If you smoke weed – and you know you do – odds are pretty good that you drink booze, too. There are plenty of stoners who avoid alcohol, and they have plenty of reasons. Still, it’s safe to say most tokers like to knock back the occasional Budweiser, rum and Coke, or bourbon Manhattan.
But what happens when you mix and match? Again, we’re willing to go out on a limb and assume you’ve done this once or twice or maybe a few thousand times. And we’re going to guess it’s knocked you off your feet at least once. Why is that?
Some people call the combination of liquor and grass “cross fading,” for some reason. Most of us just think of it as turning up the volume. Of course, the stronger the booze and the stronger the weed, the stronger the effect. But even a can of light beer can turn a good high into a great party – or an outright disaster.
First, let’s clear one thing up. Most marijuana users have heard some version of the phrase, “green before beer, you’re in the clear; beer before green . . .” well, the rhyme usually peters out at that point, for the obvious reason that it was written by a pothead.
Weed after booze can cause nausea
But it turns out, there’s some truth to this myth. So if you’ve decided to “cross fade,” as the cool kids call it, you should keep that in mind.
Why is this so? It’s because alcohol followed by cannabis can provoke a reaction known as “greening out.” This is an overwhelming feeling of dizziness and nausea with occasional vomiting. It’s usually followed by a strong desire to lie down and ride out the nausea.
As is obvious to any pothead, “greenouts” are rare, especially when weed is used alone. But smoke it on top of booze and a greenout becomes much more likely. The effect is less common when pot is followed by alcohol.
If you’re going to mix, you need to watch your consumption very carefully – a doubly hard task when drunk. Drinking and toking together often leads to overindulgence, especially on booze. This can lead to alcohol poisoning, a potentially fatal reaction to drinking too much.
Never mix substances and drive
And, of course, you should never get behind the wheel after mixing any intoxicating substances, even if one of them is marijuana. This is especially true if the other is alcohol.
Driving while stoned doubles your risk of crashing. Driving drunk, meanwhile, increases your risk of an accident occurring 13-fold. So you can imagine what happens when you’re both drunk and high. Don’t do it.
There are other reasons to be cautious when mixing weed and hooch. There really is no way to predict how each user will react, or even whether each user’s reactions will be consistent over time.
We do know each drug, alcohol and cannabis, can amplify the effects of the other. What’s more, they both impact memory, so a hard night of partying could leave you with no recall of recent events.
No one says you can absolutely never mix marijuana and liquor. But it’s wise to keep an eye on your consumption, stay off the road, and have friends in the room. If you find things tend to get out of control when you mix, it’s time to give up at least one of these chemicals – and you know which one we’d recommend you keep.