Mixing weed and alcohol. A good idea?

Mixing weed and alcohol. A good idea?
Steven Voser

Is disaster looming or could some of the best nights be had when smoking cannabis and having a drink. Find out how crossfading can be done right.

Sometimes great ideas don't play out like you would imagine. Smoking weed whilst drinking can be one of those very ideas. What if there really was a way to enjoy both? Even more so, what if there was a way to still be standing at the end of the night?

If the thought of mixing cannabis and alcohol has ever occurred, you probably fall into one of two camps. Camp one is the fast and loose camp of hell yeah let's go. A logical thought process would be you have had a great time drunk before and a great time stoned, why not combine the two?

Or the second camp, in which the thought process is slightly more drawn out.

Cannabis and alcohol both do very different things and as such need to be enjoyed in different ways. Would you want to mix the chilled relaxed nature of a stoner session for the bass-heavy beats of a drunken club night? Not to mention socially drinking is generally far more acceptable publicly than smoking weed on the high street.

It turns out that there may actually be a third camp. In this one we throw in a little science, a little logical thought process and a little downright common sense. Smoking weed and having a drink afterwards can, in fact, lead to being a very pleasurable experience. However, like all good things in life, it is about moderation and know-how.


It may seem like an obvious choice. However, research into the effects of mixing these very common substances is few and far between. Research performed at Harvard Medical School, found that smoking weed and drinking led to double the amount of THC in the bloodstream.[1]

This is compared to the amount of THC in the bloodstream when just smoking weed. Now before panic sets in, it is nearly impossible to overdose on THC. There are currently no reported deaths as a result of THC alone. Calm and collected?

If preliminary research shows twice the amount of THC in the bloodstream when mixing, what does that mean in real terms? Pure and simple more THC means a stronger high. All of the effects you would have when normally smoking a joint will be amplified. Sounds like a sure-fire way to nirvana but remember too much of a good thing can be a hindrance.

The problem with providing any in-depth conclusion is the way in which both substances affect the human body. It would be similar to comparing cats and dogs. The principle of alcohol and weed is the same. Both are taken as a means of changing the way the body reacts and alter your perception or reactions.

However, both have vastly different effects on us. There would be too many variables when trying to compare if drinking made you higher or if smoking made you drunker. It may all sound very wordy but ultimately it isn't really a feasible research topic.



If the science is patchy at best, what can we use to offer advice on this hotly debated topic? In this scenario, common sense is your friend. Crossfading is just a fancy word for mixing your weed and beer.

As a rule of thumb smoking first and then drinking is the way to go. Remember those mornings after the night before? When what seemed like an amazing idea at the time isn't in the cold hard light of day.

Alcohol can lead to some very bad decision-making so it is always advisable to smoke your weed first. This will also help you to gauge how stoned you really are before you start drinking. Remember the line between the best and worst night of your life could be that extra joint or that extra shot, tread carefully!


You are all set for a night on the town, but how can you make sure you come home in one piece? These top tips should help you stay in control, hopefully steering you away from disaster.

  • Know your limits before you smoke or drink. If you know that downing a whiskey is going to make you throw up then smoking a joint and downing a whiskey is going to do exactly the same. A similar approach is needed on the weed front too. Sativa or Indica preference? Sticking to the strains of weed and types of alcohol you know you can handle and enjoy will help keep yourself upright.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. Knowing your limits on both fronts helps with this one. Stick to what you can normally handle on a night out then minus one. That could be one less joint or one less drink. Using this as a base will help keep you on the straight and narrow. We know that our body absorbs more THC when we are drinking so less will definitely be better.
  • Staying hydrated is essential! Both substances will do their best to dry you out. At the time you might feel OK but it is the morning after we are concerned with. Drink plenty of water through the night and don’t forget that final pint before you go to bed. This will help make the next day that little bit more bearable. Especially if you have work the next day.
  • Tag a mate. They have been there through thick and thin. Now they can be there for you when things start to get a little hazy or wobbly. Having a wingman on standby can be a blessing, especially when someone calls last orders. Remember those bad decisions we talked about earlier? Your mates are like the anti-bad decisions. Most of the time anyway...

  1. ^ Elsevier, Ethanol increases plasma 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels and subjective effects after marihuana smoking in human volunteers, retrieved December-23-2018

Steven Voser
Steven Voser

Steven is a long-time veteran of cannabis journalism, having delved into every aspect of the subject. His particular interests lie in cannabis culture, the emerging science of cannabis, and how it is shaping the legal landscape across the globe.