Much first-time cannabis smokers do so under the influence of alcohol. That is probably because their inhibitions are low, and they are ready to try something new. However, what most people do not know is that combining alcohol and marijuana tends to leave one feeling super high. This feeling turns people off of cannabis.
However, cannabis consumption is much safer than alcohol consumption. Alcohol is more addictive than cannabis, cannabis comes with fewer health problems, and alcohol is linked to more deaths than cannabis. (Marijuana Project Policy) Although the last in the list could be due to how easy one can purchase alcohol versus cannabis, one cannot deny the health effects.
Back on topic, many people who smoke and drink notice that combining the two tends to create a stronger high, and now there is a study that proves this to be true.
Taking both drugs together significantly increases the levels of cannabis’ main psychoactive ingredient, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in comparison to taking cannabis alone. (PsyBlog)
For the study, 19 adults were given either a low amount of alcohol or a placebo. Then all test subjects vaporized cannabis. Those who combined alcohol and marijuana in the study were found to have higher blood THC than those who did not.
Although this was a relatively small testing group, the fact that all the test subjects who consumed both cannabis and alcohol showed higher blood THC is a pretty clear indicator that it is the alcohol that makes the high more intense.
It should be noted that the research group is deciding on this study because many more people were found to be driving under the influence of cannabis. Also, those who were under the influence of cannabis and alcohol were more likely to be driving erratically.
The fact that even low alcohol consumption can lead to a strong buzz is important for those developing drug legislation.
Dr. Marilyn A. Huestis, the study’s first author, said:
“The significantly higher blood THC and 11-OH-THC [median maximum concentration] values with alcohol possibly explain increased performance impairment observed from cannabis-alcohol combinations.
Our results will help facilitate forensic interpretation and inform the debate on drugged driving legislation.”
So, for all of you out there who decided to try cannabis and alcohol together and didn’t like it, you might have the wrong impression about marijuana.
It is the alcohol that made it rough, not the cannabis!