Given the fact that the individual effects of cannabis and alcohol have been extensively observed, it’s surprising that mixing the two substances is still somewhat of a mystery. However, one thing’s for sure – the act of combining weed and alcohol (often referred to as crossfading) is not a novelty.

Although there are no official statistics, it’s logical to think that a lot of people enjoy a drink of some sort while packing a bowl or rolling a joint. Besides the fact that alcohol affects the human body, it can also affect the way we process the chemicals present in cannabis. Alternatively, smoking first and then drinking can also affect the way your body processes alcohol.

With this in mind, we put together an article explaining the effects of crossfading, how it affects your body, and what factors influence the effects of this potent combination.


A Separate Take

Before jumping into the effects of crossfading, let’s review separately the impacts that alcohol and marijuana have on the body.


Weed, marijuana, cannabis — whatever you call it in your corner of the world, we can all agree this plant is the most controversial (and arguably the most popular) plant in the world. It’s been used medicinally for centuries and for recreation for just about as long. Consuming cannabis that contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound in charge of the psychoactive effects of cannabis, creates a euphoric high that can look a little different for everyone.

Weed has a number of effects on your body. THC has a similar structure and composition to neurotransmitters in your brain called cannabinoids. Some of these cannabinoids fill the gap between neurons and control various functions throughout your body. THC can mimic these neurotransmitters and alter the way they behave.

This, in turn, affects your body as a whole.

The effects of cannabis can depend on a lot of factors, however, it’s often regarded as soothing. But, like most other substances, smoking too much weed can end up affecting your coordination and other motor functions. Keep in mind that there have never been any recorded cases of cannabis overdose, so you don’t have to worry about anything but being couch-locked or insatiably hungry.


Alcohol, which is also considered a psychoactive substance, also disrupts the brain’s neurotransmitters. At the same time, booze increases the levels of dopamine in your brain, which causes the sensation of joy that happens when we take a sip of our favorite alcoholic drink.

Booze has a distinct impact on different parts of your brain. These are:

    • Medulla: Controls automatic body functions
    • Cerebellum: The body’s movement center
    • Hypothalamus and Pituitary: In charge of coordinating brain function and hormone release
  • Cerebral Cortex: Thought processing and consciousness

Remember that, unlike cannabis, alcohol poisoning may be lethal. You should always be careful when you consume alcohol — especially if you decide to mix it with cannabis.  

Game Changers

Remember how we said that there are several factors that influence the effects of crossfading? Below, we’ll discuss the three most important things you need to know when mixing cannabis and alcohol.

Everyone is Different

There are hundreds of cannabis strains to choose from, all with different characteristics. Similarly, you can choose from a huge collection of alcoholic drinks. But, always remember that every person is different. This means that both of these substances affect each person in a unique way.

Here’s the deal. Crossfading works for some people. But it doesn’t suit everyone. What worked for a friend may not work for you. If you are thinking about mixing these two substances, just remember to tread carefully and pace yourself before taking it too far.

Emotional Stresses

Both of these psychoactive substances tend to intensify the mood of the person ingesting them. This means that any emotional stresses and other personal problems you were experiencing prior to consuming can really influence your state of mind. If you are angry, anxious, sad, or happy when you consume, your emotional inhibitions may break down more quickly than if you’re just consuming alcohol or just consuming marijuana.

Make sure you are at peace with yourself and you’ll increase your chances of having an enjoyable experience.

Neither Substance Cancels the Other Out

Crossfading does not overpower the effect of each individual substance. This means that you may feel like you’re under the influence of alcohol and suddenly get a rush caused by the consumption of cannabis.

If you don’t like the effects of marijuana normally, you won’t like it more if you’ve been drinking. If you don’t enjoy the effect of alcohol, marijuana won’t change that.

Marijuana alcohol drink - Cannabis Seattle

Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis: Order of Ingestion

Research has shown that the order in which you consume these substances has a direct impact on the effects they have on your body. While crossfading refers to the act of simply mixing the two in no particular order, we’re going to look at how the order impacts the high in more detail, because this can play a huge role.

Cannabis + Alcohol

Because of the unique way cannabis interacts with your brain, it affects the motility of your large intestine. This means that your body does not absorb as much alcohol when you’re high on cannabis. Cannabis may also help reduce the desire to drink as well. In fact, some studies indicate that marijuana is helpful to reduce withdrawal symptoms in alcoholics.

Keep in mind that taking cannabis before alcohol can be dangerous, if overdone. The fact that cannabis slows down the body’s alcohol absorption rate may encourage some people to drink more. If taken too far, this may lead to greening out (more on this later!), and even worse, alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol + Cannabis

While cannabis inhibits alcohol, doing the reverse has the opposite effect. When you drink alcohol and then smoke cannabis, your body absorbs THC considerably faster than when you’re sober. This means that the effects of cannabis are multiplied, so you should be very careful.

This goes double if you’re smoking super-strong strains.

Don’t Green Out!

Mixing a bit of cannabis and alcohol may result in the pleasant sensation referred to as crossfading. But, overdoing one or both of them can result in a feeling of extreme sickness, followed by vomiting and the immediate need to lie down. Believe us when we tell you, this experience will not be a pleasant one.

This nauseating feeling is referred to as greening out, although it may also be called whiting out or simply the white death.

Keep in mind that this is not fatal if induced only by cannabis. But, be extremely careful that you never confuse greening out with alcohol poisoning, as alcohol poisoning is extremely dangerous. So, proceed with extreme precaution!

Cannabis to Fit All Preferences

Whether you are pursuing the evasive high that is crossfading or simply looking for the best cannabis in Seattle, come down to Diego Pellicer and get advice from our seasoned cannabis professionals.

Get in touch with us here, by giving us a call at 206-624-0070, or simply swing by our dispensary today!