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Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
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Cross-faded is a term commonly used by young adults for being drunk and high simultaneously.
It can sometimes feel unpleasant. However, some smokers enjoy the occasional cross-fade when dosed appropriately and not to excess. They take one or two drinks to enhance the high from the marijuana or to increase their level of intoxication, but not necessarily enough to overwhelm the effects they get from cannabis with alcohol.
What Is a Cross-faded High?
When one drinks alcohol and takes marijuana, it results in a cross-faded high. It usually happens when you get drunk first and then smoke some weed, but it can occur if you smoke and then drink as well.
Being cross-faded feels different than being high on weed alone. This is because each of these substances affects the body differently. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the cannabinoids present in marijuana, interacts directly with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors to produce cognitive effects.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant that affects the central nervous system and impairs motor skills. Consuming alcohol and weed together may result in what some users call “ultimate euphoria.”
That’s the best-case scenario.
In reality, however, taking weed and alcohol simultaneously may cause severe impairment and intoxication, making it difficult for you to perform normal activities such as walking or driving.
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What Does It Feel Like?
According to an old study in which researchers asked participants to smoke marijuana, the THC levels in the participants’ blood plasma doubled after taking two shots of alcohol. This occurred because alcohol has vasodilatory properties and causes the muscles in one’s blood vessels to relax, leading to more blood flow.
When you smoke marijuana after having one or two alcoholic drinks, the THC crosses into your alveoli and is absorbed into the bloodstream much faster. You’ll feel higher than you typically would if you smoked the same amount of weed but didn’t drink any alcohol.
Although this may sound like fun, mixing the different effects of marijuana and alcohol may make you feel worse than you imagined.
A common side effect of smoking and drinking is that the effect of the liquor may be delayed. One may, therefore, decide to drink a little more to expedite the high and end up drinking too much alcohol or smoking too much weed.
This leads to greening out, a temporary sickness caused by smoking too much THC.
Greening out may not only result in feelings of extreme panic but also cause vomiting, headaches, disorientation, and the spins — but that’s only in extreme situations.
When taken in small doses, THC is an antiemetic, meaning it inhibits vomiting. Throwing up is a common response by the body whenever we drink too much. By making it hard for you to throw up, THC puts you at great risk for alcohol poisoning when you consume the two simultaneously.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, it’s crucial to pace yourself and know your limits.
How Long Does It Last?
Little research has been done on those who use cannabis and alcohol simultaneously.
It’s, therefore, difficult to say exactly how long a cross-faded high lasts or even what causes it. However, the duration of your cross-fade will likely depend on how much you drank and how much marijuana you smoked.
Most marijuana users recommend taking only a little of each substance when cross-fading. Even though one hit from a bong could still get your mind spinning, the experience will be way shorter than it would’ve been if you smoked an entire joint.
The same goes for the amount of alcohol you drink. If you’ve been binge drinking, it would be a good idea to stay away from marijuana.
How to Manage Being Cross-faded
So, how do you end a cross-faded high? There’s no solution other than waiting it out. That said, there are a couple of things you do to make the situation less unpleasant.
Water may not be that effective in reducing how high you feel, but it can lessen how drunk you are.
Staying hydrated while you drink is crucial; alcohol has diuretic properties, meaning it makes you use the bathroom more often than usual. This leads to dehydration, maximizes the effect of the liquor, and causes a more chaotic hangover.
We recommend drinking a glass of water for every glass of alcoholic beverage you drink.
Smoking marijuana also causes some level of dehydration. This is what causes dry mouth and dry eyes. It would help to have lots of fluids handy.
When you drink a lot of alcohol, your temperature may rise, eventually causing you to throw up. It can be helpful to find a cool place to sit.
If your backyard has some shade, you can relax in it and enjoy the breeze. You can also get a fan going if you can’t leave the house. Keep the windows open and the curtains drawn. That light breeze coming through the room will help keep you fresh and stop you from sweating.
Go to Sleep
Sometimes, sleeping is the only solution when you’re too crossfaded. If you’re experiencing the spins, make your way to bed or the closest horizontal surface, and lie down. If you’re lucky, you’ll sleep off the rest of your crossfaded high.
Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana simultaneously may result in the ultimate euphoria. Sometimes, however, this combination may bring about negative effects.
Greening out is a common side effect of cross-fading, and comes with symptoms such as nausea, sweating, throwing up, dizziness, paranoia, and more.
It’s possible that you may have a good time, but it’s crucial to track how much you drink and how much you smoke.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do you stop throwing up when cross-faded?
Throwing up when you’re drinking alcohol is a sign that you’ve consumed too much. That’s your body’s way of self-regulating. You’ll likely feel better once you’re done throwing up. Make sure you drink a lot of water and blended juices to replace all the fluids you lose.
Can you have one or two alcoholic drinks with marijuana?
Many marijuana users enjoy topping off their joint with a drink or two. If you choose to get cross-faded, we recommend doing it indoors on a free day. Don’t drive or operate any machinery. It would also be a good idea to limit how much of each substance you take.