It appears that “Big Alcohol” is finally getting on board with legal weed—some are even looking to enter the new sector. But what happens when the average Joe mixes booze and bud in the same night?
Consumed separately, cannabis and alcohol deliver their own unique effects that sometimes overlap but overall they are working on different systems in the body (via blood) so the results, when the two mix, can be a combination of mental and physical.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and its effects can sometimes feel like the sedative body effects of cannabis but when you factor in the vigorous brain activity from THC that ranges from euphoria to paranoia, it’s a whole new ball game.
Alcohol consumption may also increase THC concentration in one’s blood. One study profiled here by Vice found that alcohol enhances the body’s THC metabolism. Thus, cannabis could slow down the body’s ability to absorb alcohol.
THC inspires the secretion of melatonin, the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for helping us all fall asleep. Add in some alcohol and you get exceptionally sedative effects without the benefit of having a restorative night’s sleep because cannabis and alcohol both negatively affect sleep cycles.
Consume too much of either substance, and you could be heading for some dizziness, vertigo, and nausea. Followed by a morning of feeling groggy, dehydrated and maybe even a little depressed. When it comes to being sick, vomiting works to clear out excess alcohol from the body to protect the liver and prevent alcohol poisoning but we don’t have the same mechanism for expelling cannabis’ intoxicant, THC, so it takes time and metabolizing for the effects to wear off.
We all respond to these substances differently—even innocuous substances, like caffeine or sugar, will affect each of us uniquely—so please exercise moderation if you are mixing cannabis with anything but snacks.