Being both drunk and high at the same time is an experience that most people are familiar with, and using both substances at the same time is often referred to as crossfading.
A lot of research has been done about the effect of alcohol and marijuana on the body as individual constituents, but much less research has been done on the combined effect of these two substances.
Well, the experience can be both tremendous and terrible, depending on the person and under what circumstances both substances are being ingested into the body. Less can definitely mean more in this circumstance as alcohol and marijuana do not always get along well together!
What happens in your body when you are crossfading?
It is often that people will experiment by mixing together alcohol and marijuana. At times, it happens because the person believes that two of their favorite highs will work well together. Sometimes it is the result of a very drunk person and a very bad decision – and it can be a very bad decision sometimes.
The effect of smoking a joint once you are already drunk can induce some interesting effects – dizziness, fainting, vomiting and greening out are often reported when they are ingested in this order. However, drinking after smoking a joint induces very different effects – ones that experimenters have found pleasing.
Scott Lukas, who teaches at Harvard Medical School, is one of the few who has done research on this topic. What he found was that those who smoked pot and drank alcohol displayed THC levels in their blood plasma which were double those that only smoked pot. So it seems that drinking alcohol increases the blood’s ability to absorb THC, and you are effectively higher.
Is it dangerous?
There is still not enough research on the effects of these two substances combined to make a danger assessment. There is some increased danger when the body is absorbing twice the amount of THC into the blood, although fatally overdosing on THC is next to impossible. However, with increased sensitivity to THC, the effects are naturally stronger, and the person is affected.
Gary Wenk, a professor at Ohio State University says that comparing these two substances is not even like comparing apples and oranges. “It’s like comparing apples and vegetables,” he says. THC works cognitively, effecting concepts of time and space, whereas alcohol effects the central nervous system, and affects mobility and coordination. Therefore, the confounding mixture of these two chemicals can be disastrous.
So why crossfade?
So if crossfading can make all these terrible, undesired things happen, why do people do it? Basically, if you get the dosages right (and it is a fine line to do that), then it is downright amazing. There is always the probability of falling off the edge into a long night in the bathroom, but then there is always the chance that you get it just right.
The general rule is that if you want to mix these two substances without greening out, smoke weed and then start drinking. The old saying goes, “Weed then beer, you’re in the clear. Beer then grass, you’re on your ass!” From a perspective of experience, this seems to be true. Starting off your night on the beer and then moving on to smoking can end in disaster, but doing it the other way around is a pretty safe bet.
Alcohol makes your high more intense while feeling the effects of alcohol at the same time. So be careful with dosages, otherwise it could get ugly.
And please, do not try and drive a vehicle. This is probably one of the most impaired states to be in – don’t make any bad decisions!