tell you not to drive: Don’t drive while high and drunk!

Cannabis can be used to heighten the aromatics of drinks: For you mixologists out there, cannabis can be used to flavor your drinks in small doses similar to bitters, citrus scents or hops.

THC sparks brain activity: It’s why people feel paranoid sometimes.

Whereas alcohol is a depressant: And hinders motor skills.

According to this study by the Harvard Medical School’s Scott Lukas, people who drink first and then smoke: Had twice as much THC in their blood than those who didn’t. This is because alcohol opens up blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract, helping the THC absorb into the body more efficiently.

People who smoke first and then drink: Resulted in less alcohol in the bloodstream, according to the same Lukas study. THC apparently alters the gastrointestinal tract in such a way that it lowers alcohol levels.

Those who combine THC and alcohol:  Reported the effects of the intoxicants sooner, according to the study. They also reported stronger impairment in judgment and increased heart rate.

The bottom line: It is not dangerous to combine THC and alcohol, as long as it’s done in small, common sense dosages. So enjoy responsibly, as the kids say!