Written By: Daniel Cina
In the world of legal recreational consumption there are only two options that truly reign supreme. Yes, that is correct folks. I am here to talk about cannabis and alcohol. Cannabis and alcohol are often heavily compared to each other due to their massive popularity in the USA and so we are here to do it again from a stoner perspective!
How We React to Cannabis and Alcohol
Cannabis and Alcohol are very different, but also similar in many ways, and the foremost example of this is their consumption effects. While there are similarities in the end result of cannabis and alcohol consumption, they are both processed differently by our bodies which leads to a myriad of different effects.
***While there are health implications of long term- cannabis and alcohol use, we will be focusing on the effects of short term recreational use
When we drink alcohol it obviously goes to our stomach where it is then broken down by acids, and from there alcohol enters our bloodstream where it is processed by organs such as our liver and kidneys. It also reaches the brain which is what creates the “drunk” effects that alcohol gives. This effect, similar to cannabis, can lead to a loss of motor control, slurred speech, slower reaction times and lower inhibitions (doing things one normally wouldn’t do).
What is very interesting in how we process alcohol is that our body technically treats it as a toxin when breaking it down. This means that the effects it provides are a result of the body trying to achieve equilibrium with itself through its natural purging process.
Cannabis on the other hand is not considered a toxin by our bodies. It is in fact so much the opposite due to the fact that our bodies have natural cannabinoid receptors that THC clings onto when we smoke some dank cannabis. These receptors which are mainly located in the brain affect mental and physical functions with the end result being the elevated feeling we all know and love!
American Perception of Cannabis and Alcohol
Cannabis and Alcohol have both been in use for thousands of years, and have both had a major presence in the USA since the first Jamestown Colony was established. At that time cannabis was smoked recreationally, but it was more popular to grow hemp for industrial purposes such as rope and clothes. With that being said alcohol has dominated public popularity since America’s inception.
There was a brief period where cannabis was rivaling alcohol during the American Prohibition on Alcohol, but the prohibition on cannabis that followed dispelled that notion until cannabis began to burst back onto the scene in the 1960’s (read more here).
In recent times cannabis and alcohol are starting to see a major shift in popularity towards cannabis, and this is exemplified by the generational split we are seeing. Cannabis use in college students and millennials has skyrocketed over the past few years, while their alcohol use has gone down. While alcohol use is still the dominant choice between the two in America, cannabis is starting to find its place among younger generations. It is truly a curious thing to think about that makes one wonder what cannabis and alcohol preferences will look like 10 years in the future.
Being Cross-Faded and What You Need To Know
As the two most popular things in recreational consumption, it is not uncommon for cannabis and alcohol to be consumed together resulting in what many call being cross-faded. Speaking from personal experience, this act can be very fun, BUT it is also riding a very fine line due to our human propensity to overindulge on occasion. Overindulging on either of the two at the same time can intensify the already present effects of cannabis and alcohol in your system which is not necessarily a good thing.
This over intensification is what the stoner community calls a green-out and they are not a fun time by any means. While everyone reacts differently on the few occasions this has happened to me, the room I was in tended to spin very fast which was just a terrible experience. So take note of your cannabis and alcohol consumption should you ever pair them to avoid a bummer time.
Cannabis and Alcohol as Drinks
While alcohol obviously dominates the drinking atmosphere, cannabis has made major pushback in recent times with THC and CBD tinctures that can be added to your favorite sodas and beverages. Some amazing brands that offer tinctures such as this are Cannabull from Crown B Alchemy , Uncle Arnie’s and Keef Soda who has multiple delicious flavors, which you can find at your local Nectar.
One item that has become increasingly popular in this is even infusing cannabis and alcohol together for beverages. The cannabinoids of choice in this are typically CBD and THC. While there was a small period of time where select places sold these types of drinks, it is currently illegal under federal law to serve them in commercial establishments.
However there is nothing stopping you from doing it yourself should you want to infuse cannabis and alcohol into a beverage. By utilizing the decarboxylation and infusion process as you would for edibles, cannabis and alcohol can be turned into a tasty beverage. Should you choose THC for a cannabis and alcohol infusion, be sure to get your measurements right. I would lean towards using a small amounts of THC, especially if you plan on sharing with some friends.
*** Take extra care should you try this as it is not for beginners. Alcohol is a flammable substance, and the process of infusing it requires your absolute care and attention. Here’s an article to help you out should you try this infusion(read here)
Cannabis and Alcohol: The Relationship Continues
Cannabis and Alcohol have truly been cemented as the two most popular items in legal and recreational consumption. This has created an extraordinary dynamic between the two that has placed cannabis and alcohol into the center of debates, research, and conversation in American society. My bet is that this is unlikely to change in the coming years as the relationship between cannabis and alcohol only progresses further and stays in the public eye.
My last thought on cannabis and alcohol to all the recreational users in our communities is simply just to be careful. Having fun is a good thing, but staying safe always takes priority so whether you enjoy cannabis and alcohol separately or together, be sure to take care of yourself and those around you. Like anything in life, moderation is key so be sure to understand what your limits are so you are able to stay safe and keep having fun!