Why You Should Never Mix Cannabis and Alcohol

Posted 6 years ago by Ian Shutts

Cannabis and alcohol, anyone? For some people, a party isn’t a real party if there’s no alcohol. The more alcohol, the merrier, they say And what better way to make that party even more exhilarating than by adding some weed, right?

If you’ve been drinking and someone offered you weed at a party, don’t take it. There are very good reasons why these two should never, ever mix. Not only can you overdose on both substances, but you’re also putting yourself at risk of death.

You might argue that you’ve done both and that you have had no ugly reactions toward it. Or you might even say that you know someone who drinks alcohol and smokes cannabis at the same time and that he’s perfectly fine. That this just nonsense spread by some prissy individual who’s afraid of a little adventure.

But know that every time you combine these two substances, you’re setting yourself up for some harm.

cannabis and Alcohol’s Opposite Effects on Vomiting

It’s normal to feel sick and nauseous when you’ve had too much alcohol to drink. After all, it is your body’s way of protecting yourself against alcohol poisoning. You feel queasy and your stomach starts to tighten up. This is then followed by heaving and vomiting out the contents of your stomach and small intestines.

sick on cannabis

However, cannabis has antiemetic properties. This means that it can prevent nausea and vomiting. If you drink too much and smoke cannabis at the same time, then you’re basically robbing yourself of your body’s protective mechanism against alcohol poisoning. Cannabis will prevent you from vomiting and stop your body from ridding itself of excess alcohol. Combining the two increases your risk of choking on your vomit, especially if you passed out on your back.

Cannabis also allows the dangerous toxins from alcohol to rise. It will increase your risk of alcohol poisoning and even death.

Intensifying Each Other’s Side Effects

One of the effects of alcohol is dilation of the blood vessels, including the blood vessels supplying the gastrointestinal system. You feel your pulse and breathing slightly quicken when you drink. After all, your heart and lungs will have to speed up so they can maintain adequate blood flow into your organs.

Because your blood vessels are dilated, it will be very easy for the cannabinoids, especially THC, to enter your bloodstream. The psychoactive effects of cannabis will kick in faster since it’s now easily absorbed by your cells.

The dangerous thing about mixing cannabis and alcohol is that they’re both depressants and can slow down the way your central nervous system functions. Since each magnifies the effects of the other, the results can be pretty unpredictable and erratic.

Paranoia is more severe and can cause extreme panic and anxiety attacks. Their combination can fog your mind and impair your judgment. It makes you more vulnerable to dangerous situations such as theft, assault, unprotected sex, and rape.

greening out

In addition to all these, you also increase your risk of “greening out.” Greening out typically happens when you’ve had too much cannabis. Some of the symptoms of greening out include:

  • Increased paranoia.
  • Severe anxiety and fear.
  • Trembling and shaking muscles.
  • Difficulty in breathing due to shortness of breath.
  • Cotton-mouth or extreme mouth dryness.
  • Rapid pulse and heart rate.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Extreme dizziness.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Motor incoordination and heavy limbs.
  • Strong impulse or need to lie down.

Combining these two substances make you even more susceptible to “greening out”. The effects are worse, too, since they amplify each other’s psychoactive effects.

Risk of Overdosing on Both Substances

Because cannabis can prevent nausea and vomiting, it can temporarily increase your alcohol tolerance. It can make you drink beyond your usual limits and increase your risk of alcohol poisoning.

“Greening out” is usually not life-threatening. After resting a bit, these cannabis effects typically fade away. Alcohol poisoning, however, is very dangerous. If you don’t receive prompt medical attention, you can pass out from the high toxin level, fall into a coma, develop seizures, and even die.

Combining alcohol and cannabis affects your judgment and can easily make you overdose on both substances.

What to Do

First of all, never mix alcohol and cannabis. You don’t want the risks involved in combining the two.

If you feel any of the symptoms above or you see someone overdosing on cannabis and alcohol, seek help immediately, call 911, or have someone call them for you. If you feel nauseous, stay seated so you won’t choke on your vomit.

Finally, never, ever drive while under the influence of both cannabis and alcohol.