cannabis and alcohol

{Drug} and Alcohol

Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD

cannabis and alcohol

Cannabis () is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis; C. ruderalis may be included within C. sativa; all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C. sativa; or C. sativa may be accepted as a single undivided species. The genus is widely accepted as being indigenous to and originating from Asia.

The plant is also known as hemp, although this term is often used to refer only to varieties of Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, hemp seeds and their oils, hemp leaves for use as vegetables and as juice, medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber. To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent. Some strains have been selectively bred to produce a maximum of THC (a cannabinoid), the strength of which is enhanced by curing the fruits. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.



What happens when you mix cannabis and alcohol


Side effects of mixing cannabis and alcohol can include


  • Dizziness
  • Sluggishness
  • Drowsiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Palpitations
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Death


Interestingly, it is impossible to tell what effect cannabis and alcohol will have on an individual due to their own unique genetic make up and tolerance. It is never advisable to mix cannabis and alcohol due to the chances of mild, moderate and severe side effects. If you are having an adverse reaction from mixing cannabis and Alcohol it’s imperative that you head to your local emergency room.


Alcohol and cannabis


Alcohol and cannabis creates a that has different effects depending on the dose: many people feel stimulated and strengthened at low doses of alcohol and cannabis and even mixing a small amount of cannabis and alcohol is not recommended.

Mixing alcohol and cannabis


The primary effect of alcohol is influenced by an increase in the concentration of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which is found in the spinal cord and brain stem, and by a reduction in its effect on neuronal transmitters that are excitatory. When alcohol is combined with cannabis this primary effect is exaggerated, increasing the strain on the body with unpredictable results.


Alcohol and cannabis affects dopamine levels in the brain, causing the body both mental and physical distress. Larger amounts of cannabis and alcohol have a greater adverse effect yet leading medic al recommendation is that smaller does can be just as harmful and there is no way of knowing exactly how cannabis and alcohol is going to affect an individual before they take it.


Taking cannabis and alcohol together


People who take cannabis and alcohol together will experience the effects of both substances. Technically, the specific effects and reactions that occur due to frequent use of cannabis and alcohol depend on whether you consume more alcohol in relation to cannabis or more cannabis in relation to alcohol.


The use of significantly more cannabis with alcohol will lead to sedation and lethargy, as well as the synergistic effects resulting from a mixture of the two medications.


People who take both alcohol and cannabis may experience effects such as:


  • reduced motor reflexes from cannabis and alcohol
  • dizziness from alcohol and cannabis
  • nausea and vomiting of the cannabis


Some people may also experience more euphoria, depression, irritability or all three. A combination of alcohol and cannabis leads to significantly more lethargy which can easily tip over into coma, respiratory depression seizures and death.

Alcohol Vs cannabis


Taking cannabis in sufficient quantities increases the risk of a heart failure. Additionally, people under the influence of cannabis and alcohol may have difficulty forming new memories. With alcohol vs cannabis in an individual’s system they become confused and do not understand their environment. Due to the synergistic properties of cannabis when mixed with alcohol it can lead to confusion, anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. Chronic use of cannabis and alcohol can lead to permanent changes in the brain.


cannabis Vs alcohol


Studies investigating the effects of drugs such as cannabis and alcohol have shown that the potential for parasomnia (performing tasks in sleep) is dramatically increased when cannabis and alcohol are combined. Severe and dangerous side effects can occur when medications are mixed in the system, and sleep disorders are a common side effect of taking alcohol and cannabis together.

When a small to medium amount of alcohol is combined with cannabis, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can occur. According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) most ER visits and hospitalizations caused by too much alcohol were associated with other substances such as cannabis.


How long after taking cannabis can I drink alcohol


To avoid any residual toxicity it is advisable to wait until the cannabis has totally cleared your system before drinking alcohol, even in small quantities.


Overdose on cannabis and alcohol


Overdose on cannabis and alcohol is alarmingly common and can often be fatal. In the case of Overdose on cannabis or if you are worried after mixing {Drug and alcohol} call a first responder or proceed to the nearest Emergency Room immediately. If you are worried about someone who has taken too much cannabis or mixed alcohol with cannabis then call a first responder or take them to get immediate medical help. The best place for you or someone you care about in the case of a medical emergency is under medical supervision. Be sure to tell the medical team that there is a mix of cannabis and alcohol. The combination of alcohol and cannabis increases the likelihood that a person would be transferred to intensive care.


cannabis and Alcohol

cannabis and Alcohol

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