It’s no surprise that many people combine weed and beer, since many consider these substances two of the greatest things on Earth. There is a lot of scientific research about how the two drugs interact when consumed together. Here we look at some of the science behind mixing beer and weed, in case you want to nerd out a little bit 🍻🌳.
First, a note on “Cannabis”
The herb Cannabis comprises 120 compounds known as cannabinoids. Of these, the two major components are known as CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD has several therapeutic properties that do not give you a high, whereas THC is “euphoric” and can give you feelings of being high when taken in concentrations above 0.3%.
If you eliminate THC from cannabis and consume only CBD, you will get no psychoactive effects and it will likely help alleviate pain, stress, and anxiety. This is why CBD supplements are so popular now (and also why they still get confused with substances that get you high).
Today CBD is available in many forms like lip balms, body creams, etc. However, the most popular and widely consumed form of CBD is oils. According to several pieces of research, CBD oils have many benefits like helping in treating anxiety, better skin health, and pain management.
For avoidance of doubt – in this article we are talking about the “traditional” marijuana your parents consumed, not today’s modern CBD supplements. Also, when we say “combining beer and cannabis” we are not talking about “marijuana beers” (beers with marijuana ingredients in them). We are talking about, quite simply, drinking beer and consuming cannabis at the same time.
What happens when you combine both?
While cannabis affects the parts of the brain dealing with memory, pleasure, time, and thoughts, alcohol affects the central nervous system as it is an antidepressant.
Compounds in cannabis such as THC start controlling the cannabinoid receptors of the body, causing impairment in cognitive functions such as sensing, thinking, etc. When combined with the alcohol in beer, it further affects and slows down these functions. However, Scott Lukas, professor of pharmacology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that the effects of cannabis and alcohol combined are not the same for all individuals. He has also performed two different types of studies to understand and explain the effects of combining cannabis and alcohol.
In the first study, he tried to determine how cannabis affects alcohol absorption and found out that consumption of cannabis affects the way things move in your intestine, which results in reduced blood alcohol levels when compared to consuming alcohol alone usually. However, the second study focused on how alcohol consumption affects THC absorption. The results of the second study indicated if someone consumes alcohol before smoking cannabis, it boosts THC absorption by opening the blood vessels in the digestive system. So if you’re looking to accelerate and intensify your high, go for the second method.
One of the usual effects of smoking marijuana is greening out. It is the sick feeling some people experience after consuming a heavy dose of cannabis along with the physical effects of nausea, spins, and dizziness. How does beer affect this? Unfortunately, beer seems to heighten the “greening out” effect in people that get it, making the person feel sicker and dizzier than they normally would.
CBD may prevent from adverse effects of alcohol
This blog has previously discussed the many health benefits of drinking beer. So, inquiring minds want to know: are there benefits to taking cannabis and beer together?
Yes! Research has actually proved that CBD can help prevent some of the adverse effects of alcohol. For example:
● Preventing cell damage
Excessive alcohol consumption results in damage to the cells, ultimately causing chronic liver diseases and even cancer in some cases. Researchers have performed several animal studies that prove that CBD consumption prevents cell damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption. However, the science is still out to confirm whether the combination of both will have the exact same effects on humans as well.
● Reduce Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a unit to determine the content of alcohol in a person’s blood. Higher blood alcohol levels greatly affect the cognitive functions and motor controls of the body. According to a study performed on ten individuals who consumed alcohol, lower blood alcohol levels were seen when the CBD (200mg) was consumed instead of a placebo drug. So, if you’re worried about getting too wasted on Saturday night, you know what to do.
According to several pieces of research, CBD protects the body from the adverse effects of beer. However, always keep in mind that the effects of combining beer and CBD differ from individual to individual. Keep it safe: consume both CBD and beer in moderation!