Crossfading: Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis - RQS Blog (2023)


  1. What is crossfading?
    1. The science behind crossfading
  2. How to crossfade
    1. Drinking first
    2. Smoking first
  3. Can you crossfade with edibles?
  4. What booze to choose?
  5. How to handle a bad reaction to crossfading
  6. Aim to crossfade responsibly

Bud and booze are like chalk and cheese. The two substances produce very different effects, to the degree that they often divide people into opposing camps; purists that indulge in one while knocking the other. Those with a love for the herb cherish the introspective effects that lend themselves to solo or small group situations, whereas drinkers prefer the confidence-boosting effects of beer, wine, and hard liquor, best enjoyed in a lively bar or pub.

However, there are those that traverse the ravine between alcohol and weed. While some end up slipping into the crevasse of blackouts and vomiting, others are able to enjoy the best of both worlds upon mastering the art of crossfading.

Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know about getting drunk and high together. Find out how alcohol amplifies the effects of cannabis, in which order to take both substances, and how to handle a bad reaction to this controversial mix.

What Is Crossfading?

The term “crossfading” describes the overlapping effects of multiple substances taken at the same time. Although the word sometimes refers to combinations of other drugs, it’s mostly used in the context of mixing cannabis and alcohol. Chances are you’ve experienced this state of consciousness before, or at least know someone who has.

(Video) smoke sesh *smoke with us*

But why would somebody choose to crossfade to begin with? Aren’t the isolated effects of weed and booze enough to have a good time? Well, booze dramatically enhances the intoxicating effects of cannabis and further helps to dampen inhibition and self-consciousness. However, as you may know, crossfading requires a delicate approach. If you go overboard with either substance, even slightly, you’ll put an end to your night before it even starts.

An interesting survey published in the journal Cannabis in 2018 asked 807 young adults between the age of 18–23 about their opinions on and experiences with crossfading[1]. Despite the small sample size relative to the number of people that indulge in the practice, this paper helps us better understand how people view and respond to crossfading.

Overall, only 43% of participants associated the word “crossfading” specifically with alcohol and weed. On top of this, 60% of them had no desire to get crossfaded, and only 5% had a high desire to give it a go. The group also viewed the practice as something best avoided; 33% saw getting crossfaded as very risky, and only 5% viewed it as a low-risk way of getting high.

Crossfading: Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis - RQS Blog (1)

Crossfading: Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis - RQS Blog (2)

The Science Behind Crossfading

It’s no secret that people tend to have a tough time when they mix pints with bong hits or vodka shots with vaping. But why do things go off the rails so often when getting crossfaded? What about booze and bud is so seemingly incompatible? Luckily, researchers at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry took the time to find out.

The team set out to study the interaction between alcohol and cannabis[2], driven by findings that show the two are frequently detected together in those involved in traffic collisions. According to their findings, it appears that boozing while vaping significantly increases levels of THC, and the metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC, in the bloodstream. 11-hydroxy-THC is an even more potent form of delta-9-THC, and thus increasing its levels can potentiate the intoxicating effects significantly.

The researchers recruited 19 adult participants who received either a placebo or low amounts of alcohol before vaping 500mg of placebo, low-strength cannabis, or high-strength cannabis. After taking blood samples, the researchers found that the presence of alcohol significantly increased the amount of THC and 11-hydroxy-THC in the blood.

In the study, “high-strength” cannabis contained a THC content of 6.7%, but most modern cultivars contain over three times this amount. Throw several shots and a few beers into the mix, and you can see why so many people run into trouble when crossfading.

But just because some people have a bad (and even dangerous) experience doesn’t mean you can’t use alcohol and weed together. When done correctly, crossfading offers a buzz that neither substance alone can provide. The sensation will get you in the mood for socialising, and comes in handy in a party environment. Below, you’ll find out how to crossfade effectively, without spending your evening with your head in the toilet bowl.

How To Crossfade

If you want to crossfade successfully, you need to consider your approach, plan ahead, and set yourself some boundaries. Many people fall victim to uncomfortable side effects when they decide to crossfade when already too drunk to make a rational decision about dosing and pacing.

If you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into before taking the plunge, you’ll minimise disaster. After giving yourself a little pep talk about being sensible and not going overboard, you should decide in which order to take the two substances. You have two options: drink first, or smoke first. Let’s examine both in a little more detail.

  • Drinking First

Drinking before smoking can seriously amplify the effects of THC and its metabolites. So if you opt for this order, take things one toke at a time. Wait a few minutes between hits, and put that joint down as soon as you feel the desired effects. Also, avoid getting too drunk before smoking. Drink too much, and you’ll feel overconfident, abandon your original approach, and likely end up seeing your dinner again later on in the evening.

  • Smoking First

Interestingly, researchers have explored what happens when you fire up a bong or joint first. A study[3] conducted in 1992 administered a placebo, a high dose of cannabis, or a low dose of cannabis to 15 subjects after consuming alcohol.

The researchers found that cannabis might alter the bioavailability of ethanol and slow down how long it takes to kick in. While this might help to avoid feeling crossfaded too quickly, it makes it easy to continue drinking without knowing how drunk you truly are, before it’s too late. If you choose to blaze before you drink, take things slow, and let your drink settle before you pour another.

Crossfading: Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis - RQS Blog (3)

Crossfading: Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis - RQS Blog (4)

Can You Crossfade With Edibles?

This is more a question of “should you?” rather than “could you?”. Of course, you’re free to do as you please. But if you neck a few beers after munching down an edible, you’re likely to be in for a rough time. First, eating cannabis causes the liver to convert THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which, as mentioned, is even more potent than delta-9-THC.

Edibles also take longer to set in, but produce a high much more powerful than that from smoking weed. Adding alcohol to the mix will increase circulating quantities of 11-hydroxy-THC, making the experience even more extreme.

Some cannabis users experience side effects from edibles, such as agitation and nausea. While booze might take the edge off feelings of panic, it certainly won’t help when it comes to feeling sick. Bottom line: we don’t recommend sinking booze and ingesting edibles in the same sitting.

What Booze To Choose?

The kind of alcohol you choose to get crossfaded with won’t have a massive impact. More importantly, you should stay focused on the quantity and be careful not to consume too much.

However, carefully selecting your beverages will make the experience more pleasurable; it all comes down to personal taste. If you enjoy beer, why not select a terpene-packed IPA to accompany your herb? If you’re a wine person, consider a chilled white wine to go alongside some ice-chilled bong hits. Just remember; you need considerably less-strong liquor (spirits) to get on the same level as drinking several beers.

How To Handle a Bad Reaction to Crossfading

Crossfading can feel really enjoyable when done properly. But if you fail to strike a balance, you could experience a bad reaction. The signs that you’ve overdone it are similar to a greenout, only with the highly uncomfortable side effects of booze thrown in there. The main feelings you may experience during this occurrence are:

So, what should you do if this happens? Well, you’ll make things a lot worse by giving in to panic. Start out by taking some deep breaths—the type that makes your abdomen inflate. Inhale through your nose, hold for a couple of seconds, and slowly exhale out of your mouth.

Next, find somewhere comfortable. Get away from the chaos and noise of the party or gathering and find a spot to lay down until these feelings pass. If you feel particularly sick and sleepy, ask a close friend to watch over you for a while to avoid any chance of asphyxiation. You should also aim to dilute your blood by drinking plenty of water, and raise your blood sugar by tucking into some snacks when you can handle them.

Aim to Crossfade Responsibly

Crossfading goes wrong more often than it should. Sure, we all get carried away at parties and other social events. But if you’re planning to crossfade, know that moderation isn’t only key, but it will save you from ruining an otherwise enjoyable experience.

Set your limits before you start drinking or smoking, and set them intentionally low; it’s better to experience a subtle buzz than nausea and vomiting. It’ll also help to crossfade with a friend; someone you can trust to not let you go too far, and vice versa.

External Resources:

  1. Cross-faded: Young Adults’ Language of Being Simultaneously Drunk and High
  2. Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in blood
  3. Marihuana attenuates the rise in plasma ethanol levels in human subjects - PubMed


This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.


Can you mix cannabis drink with alcohol? ›

Combining cannabis products and alcohol can result in an increased potential for developing alcohol poisoning or suffering an overdose of alcohol. An overdose on alcohol is very serious and can obviously be fatal.

What is it called when you are drunk and stoned at the same time? ›

Discussion. “Cross-faded” emerges as a commonly known term for effects of using multiple substances. It most often refers to using alcohol and marijuana simultaneously, and second-most to being drunk and high at the same time.

Is it OK to get drunk and high at the same time? ›

Researchers have recently learned that alcohol also impacts the endocannabinoid system. So, if you drink alcohol and use cannabis at the same time, you enhance the depressant effects of each. This can lead to serious side effects and dangerous behaviors.

What alcohol is best for cannabis? ›

What type of alcohol to make homemade cannabis tincture? It is best to use either 200-proof food grade ethanol (aka ethyl alcohol) or 190-proof Everclear alcohol for this cannabis tincture recipe. Both are strong natural solvents that will effectively strip and separate the desired cannabinoids from the plant material.

How long does greening out last? ›

How Long Does Greening Out Usually Last? Everyone responds to marijuana differently, and the length of a green out can vary. Some symptoms might only last a few minutes, while others can last hours. The best thing to do if greening out is to remain calm and lie down.

What is crossfading like? ›

Crossfade is code for drinking alcohol and using marijuana simultaneously to get a more intense high. What starts as a mixture of two drugs could turn into a dangerous decision that does not turn out as enjoyable as a teen once thought.

What is greening out? ›

Teenagers who abuse marijuana are at risk for a condition called greening out, which occurs when someone takes too much marijuana and experiences unpleasant side effects such as vomiting and dizziness.

What is drunk rolling? ›

Mixing a cocktail by 'rolling' is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of violently moving the shaker back and forth it is tumbled over and over in a circular motion between the two hands. While the drink is still mixed in a shaker, it is a very gentle way to mix and chill a cocktail.

What to do if someone is drunk and high? ›

What to Do
  1. Stay With the Person. It is essential not to leave a person alone that has had too much to drink, as they could hurt themselves or be hurt by someone else. ...
  2. Give Them Food. ...
  3. Place Them in the Recovery Position. ...
  4. Keep Them Awake. ...
  5. Get Them Home Safe.
Feb 24, 2021

How not to get high after drinking? ›

Water and food are your friends

For every alcoholic drink, have a glass of water or a soft drink (you don't have to tell anyone it's not alcoholic). Make sure you also have a meal if you're drinking. It helps to slow the effects of the alcohol and is (hopefully) also delicious.

Is it better to drive high or drunk? ›

Driving while stoned is not as dangerous as driving while drunk — in fact, according to a new report, it's about as safe as driving while sober once variables are adjusted for.

What is it called when you use alcohol and cannabis concurrently? ›

Often referred to as “greening out,” alcohol and Marijuana users can have an undesirable reaction when combining the 2 substances. Physical symptoms like nausea and vomiting are common, as well as sweating and dizziness. Psychological symptoms may occur such as anxiety and distress.

How many beers equals a joint? ›

Marijuana costs only $2.09 per joint in the state (the least expensive of anywhere in the U.S.), while a Bud Light sells for roughly $0.87 a 12 ounce bottle —meaning that price of a joint is the same as the price of 2.4 beers.

Which alcohol is best for high? ›

10 Strongest Alcohols In The World That'll Get You High Quickly & Land You In A Lot Of Trouble
  • Hapsburg Gold Label Premium Reserve Absinthe (89.9% Alcohol)
  • Pincer Shanghai Strength (88.88% Alcohol) ...
  • Balkan 176 Vodka (88% Alcohol) ...
  • Sunset Rum (84.5% Alcohol) ...
  • Devil Springs Vodka (80% Alcohol) ...
  • Bacardi 151 (75.5% Alcohol) ...
Jun 29, 2016

How do you survive greening out? ›

Consume tons of water - Staying hydrated while you smoke the cheeba is always advised. In acute cases of over-consumption, you may need to drink juice to raise your blood sugar. Lie down - Get lots of relaxation and rest. Sleeping may feel impossible, so close your eyes and meditate if you can.

How long does it take to wake up from greening out? ›

The duration of a green out varies from person to person and depends on how much cannabis you consumed. For some people, it might only last for 30 minutes to an hour, while other people might have symptoms for 6 hours or more. Some people might feel a little groggy 1 to 2 days after their green out.

How long should you wait to drive after greening out? ›

Wait at least 6 hours after smoking marijuana containing less than 35 mg THC before driving, biking or performing other safety-sensitive activities. If you've smoked more than 35 mg, you need to wait longer.

How do I know if I'm really high? ›

Signs Someone Is High

Physical signs of marijuana use include red eyes, poor muscle coordination, delayed reaction times, and increased appetite. A sudden shift in mood from tense to relaxed could indicate marijuana use, as could abrupt symptoms of anxiety, panic, and/or hallucinations.

How to do when you're high? ›

Here are eight ways to help you sober up safely.
  1. Watch your dose and potency. ...
  2. Give it time. ...
  3. Stay calm and use relaxation. ...
  4. Find a distraction. ...
  5. Drink water, but avoid coffee and beer. ...
  6. Avoid other substance use and folk remedies. ...
  7. Use a safety plan. ...
  8. Seek out professional assistance.
Aug 17, 2021

Do you get the spins when high? ›

The spins (as in having "the spins") is an adverse reaction of intoxication that causes a state of vertigo and nausea, causing one to feel as if "spinning out of control", especially when lying down. It is most commonly associated with drunkenness or mixing alcohol with other psychoactive drugs such as cannabis.

Is Whitey the same as greening out? ›

A whitey or white-out (sometimes "green-out" or "greening") is a drug slang term for when a recreational drug user, as a direct or indirect result of drug use (usually cannabis), begins to feel faint and vomits.

What is clingy drunk? ›

The Clingy Drunk

GIF: Symptoms: suddenly becomes everyone's BFF, excessive hugging and/or kissing, blocks the door so people don't leave the party, can never be left alone.

What is rolling in bed? ›

Rolling a trade is the process of running a spread bet past the normal expiry date for that particular market.

What does rolling high mean? ›

gambling, spending, or living extravagantly or recklessly: high-rolling gamblers; a high-rolling investor.

Do true feelings come out when drunk? ›

Do true feelings come out when you're drunk? True feelings may come out when you're drunk, but this isn't necessarily true all the time. Instead, alcohol can make people make fake stories and react with emotions they don't feel.

Why do I say crazy stuff when I'm drunk? ›

New research on alcohol's affect on brain activity helps to explain that age-old phenomenon: why people do stupid things when they are drunk. University of Missouri researchers found alcohol dulls the brain signal that warns people when they are making a mistake, ultimately reducing self-control.

Is it OK to let a drunk person sleep? ›

Your blood alcohol level can still rise whilst you're asleep and lead to alcohol poisoning. That's the big deal… putting a drunk person to sleep doesn't automatically remove the undigested alcohol from their system. They're body still needs to process it and break it down.

What makes you more high after drinking alcohol? ›

The reason behind this is that alcohol increases the absorption of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive component in cannabis. People who smoke weed after drinking alcohol often experience a stronger high.

Can you sober up in 2 hours? ›

Sobering up after a night of drinking is different for everyone. However, the body always eliminates alcohol at a rate of . 015% per hour. This equates to half to one drink per hour or between .

What age drives drunk the most? ›

» Frequently Asked Questions » What Age Group Has the Most Drunk Driving Accidents? The 21- to 24-year-old age group has the most drunk driving accidents in the United States, according to recent research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Does drinking water help sober up? ›

618/536-4441 Our bodies can only metabolize, or get rid of, approximately 1 standard drink of alcohol per hour. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine, exercise, taking a shower or drinking water won't help you sober up. There is no way of speeding up this process.

Is it smart to drive high? ›

Both alcohol and marijuana impact your ability to drive a vehicle safely. When drunk, your reflexes are slower and your coordination is impaired. Driving high can also impair your reflexes and coordination. Both alcohol and marijuana also affect your ability to pay attention and make smart decisions.

What does a cannabis drink do? ›

Since they contain the psychoactive compound THC, cannabis-infused drinks can cause drowsiness, relaxation, euphoria, and other symptoms of cannabis intoxication.

Can you put cannabis in beer? ›

The more modern, preferred procedure for infusing THC into beer (at home, anyway) is to first use high-proof spirits to extract the THC from the plant matter, then use the resulting tincture to dose the finished beer. It's straightforward, and it works—though the question of just how much THC you end up with remains.

Can you put cannabis oil in drinks? ›

You can also use cannabis oil like you would an edible or a capsule by adding it to food and drinks. While this method is effective, the bioavailability of anything you ingest is generally lower, meaning you won't absorb the cannabinoids as thoroughly because they must pass through the stomach and the liver.

What can give you a buzz like alcohol? ›

- Caffeinated Energy Drinks: Caffeinated energy drinks are some of the most popular functional drinks on the market. They are packed with caffeine and other stimulants, which can give you a quick buzz.

How long do cannabis drinks take to kick in? ›

The rapid onset is one of the main reasons why people love cannabis drinks. You typically feel effects within 10 to 15 minutes, with full effects peaking 45 minutes to an hour.

What is cannabis energy drink? ›

Fast-acting THC + Caffeine

With 5mg of THC and 80mg of caffeine, Hi5 Energy is formulated to lift you up quickly and keep you there. It's made for those of us who seek a little excitement in our daily lives, but aren't trying to jump motorcycles over the Grand Canyon or skydive from space.

Can you make cannabis drinks? ›

Cannabis-Infused Sangria

Add all of the fruit to a large pitcher. Add grape juice, orange juice, the juice of 1 lime, and your cannabis tincture (depending on strength desired). Stir and mix thoroughly. Let chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.

Can you dry hop with cannabis? ›

Dry hopping with weed is the equivalent to making a tincture with alcohol. You can dry "hop" for about 2 weeks and you'll extract a little bit of THC. If you go for longer, it will increase the potency. 3-5 grams is all that's needed.

What is dank cannabis in beer? ›

According to Punch Drink, dank is a newer beer term that can be associated with a hop that has a smell that's reminiscent of cannabis, and typically those kinds of hops are used in making IPAs.

Why do you put cannabis oil under your tongue? ›

Sublingual administration refers to when a person places a drug under their tongue, which allows the drug to absorb directly into the bloodstream. As such, this may allow the compounds of CBD to enter the bloodstream rapidly and directly because there are numerous blood vessels under the tongue.

What does cannabis lube do to you? ›

Increased Sensitivity

Overall, these lubes amplify sensitivity and intensify orgasms. Research has shown that people using THC lube feel a warm tingling sensation and the effects can last from two to four hours, so the chance of multiple orgasms is very high.

How do you Decarb a bud? ›

How to Decarb Weed Using Your Microwave
  1. First, grind up or break apart your weed and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for approximately 1.5 minutes.
  3. Remove the bowl and examine the cannabis flower. ...
  4. Repeat as necessary.


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