Weed and Alcohol: Any Dose of Alcohol Increases THC Levels in Blood

Soft Secrets
30 Jun 2020

It’s a special kind of sensation that you get in the mind when combining weed and alcohol together. Crossfade as the mixing of the two substances is known, is something we all crave from time to time.

The combo of alcohol and weed generates different effects among users. From what you may already know, both alcohol and weed are known for their relaxing qualities. Of course, those qualities change when you abuse the substance. The combination of these two may affect a person differently and this depends on both what kind and how much alcohol you drink as well as what strain of weed and how much you smoke. 

Several studies have pondered on how weed and alcohol interact together in the human body. According to one of them, smoking cannabis activates the body’s cannabinoid receptors that play a role in how alcohol is processed in the body. Cannabis affects the way the intestines behave, causing a drop in the alcohol levels in the blood. When it comes to alcohol, it has the opposite effect: it promotes THC levels in the blood. So, drinking first and then smoking intensifies the high. This is as alcohol enables the blood vessels to facilitate faster and better absorption of THC in the body. 

Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly boosts THC levels in the blood, according to research. This is interesting information to know in case you are wondering if you still have any cannabis left in your body from that last time you consumed. It also matters in what form cannabis is ingested in the body. Smoking cannabis may primarily affect the lungs, and ingesting edibles catapults the THC directly into the digestive tract which may already be more sensitive due to alcohol. Nevertheless, more research is needed to confirm the exact differences in what happens when alcohol is consumed along with different goods containing cannabis. 

Another thing that affects ‘high’ is certainly how much THC is contained in the strain or the cannabis edible that’s ingested, with mounting evidence that marijuana is more potent than it used to be back in the 1990s. 

Weed and Alcohol: Different Sensations Between Users

Not everyone responds to the combo of cannabis and alcohol the same way. Drinking alcohol before smoking weed can boost the THC levels in the blood, thus enabling the user to experience a lucrative high sensation in the mind. This is easily explainable since THC is the key psychoactive component of cannabis. 

For those that frequently smoke and drink at the same time, weed and alcohol might not be such big of a deal. They’ll experience the ultra-high sensation without succumbing to side effects. One of the side effects or risks is greening out, and this might be a concern for new users or those who are sensitive to marijuana. 

Excessive drinking, especially liquor, before proceeding for smoke can result in greening out. That is, experiencing overwhelming nausea triggered from being too high. For those who have experienced greening out, they know it’s just not funny. It’s when your body breaks in sweat and the world can’t stop spinning‒so much spinning that you may want to look for the back door of the party. You may start feeling sick and struggle with an urge to vomit. 

The sensation can be experienced to different degrees‒it can be stronger or weaker‒and is usually followed by the strong desire to lie down after which the person may feel much better. Water also helps a huge deal. 

How to handle greening out

If you are ever absorbed by the black hole of taking too much alcohol and weed and feeling excessively sick, here’s what you can do.

  • Calm your mind. If it’s new to you, it might make you panic easily. Try to sit down or lie down. If you are in a crowd, move away from the crowd, but still, call one friend who will stay with you and talk you through the difficult minutes. It helps to remind yourself that the sensation will pass. 
  • Wash your face with water. If you are feeling like falling down, water can “wake” you up. Splash your face and even send some water down your back. Try to gulp some, too.  
  • Stay hydrated and try to urinate. Promoting water in the organism might be key to resolve any unwanted sensations from weed and alcohol. The body may be deficient in water as both alcohol and weed may make you dehydrated. Then, if you manage to urinate you’ll basically solve half the problem as you flush out toxins out of your body. Drinking water has several other benefits for those who smoke weed, including fixing a cottonmouth and helping you deal with the uncontrollable urge of eating out all munchies.
  • Drink a lemonade. You would be surprised to know that lemon can also help you when you feel overwhelmingly high. Lemon contains a chemical compound that can help you tame down the rush of THC to the brain. 
  • Communicate with a friend that you’re unwell. Don’t hide that you are unwell. Tell your bro or tell your sista. Tell them if you need a ride home. Or just ask them to stay with you until the bad goes away. 

Managing Your Vices: how to avoid unwanted sensations

You can smoke weed and drink alcohol without having to experience any nasty side effects such as feeling uncontrollably dizzy and at the tipping point to vomit. If you are opting for the combination, pick a lighter combination such as beer and a strain that is not too high on THC. 

If you are to devour some cannabis edibles try to avoid drinking, especially if the products are very high in THC. It should be no problem ingesting CBD edibles, however. If you smoke weed before taking some alcohol, know that you are probably going to feel tipsier than usual. So, drinking moderately after bogarting that joint is a wise thing to do to avoid feeling intoxicated. If you are too thirsty to resist, at least opt for drinks that have a lower percentage of alcohol. Keep a glass of water along with your alcohol, and try to take sips interchangeably. 

Staying Cautious with Weed and Alcohol

It pays to stay cautious sometimes and moderately succumb to your vices.  Daily consumption of weed and alcohol is not something you really want as part of your lifestyle. A crossfade night from time to time can be okay and even needed to bump the pressure or as a way to have fun with friends, but doing it too often may have other side effects. 

For instance, persistent usage of alcohol and weed has been associated with reduced cognitive capacities and changes in the brain structure, according to scientists. It’s interesting to compare this finding with consuming alcohol only or weed only. 

Those prone to take alcohol may experience worse cognitive functioning than those who consume weed. Notably, when weed is combined with alcohol in long-term usage, there's even a greater threat for reduced cognitive capacity which involves the ability to think, learn, and reason out, compared to those who only consume alcohol.

On the hierarchy of vices, it seems safest to stick with weed alone after all. If you really want to do alcohol and weed do it, but do it with caution and don’t overdo it. 

Soft Secrets