How often do people do just one drug alone? Well, some of the time, sure. But much of the time, we combine substances to get a different or greater effect. Such is the case with weed, where its commonplace to experience it with other drugs.
The funny thing about fear tactics surrounding mixing weed with other drugs, is that we all already do it, and no one’s falling dead because of the weed!! Good thing to know in the face of smear campaigns. These days, there are tons of new cannabis options to try. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!
Liquor then beer, you’re in the clear…
Ever heard that one before? Liquor then beer, you’re in the clear, beer before liquor, you’ve never been sicker. In this case, we’re not even talking about different drugs, but rather different ways of ingesting alcohol, with the idea being that drinking hard liquor before beer can stave off sickness, while drinking beer followed by hard liquor could cause some problems.
These things are relative, of course. I spent years mixing the order of my drink ingestion without ever having a problem. Nor do I see those repeatedly taking a shot with their beer, bending over to gag after each new duo of drinks. In fact, I’ve never experienced any validity to the line, but I have been told by others, that for them its true. Is it always going to be the case, even for them? Or is this more relevant to simply how much someone drank in general?
If you drink a lot of beer to the point that the next drink is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, then not only will it not matter whether it’s a beer or a liquor drink, but it might spawn a connection in the drinker’s head between that final drink and the reason for sickness. These things can happen sometimes, and are more representative of the idea that too much can lead to bad things, than the actual order the drugs (or drinks) were taken in.
Having said that, the physical experience of drugs can be affected by taking drugs in combination, and the order in which they’re taken. In fact, these things can play a very important role in the overall experience. When looking at the world around, it becomes clear that mixing things, like weed and other drugs, is very popular for the feelings it can bring. Much like alcohol, this can be done with different forms of cannabis delivery systems, or with cannabis and other drugs.
My personal experiences mixing weed with other drugs
I am me. Any experiences I had mixing weed and other drugs are related only to me, and cannot necessarily be generalized to anyone else. I am not saying anyone should do anything I have done, or that this should be taken up as an experiment by anyone else. This is merely me giving some information about my own experiences. Maybe some of this will sound familiar, maybe it won’t. But this is how it is for me to mix weed with other drugs.
First off, if I smoke up, I have literally no desire to drink alcohol. I quit drinking a while back, but prior to quitting, taking a hit of weed was one of the best ways I had to not want to drink anything. I have heard other people talk about using it similarly, as a way to slow down drinking. Conversely, when I used to drink, ending the night with a bong hit, joint, or vape hit was like adding a new layer to my drunken high. In fact, at some point in a night of drinking, I’d crave the drink-THEN-weed combination.
The one issue with this, is when too much has been drunk, and the smoking of pot makes the room start to spin. For anyone who’s ended up in this place, these two drugs suddenly become just about the worst combination possible, and a user can spend some time afterwards not feeling very well. This is generally specific to smoking when already very drunk. I’ve had it happen plenty of times.
A place where I’ve appreciated combinations is with weed and other drugs like cocaine. I’m an ‘up’ person in life, which means I don’t really need stimulants. As such, they can make me feel shaky, along with whatever other feelings of euphoria they promote. When I was younger, and doing a bit of coke, smoking weed with it was imperative to keep my body from going off the rails. I also found this to be the case when doing drugs like MDMA, where the minor – but existent – upper effect can be a lot for a person sensitive to it. Weed provides a good balance to this stimulant effect. For me, it was important to have weed when doing these other drugs, to mediate the stimulant effect.
It also can help take away the sickness effect of drugs like opioids. I have infrequently used this drug class, and generally only when actually needed. As I am not a big fan of the tingling sensation it causes, I found cannabis as a good way to neutralize some of the feelings associated. In fact, I only got a positive feeling of high from the drugs when smoking weed with them. When using weed to normalize the effect of another drug, it helps to use the weed after, though it doesn’t hurt the experience to use it before as well. At least, not for me.
The idea of mixing drugs is definitely not new, and is done pretty constantly. This doesn’t have to be deadly, though when mixing things like opioids and benzodiazepines, or uppers and downers, the result can be much worse. In terms of frequency, think of how often cannabis is mixed with tobacco, and therefore nicotine. It’s like they practically go together. And think about how often a guy with a beer is smoking a cigarette. This last one doesn’t include weed, of course, but does speak to the ubiquitous nature of mixing substances.
Cannabis alone causes very few problems, despite smear campaigns and scare tactics put out in the press. In fact, in nearly any study that tries to draw connections between hospital visits and cannabis use, it can’t actually be done. Like this one: Cannabis-related hospitalizations: unexpected serious events identified through hospital databases, where not only does it become clear that cannabis is not the issue at all, but its actually clearly stated in the text of the study:
“Therefore, a cannabis-related hospitalization was defined as a F12 or F19 coded hospitalization in which cannabis use was documented and identified as possibly related with the diagnosed outcomes.” Even in a study looking into the topic, the best that researchers could find is documentation of cannabis use, and that it could be ‘possibly related’ to an outcome. Thing is, when someone ODs on opioids, no one writes up that the opioids ‘could possibly’ have had a result on the diagnosis. This indicates that in literally all of these cases, its really about another drug or situation. This crazy write-up is representative of all that exists to try to show cannabis as the culprit…although its lacking mention of confounding issues points in the other direction.
Of course, did the study talk about other drug use? No! But it did draw this conclusion: “Cannabis consumption is associated with a large range of adverse events”, off the basic idea that because people were admitted to the hospital, and suffered some kind of adverse effect, and were cannabis users, that the issues suffered were obviously from the cannabis. Besides this highlighting horrifyingly awful research, and trying to implement dangerous medical connections, it really only points to the inability to finger cannabis for any of this, while showing the detriment of other drugs that lead to hospitalizations.
The reality is that it’s not known how often cannabis is actually mixed with anything else. The only time these numbers are collected are when people are arrested (which creates a highly specific group), when they go to rehab (also a highly specific group, and not with cannabis as the main issue), and when people end up in a hospital (also generally not with cannabis as the main issue). I have found no useful statistics on this that are worth passing on.
Whereas some drug mixing can be very dangerous, like opioids and benzodiazepines, cannabis doesn’t come on the radar for this. In some cases it’s found to be in the systems of people who are having a bigger issue with another drug, but regardless of the media tactics out there, there is very little actually written about cannabis itself causing issues, or being the main vehicle when mixed with another substance, to cause problems. This isn’t to say it can’t, but judging from studies that themselves can’t expressly point to weed being a main issue, it kind of seems like its not a point of worry. Like at all.
Can cannabis interactions be harmful?
To give an idea of how not dangerous cannabis interactions with other drugs are, in this article from 2021, Cannabis use could cause harmful drug interactions, the most they can pin on cannabis, is that it can:
“…interfere with two families of enzymes that help metabolize a wide range of drugs prescribed for a variety of conditions. As a result, either the drugs’ positive effects might decrease or their negative effects might increase with too much building up in the body, causing unintended side effects such as toxicity or accidental overdose. While more research needs to be done, the authors said one early takeaway from these studies is that it’s important to be careful when using cannabis with other prescription drugs.”
Apparently this was one of the first investigations of its kind, however, the most the authors of two different studies could say, is that it cannabis can make certain medications not work as well. Even talking about toxicity, nothing major was mentioned, and certainly not injury or death. Which makes the opening line of “Using cannabis alongside other drugs may come with a significant risk of harmful drug-drug interactions”, an erroneously and dangerously far leap. It’s good to remember here that a negative opioid interaction or antibiotics reaction, can lead to death, and this is always stated clearly. The authors of the studies, which were both published in Drug Metabolism and Disposition, studied either enzymes called cytochrome P450s, or enzymes called UDP-glucuronosyltransferases. Together they are said to be responsible for the elimination of more than 70% of commonly used drugs from the body.
The study found that some cannabinoids, as well as the major THC metabolites, have the ability to strongly inhibit several CYP enzymes. According to Philip Lazarus, senior author and Boeing professor of pharmaceutical sciences, “If you have a kidney disease or you are taking one or more drugs that are metabolized primarily through the kidney and you’re also smoking marijuana, you could be inhibiting normal kidney function, and it may have long-term effects for you.”
On a more realistic note, if you have kidney issues, and use any drug that’s not necessary, you could have problems. As once again, nothing was specifically pointed showing anywhere near the problems that mixing other classes of drugs can cause, it’s hard to imagine how that first line spewing out danger, came to be. This is also the very best that’s been done to show problematic cannabis interactions, which actually speaks volumes to the safety of the drug. Does this mean not to be careful when mixing substances? No!! Especially if you’re on a specific medication for something. Always look up known drug interactions to be safe, and pay attention to how your body responds.
When mixing any drugs, its important to know what you’re doing. On the plus side, with cannabis, unless you’re taking way too much of something else that’s bad for you, you’re not likely to have a problem. And if you’re taking way too much of something else that’s bad for you, (enough to worry about possible hospitalizations), you might want to concentrate on that, and not on the compound that still isn’t related to a death toll outside of unrelated additives.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
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