How Does Alcohol Interact With Cannabis?

Alcohol and Cannabis are both psychoactive substances, but they are very much different in the effect they have on the brain.  Cannabis acts on the brain’s receptors, causing intense cognitive effects such as a distorted sense of time, paranoia, attention deficit, etc.  Alcohol depresses the nervous system in so much that it hampers your motor skills.

You might then come to the conclusion that when used together the two different effects will combine?  But, neurochemistry is much more complicated than just combining effects.

Alcohol and Cannabis Interaction:

The different effects these substances have on the brain do combine when used together and it can amplify those effects considerably in some instances.

  1. Using Cannabis before drinking Alcohol: Cannabis slows the gastric track’s function, which in turn then slows the absorption of the alcohol.  Studies showed that blood alcohol levels cannot be trusted when you consume alcohol after the use of cannabis.  It showed that it can take twice as long, and therefore twice as much alcohol, to reach the maximum blood alcohol level.

This might sound impressive, but as with all things, too much of a good thing can turn around to be not so good.  Again, combined, there might be an enhanced high but then followed by an enhanced low.  Also, the effects each substance has can work against each other when the body needs to activate its line of defence in the case of overindulgence of either substance.

  1. Drinking Alcohol before using Cannabis: Alcohol opens up the blood vessels inside the gastric track which make absorption more efficient.  Therefore, when you drink first and then use cannabis, there will be twice the amount of cannabis in your bloodstream, than someone that did not have a drink of alcohol.

In some instances, the effects of both substances used together can amplify their effects.  But this works only to a certain point, when you overdo anything, there will be consequences like nausea, vomiting or the urge to lie down.

Alcohol and Cannabis can mix well together, but as said before, anything done to the extreme can become not so good.  Be sensible about the quantities you do ingest and do not go overboard.