Mixing Cannabis and Alcohol

The use of more than one psychoactive drug by an individual that is consumed all at once to enhance the effects or to achieve a particular effect is termed as poly drug use.

Drug cocktails are more potent than using a single drug therefore the effects are multiplied to the person taking it. The more drugs that are being mixed, the more intoxicated one become and more likely those things go wrong. The effects make one irrational and would have less regard to themselves and to those around them.

Alcohol and cannabis is a common poly drug use. It produces erratic behaviour of people taking it. The alcohol and cannabis cocktail enhances the other’s effects and the end product becomes more powerful.

Poly drug use is a dangerous practice and can result in several negative consequences. It can lead to physical and psychological harm, dependence, addiction, and even death. Mixing drugs can also increase the risk of overdose and cause adverse reactions, especially when the drugs being mixed have opposite effects on the body.

The Effects

Nausea, vomiting, panic, disorientation and paranoia are experienced when inhaling cannabis and alcohol. Anxiety is triggered as well. The mix of cannabis and alcohol raises the risk of existing psychotic symptoms more susceptible to psychotic attacks.

One of the active ingredients found in cannabis that causes intoxication is called THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is absorbed by the body’s system when this is mixed with alcohol. Cannabis’ effect is enhanced several times than normal and would result in “greening out”.

A potential side effect of cannabis, greening out is when one feels sweaty, pale and may start vomiting. This is also accompanied by dizziness that the urge to lie down straightaway is great. Some may observe that this is more likely to occur when alcohol was taken in first before smoking cannabis.

Risks Associated from Mixing Alcohol with Cannabis

Erratic effects – Used both at the same time, cannabis and alcohol have a greater probability of negative side effects either physically (vomiting, nausea, dizziness) or psychologically (panic, anxiety and paranoia).

Effects on driving – One of cannabis’ side effects are sluggishness and the inability to concentrate. The effects of alcohol while driving are also well researched and documented as having one of the causes of mortality on the road. Therefore, when both of them combined, it poses a serious hazard not only to the person taking them but to others as well.

Too intoxicated – Lack of focus and incoherence make one unable to make sound decisions. One is less alert and therefore would not be able to look after belongings.

Drug replacement – This type of drug use is harmful. One would cut back on one drug, but end up compensating with the other to manage the effects. For instance, cannabis users who would give up on the drug would find it hard to sleep and would use alcohol to induce it and vice versa.

Moreover, combining alcohol and cannabis has been found to have long-term effects on the brain, such as memory loss and decreased cognitive function. This is particularly concerning for young people, whose brains are still developing and are more susceptible to the negative effects of drug use.

Additionally, the combination of alcohol and cannabis can increase the risk of addiction. Regular users of both substances have a higher chance of developing a substance use disorder than those who only use one.

In conclusion, while the effects of alcohol and cannabis can vary from person to person, combining the two can have detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health. It is important to be aware of the risks and make informed decisions when it comes to drug use.

Photo Credit: “Cannabis Beer?” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by woofiegrrl

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in April 2015. It was last updated in June 2023.

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