Should you drink alcohol with your cannabinoids? That is a very interesting question. The conventional wisdom tends to be “no.” However, the conventional wisdom is often wrong about cannabis. Starting with its health effects.

In fact, cannabinoids are frequently mixed with “alcohol.” Even for medical purposes. In fact, alcohol-based extraction is a safe way, along with fat-infused “extraction,” to isolate cannabinoids from plant matter.

Further, while largely understudied, alcohol consumption appears to increase the body’s ability to absorb THC. This in turn may become a way to augment the impact of cannabinoids for medical patients. It may also be a way to reach new and different heights for experienced recreational consumers.

Like many other issues, this one comes down to common sense. How you combine alcohol with cannabinoids makes all the difference. It is also an issue of what kind of alcohol is used and how strong it is by volume. Not to mention what kind of cannabis is used, both in terms of strain and THC content.

ALCOHOL-BASED TINCTURES

Much of what appears on the edible and medical cannabis market today contains an alcohol-based extraction of cannabinoids. The reason? There are many recipes and formulas where fat-based concentrates do not work. See cannabis water or soda. Or gum. Or candy. Or even medical drops.

Regarding the above recipes, cannabinoids can be extracted by soaking cannabis plant matter in a high-proof, edible alcohol. In these applications, cannabinoids and terpenes are isolated, purified, then later mixed into recipes or combined with other elements.

cannabis infused in alcohol

PAIRING CANNABIS WITH BEER

This is another interesting subdivision of the whole debate. Why? Hops and cannabis are very similar cousins as plants. In fact, pairing cannabis and beer is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. This is heightened by the advent of cannabis-infused beer. However, this kind of beer in particular has trace elements of THC at best. The intoxicant here is the alcohol.

When deciding to smoke a THC-laden joint, beer can also heighten the experience in a number of ways. The trick here is to pick the right kind of strain. Hybrids or sativas tend to go better with alcohol simply because it is a depressant. The couch-lock effect of a heavy indica might send you off to sleep with the first swig.

However, there are some beers with a low-alcohol volume that can perfectly complement such endeavours. For example, sour beers are a good choice. They can reduce the feeling of cotton mouth. Pilsners are also a great, low-alcohol beer to try with your favourite strain. They act as refreshing palate cleansers.

HOW DOES CANNABIS DO WITH WINE?

Wine offers an intriguing experience when paired with cannabis. The same rules about alcohol content apply here, of course. But in addition to that, wine can add something completely new to the whole endeavour.

How?

Wine has a more complex molecular structure than cannabis. This is the scientific reason why there are more discernible aromas in wine. The tongue is also better suited to determine distinct tastes. Smoke, on the other hand, is discerned via the palate and respiratory system. When combined, however, the entire olfactory experience is elevated in the presence of both substances. For example, lemony strains of cannabis go well with dry whites such as sauvignon, pinot, and chardonnay. Many smokers also prefer merlot, cabernet, and pinot noir because of the low tannins.

In addition, sparkling wines like Champagne or prosecco can aid as refreshing liquids for smokers’ dry mouth and throat.

The trick here? It is often so much fun that it is easy to take more than just a few sips. Remember, there is an entourage effect between THC and alcohol.

Cannabis-infused wine is another obvious idea. However, due to regulations of all kinds, there are very few places in the world where you can buy this commercially. It helps if you live in California.

cannabis and liquor, wine and beer

MIXING CANNABINOIDS WITH LIQUOR

While this may sound like throwing gasoline on a bonfire, there are places where you can experiment with hard liquor and cannabis. Moderation here is the key. However, infusing any kind of liquor with cannabis is one way to guarantee a drink that packs a significant punch of potency, if not flavour.

For many, many reasons, there are no commercial varieties available on any market right now. However, making your own at home is very easy to do. Infuse the cannabis by soaking it in your favourite liquor. Marijuana margaritas are a popular choice. Any combination with fruit and alcohol is likely to be not only tasty, but highly intoxicating. Go slow. Limit yourself to one drink of such concoctions per evening.

WHAT ARE THE OVERALL SIDE EFFECTS?

Before you begin your experiments, it is really important to know what kind of science you are up to - particularly when it comes to mixing THC and alcohol. Both have impacts on your brain, and they are not necessarily complementary.

Crossfading, or combining alcohol with cannabis, also has different effects than just consuming one or the other. Indeed, combining both substances together can create an elevated high. They can also cause a side-effect known as “greening out.”

Physical effects include dizziness, nausea, sweating, and vomiting.

Scientific inquiry into the effects of crossfading provides a few more of the answers to this. It appears that ingesting THC alongside alcohol intensifies the experience of both. Drinking first may increase the body’s ability to absorb THC much faster. How much faster? Some studies claim that THC is absorbed up to twice as quickly after drinking than it is without alcohol. In other words, you can potentially double the effects of THC in your system if you have a drink before you smoke.

While this may seem like a “budget” way to stretch the impact of your cannabis high, go slow. Green-outs, like blackouts, are not the goal of any responsible consumer.

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