What is an effect of the combined use of alcohol and cannabis? Did you know? Alcohol and cannabis are the two drugs that emit similar effects to those who use them.

These include feeling drowsy, having slower reflexes, and poor judgement. Looking at this, it is safe to say that mixing the two together can lead to a dangerous combination.

We often read news about the dangers of drunk driving or even drunk fighting. But there are serious risks in being drunk while using cannabis as well.

The extent to the effects of alcohol and cannabis is based on a few things. First, it depends on how you tolerate drinking and using cannabis. Some people just naturally have a higher tolerance than others.

I am considered a “lightweight” as I get drunk easily. On the other hand, my brother is a “heavyweight” as he can drink a lot without being tipsy.

In the same way, some people can use a stronger dose of cannabis easier than others. It does not necessarily relate to how experienced you are in smoking cannabis.

There are also a number of other factors that affect alcohol and cannabis tolerance, which will be discussed in this article.

What happens when you use alcohol and cannabis together? How do you use them safely? Are there any side effects of doing this long term?

We will go over all these questions and more, so read on and discover the knowledge you came looking at this page for!

Drinking Alcohol BEFORE Using Cannabis

drinking alcohol

It is no secret that drinking alcohol before using cannabis can cause the effects of weed to be more intense.

When you drink alcohol, it makes your body more able to absorb the THC compound that is found in cannabis.

THC is the chemical compound that will make you experience euphoria, giving you its psychoactive effects.

By doing a cannabis strain with high THC, it can cause you to receive an intense high that you have never experienced before. 

Again, this can be great for those who are looking for this kind of effect. However, it is not suitable for everyone and can even lead to “greening out.”

“Greening out,” or “marijuana overdose,” is a term used when you consume too much cannabis, causing you to feel sick. Symptoms can include:

  • Paranoia 
  • Fear 
  • Limited mobility
  • Increased in heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Poor judgement

These effects could last 30 minutes to an entire day, depending on how much you take.

Although greening out will not actually cause you to die, it is still extremely important to be aware of how alcohol can contribute to making cannabis use much stronger.

If you “greened out” while also drinking alcohol, it might be wise to seek the care of a medical professional.

Note: ALWAYS use alcohol and cannabis with caution. Keep in mind that THC effects will intensify after doing so. This can make an already high THC dosage cannabis strain much more potent.

If you are new to using cannabis, refrain from mixing the two together, especially if you don’t know how your body will respond to it.

Research on Drinking Alcohol BEFORE Using Cannabis 

Did you know? It does not take a huge amount of alcohol to intensify the effects of cannabis. Just a small amount will increase THC absorption in your body.

A study was done by Clinical Chemistry further proved this statement, where they had half the participants drink a placebo liquid, and the other half drink actual alcohol.

They were then required to vape THC to see its effects, in a low or high dosage.

Research showed that those who drank alcohol beforehand experienced a higher THC effect, compared to those who drank the placebo liquid.

There are also other studies that showed little correlation between alcohol and cannabis. However, the one thing that remains clear, is that alcohol will still affect the way THC is absorbed.

Using Cannabis BEFORE Drinking Alcohol

using cannabis

There has been more research done on cannabis use AFTER drinking alcohol, but not vice versa.

As a result, there isn’t much information on what happens when you drink alcohol AFTER using cannabis.

In any case, using cannabis before alcohol makes it harder to know how intoxicated you actually are.

The reason for this is due to cannabis slowing down the effects of alcohol.

Great strains to try include our rockstar strain and purple candy strain.

You might also not be able to differentiate which of the two drugs you are actually feeling more of.

As a precaution, always try to drink less alcohol after using cannabis. As mentioned above, the effects are usually intensified when you mix the two together. 

Thus, drinking one can of beer makes you feel more tipsy than usual if you have had cannabis as well.

Being careful is always a good time. You don’t want to end up having alcohol poisoning at the end of a wonderful night!

What Do Canadians Think about Alcohol and Cannabis

This is why we decided to ask Canadians who use cannabis on a regular basis.

Here are just some of the responses we got from asking the question: “Should you really be using alcohol and weed at the same time? Why or why not?”


“Have for over 50 years. Just don’t drive and the pot is the safer of the two.” – Darla W.

“You can. But if you’re not experienced with doing it take it slow cuz you could easily end up very sick lol.” – Kyle S

“It is seriously one of those things – some people can, some people can’t.” – Jason S

“Rule of thumb, you can consume cannabis and then alcohol, but never the other way around!.” – Jason S

“You can do it either way but they definitely give you a different effect depending on the order you take them, indeed. I personally don’t experience issues if I drink alcohol first but I know some people get nausea when they do.

I personally find that it gives me a stronger and more intense feeling if I drink first, and I also find that smoking weed first makes me wanna drink way less afterwards. (That was mostly in the before time, nowadays I don’t really drink to get drunk anymore but smoke a hella dope aha).” – Omar K

“Not recommended, one is poison and one is medicine !!! And if you must, use cannabis before alcohol.” – Jordan C

“If you drink and have a buzz and then blaze chances are the world will turn no matter what position you are in, it is dizzying, you will lose serious coordination and go a lil loopy.

If you can handle hardcore nausea and the world spinning go for it. I am a big baby and will never do Smirnoff ice and doobies the size of cigars ever again. Live and learn..” – Jem P

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Brain L

“Smoke before you drink or don’t smoke at all.” – Andrew H

“Meh I always have .. depends who you are.” – Zoe M

“don’t go hard with either but they can complement each other fine if you know your limit.” – Sandra F

“Played in a band with a guy who would only smoke after the second set, but drink all night and show no effects. I would wait till at least the third set before drinking and arrive at the gig high. Cheers.” – Doug C

“Alcohol increases the amount of THC that’s absorbed in the blood. The cannabis also protects the liver from some of the damaging effects of the alcohol.” – Jennifer K

“Likely ok for recreational. I would suggest, if treating an ailment with oil, not to add alcohol(drinking). I was treating a friend, with the help of a well-known cannabis activist, that was treating and has treated many with cancer.

This friend had cancer on the liver, he was an alcoholic for years and had quit a few years before. We were treating him with oil capsules, he started feeling better, started drinking again. The activist, supplying the oil, informed me that drinking will eliminate the effects that the oil had on cancer. My friend died a short time after.” – Pauline S

taking cannabis

“I love it!!! Take it slow at first!! Me personally, I’ve been smoking daily for 6 years now and when I drink I need to smoke beforehand otherwise if I drink then smoke I’ll get the spins immediately… I’d say a joint, then have a couple(literally 2)drinks, smoke. That’s what I do and I get the perfect buzz, just don’t drive afterwards, be smart and safe please!” – Spencer J

“I just always smoke cannabis regardless of if I’m drinking lol. Heck I still smoke weed even when I do the occasional shrooms and back when I dabbled in MDMA I still would blaze and get the munchies.” – Matthew J

“Weird question. Should you? Not unless you wanna get very intoxicated?? The combo can make people feel sick depending. But none of these “smoke before drinking” rules of thumb are not going to make a difference.

It’s not like doing cocaine and consuming alcohol where it’s a dangerous combination for your heart, if that’s what you’re wondering.” – Keyana N

“Everybody handles things differently. Back in my days…… I could drink and smoke all day, get to bed and head to work in the morning with zero hangovers. Lol These days it’s one or the other. Doing both I might end up in the hospital. Lmfaoooo.” – Tara M

“As long as you can puking and will not drive, get belligerent, cry, sure why not. Unfortunately, many people can’t handle booze, never mind booze and weed. If you feel you must.

Smoke first. Do not drink like a fish, no shots, no mixing. Those willful sure make you sick. Don’t have so much weed, dabs that you green out either. Everything in moderation. Personally, I prefer weed on a daily basis, booze less and less.” – Marla S

“I don’t drink anymore but being Crunk meant I would not get a hangover. I always wondered why until recently in 2012 learning that Cannabis is such a Super Medicine that even when smoked it has healing properties.

Now I just ingest Cannabis in edibles to get the 530 healing components rather than just burning them away.” – Laura H

Alcohol and Cannabis: Mixing The Two Together


What is an effect of the combined use of alcohol and cannabis? Due to the popularity of this question, it has prompted more researchers to dig into finding more about its relationship.

The following are just some of the symptoms you will experience when you decide to mix these two together.

Lack of Judgement

Using alcohol or cannabis by itself can already cause you to have a lack of judgement. By combining these two drugs, it can create an intense experience that may cause you to blackout and do something risky.

If you really feel the need to mix alcohol and cannabis together, you should do so in a safe and trusted environment. 

We advise you not to do it in a new environment where you are unfamiliar. This could lead to a lack of judgement, where you might do something you will come to regret later on.

Physical Health Effects

Long term use of alcohol and cannabis can lead to:

  • Problems with the heart
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Weak immune system
  • Kidney or liver failure

By using alcohol and cannabis in moderation, it will significantly reduce the chance of these happening.

Lowers Cognitive Skills

While using alcohol and cannabis is not necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to structural changes that will change the chemicals in your brain.

In turn, this will cause lower cognitive functions, resulting in not being able to focus on specific tasks. It can also cause you to have a lower IQ.

Driving is also not advisable if you are using alcohol and cannabis. Just wait until the effects wear off before attempting to drive your car.


If you are not careful, it is easy to overdose on alcohol and cannabis. The reason is that you will not experience its effects straight away.

Just like eating edibles, it will take some time before its dosage kicks in. 

With how impatient we are nowadays, taking more cannabis is not hard to do. You may take too much by accident before you know it.

The general advice for using cannabis is always to start low and go slow. For drinking alcohol, you should also drink slowly and not chug the entire can of beer.


water bottle

A common side effect of cannabis is having a dry mouth. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it will make you pee more.

By not paying attention to how much you use, dehydration can quickly set in.

Tip: Place a bottle of water beside you before using alcohol and cannabis. In this way, you give yourself easy access to liquid and can hydrate yourself without going out of your way to getting some.


Alcohol and cannabis are something people have been using since their creation. By being knowledgeable on its effects, it will reduce the chances of you experiencing negative side effects.

Even though using one or the other separately can lead to no major harm, you will be crossing a thin line once you mix the two together.

It is advisable to proceed with caution if you decide to use alcohol and cannabis at the same time. 

If you really feel the need to mix alcohol and cannabis together, we strongly recommend taking cannabis first before drinking alcohol. It is just safer to do so.

Doing it the other way around is just too dangerous. Why risk your life like that?

Hopefully, you have gained a better understanding of the question: “What is an effect of the combined use of alcohol and cannabis?”

As mentioned in the article, you can experience symptoms such as lack of judgement and poor decision making.

A simple mistake can lead to devastating consequences in life. My friend was killed a few years ago crossing an intersection.

He was hit by a drunk driver, who did not even get a long prison time due to his cooperation.

If you are ever in doubt of whether to use alcohol and cannabis, always reach out to medical professionals.

All in all, when they are used in a controlled setting, it can definitely make for a fun night with friends. 

Check out our Online Dispensary for a large selection of quality weed products, where you can also customize how much you need and what potency level you like.

For more articles about cannabis, you should read these:

Will Marijuana Cure Depression? I Asked 100 Cannabis Users What They Think

How to Roll a Joint: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Rolling The Perfect Joint

How Much Cannabis Can You Have in Canada?

Blue Moon Cannabis VS Blue Dream Cannabis: What’s The Difference?