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Mixing marijuana and alcohol can have very unpleasant side effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nicotine is the most widely used drug in the United States, followed closely by alcohol and cannabis. It is no surprise then that people commonly mix two of the most popular drugs in the country, and some even mix all three.
Although the majority of people have their personal preferences, you will not need to travel far to get firsthand accounts of how it feels to be drunk and stoned at the same time. You could probably just ask your neighbor in the unlikely event you do not know yourself. Even so, few understand the biology behind mixing marijuana and alcohol or its effects on body and mind.
The Science of Cross Fading
Using cannabis and alcohol concurrently is “cross fading.” Many enjoy the unique high they get from mixing the two, but for many more others, their level of alcohol intoxication strips them of their decision-making ability. Rational thought disappears when drunk, and smoking a joint may seem a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, many regret their carelessness a few moments later.
The age-old adage is that if you must mix alcohol and marijuana, always smoke first. If you puff before drinking, you have a higher chance of enjoying the evening. However, drinking beer before smoking a joint is extremely ill advised, and even science supports this “college mantra.” No expert will recommend mixing alcohol and marijuana in Culver City, but if you do, prepare for some adverse side effects:
• The Greenies
Greening out is a horrible feeling. It makes you feel sick almost immediately after smoking cannabis. You may feel sweaty, and those around you will say you look pale. The “spins” will make you dizzy, and there may even be nausea and vomiting involved. You will definitely want to lie down and blot the world out. Fortunately, greenies are not common or dangerous and it usually happens if you drink before smoking.
• Alcohol Poisoning
Combining marijuana and alcohol makes it easy to overdo one or both substances. Although you will not die from the greenies, alcohol poisoning can have grave, often fatal consequences. When mixing the two, effects of each are more severe than they would be on their own. Mixing can make you forget your tolerance levels and be more vulnerable to overdoing it.
The biggest concern is, according to Northeastern University, marijuana’s antiemetic effect. Weed makes it harder to vomit, and although this side effect is non-consequential and even helpful for some medical patients, it is extremely dangerous in a case of alcohol poisoning. The body will vomit excess alcohol to get it out of the system, but if you are unable to do it properly, the risk of choking on your own vomit or drowning in it increases exponentially.
• The Crazies
Alcohol slows the central nervous system. It is a depressant. Cannabis can have similar effects, and using them together can make it much worse. Alcohol also makes it easier for your body to absorb THC much faster, which can trigger psychotic episodes, such as paranoia, anxiety, panic, and depression. Alcohol can cause “blackouts,” and in cases of cannabis overdose, there can be memory disruption, as well.
When mixing marijuana and alcohol, you have less control of your mental faculties. There is a tendency to engage in risky behaviors, such as climbing behind the wheel intoxicated, losing your belongings, and engaging in dangerous sexual practices. There is also a higher likelihood of clumsy accidents, as well as feelings of invincibility that can make you do things you otherwise would never dare.
Responsible Use of Marijuana in Culver City
Although nobody should ever recommend mixing marijuana and alcohol, there are some safety precautions you can take if you decide to ignore good advice. Because alcohol increases THC levels in the blood, one glass of wine can make one joint feel like five. If you must mix the two, be smart about it. Here are some ways to survive a wild night:
• Know Your Drinks and Strains
Different types of alcohol affect people differently. You could be one to vomit on whiskey but dance on rum. Potent THC strains could make you euphoric or paranoid. It is crucial to know beforehand which marijuana strains and alcohol types suit your body’s chemistry. Figure out which drinks and buds bring out the best in you, and stay away from low-grade weed and booze, which can increase risk of reactions.
• Understand Your Limits
It is imperative that you know your tolerance levels before you embark on a mixing adventure. Experiment with the quantities of both on their own beforehand, and remember that a few drinks and puffs go much further when you combine them together. If the spins hit you, then you have gone far overboard. Most importantly, drink and puff slowly, and make moderation your party motto.
• Have a “Buddy”
Using the buddy system can help you stay out of trouble. Having a friend to tell you to slow down, take you home, or prevent you from indulging in risky behavior could potentially save your life. Keep an eye on each other and take a cab home together. If your friend does get sick, position him or her to lie on one side. This will prevent choking or drowning in vomit, and ask your friend to do the same for you.
• Drink Plenty of Water
Both alcohol and weed are infamous dehydrates. Be sure to hydrate yourself at every opportunity. The consensus is to have a glass of water after every drink and as much as you can handle before you eventually go to bed. The more water you drink, the less likely you are to puke or get the spins, and you will feel less hungover the next day, as water can counteract the effects of too much alcohol and pot.
As mentioned already, it is wisest to avoid mixing marijuana and alcohol. However, doing so can be a great deal of fun, provided you do it responsibly and without exceeding your tolerance limits. It is better to enjoy yourself than to spend your night sick, behind bars, or dead, so always remember that moderation is key. Do not allow yourself to drink and puff your way to the nearest emergency room.