Mixing marijuana with alcohol

What are the effects of mixing marijuana and alcohol? More here on possible harms and warnings for mixing marijuana with alcohol.

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Is marijuana addictive or not? Absolutely.  In fact, what makes marijuana addictive is euphoric effect.

While some people are tempted to drink and smoke weed at the same time, using more than one drug simultaneously can often lead to unwanted results.  When you’re feeling high, and reach out for another drug, you risk multiplying the regular effects of both drugs. So when you smoke weed and drink at the same time, the result is either a high level of intoxication, risky behavior and/or intensified stimulant or depressant effects.

More here on what to expect when mixing alcohol with marijuana use. And then, we invite your questions about smoking and drinking or even marijuana dependence symptoms at the end. We try to answer all legitimate questions personally and promptly.

Marijuana and alcohol effects

Marijuana is a drug that comes from the cannabis sativa plant and affects the sections in the brain responsible for thinking, pleasure, memory, concentration, sensory and time perception, coordinated movement etc. A combination of all these centers affected at the same time results with the feeling of getting high and other effects.

Alcohol on the other hand, is also considered to be a drug, because of its chemical structure and a lack of nutrition values. A combination of both marijuana and alcohol effects taking place at the same time is what we consider to be polydrug use. And while you may have a high tolerance for marijuana, alcohol can produce unexpected results when you mix the two.

Dangers of mixing marijuana and alcohol

Drug users think that it is OK to down a couple of drinks and then smoke a joint, or two. What often happens is that the drug user at the end of night is not actually aware of the amount of drugs and alcohol taken, which can result with intoxication.

Alcohol and marijuana act enter the body through different paths and may act differently, but their effects can overlap. Feeling kind of numb, a bit dizzy, losing track of time and space…Both drugs symptoms complement each other. But when combined, weed and alcohol can result in high rate of errors and accidents due to real time functioning and rational thinking impairment on specific tasks. The combination of alcohol and marijuana can results in major impact on the central nervous system (CNS). Here is a list of the most common symptoms:

  • changes in emotional behavior
  • compromised judgment
  • concentration severely drops down
  • decreased attention, perception and memory
  • impaired motor coordination, thinking and problem solving
  • memory loss

How alcohol enhances marijuana – Perhaps it’s obvious, but alcohol acts as a sedative.Alcohol has the ability to act as a depressant of the CNS. Administered orally, it is rapidly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tracts and enters the bloodstream. The alcohol in the blood stream, makes the blood vessels absorb the THC found in marijuana, the active ingredient in cannabis, the one causing intoxication. This action is often the cause for extensive enhancement of marijuana effects. This is why yu may recognize a user turning pale, sweating and vomiting after drinking and smoking marijuana.

How marijuana enhances alcohol – Marijuana, on the other hand, can be administered orally by eating or by smoking. In both cases, the effects vary between individual. What happens is that marijuana doesn’t affect the alcohol absorption in the body, but the alcohol supports the marijuana use effects.

Marijuana and alcohol overdose

There’s really no safe dose that’s suggested when combining marijuana and alcohol. The biggest issue in general is dosing, mostly because both are easily accessible on a daily basis, and users tend to mix weed and alcohol without considering the consequences.

We would advise you to think twice before you decide to drive under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol. The effects of moderate doses combined, for certain individuals, may result with serious levels of impairment.

Marijuana and alcohol deaths

The numbers are going up when it comes to counting victims of mixing marijuana and alcohol, mostly those that occur as the result of car accidents. Innocent people are paying the price for other people’s risky behavior. The burden is extremely high when it comes to involving other people’s lives too. Many users of marijuana for medical treatments are advised to wait for several hours before driving or having a drink.

One of the areas to target is prevention of drug use. The adolescent use of both of alcohol and marijuana has been the subject of much recent research and indicates that chronic use of drugs occurs after early initiation of either marijuana or alcohol use.

Drinking and marijuana questions

Still have questions about mixing marijuana with alcohol? Please leave your questions in the comments section below. We do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

Reference links: NHTSA: Marijuana and alcohol impairment
NCBI: The effect of cannabis compared with alcohol on driving.
NCBI: Cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, other risk behaviors, and American youth.
NIDA: FAQs about marijuana
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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