Alcohol is a massive part of our reality. CBD and other cannabis-derived substances are catching up to it as the legal atmosphere evolves with the times.
This reality leads us to ask ourselves what would happen if we mix CBD and drinking alcohol.
The implications of the combination are not as straightforward as we would like them to be, and as the clinical research on the subject grows, our knowledge will as well, which is what we intend to do with you in this article. Here, we will help you understand what those implications are or could be.
What is a Crossfade High?
As marijuana and hemp flower become more and more popular among smokers and other cannabis-derived products increase in availability with this rise in popularity, it has also become common for people to pair their cannabis with alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol has become such a staple of our society and lives that thinking that mixing both substances would not happen was out of the question. Especially because alcohol doesn’t carry the stigma, it once did. Everyone keeps a bottle of wine, bourbon, or vodka in a home bar or beers in the fridge.
If you’ve ever tried mixing cannabis and alcohol, the experience might have been relaxing and pleasant. Like quenching your dry throat from smoking marijuana with a nice chill beer. But if you’ve gone overboard with one or the other, then the experience could be far from pleasant.
We're talking about more than just a regular alcoholic buzz or drunk night. This feeling is called a "Crossfade High."
Highs can be overwhelming all alone. But when THC and alcohol are combined, it can create a synergistic effect that leaves the body feeling depleted of energy and groggy. In standard terms, a Crossfade is when you are 'high' and 'drunk' simultaneously.
There is no real research to support a crossfade's causes and what it means to be crossfaded from a clinical perspective. We know that for it, you need to be high, which means that whatever cannabis product you're consuming needs enough THC content to provide the intoxication.
You can't get 'high' with CBD because it is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. In other words, you can't be crossfaded if you mix CBD and alcohol. This raises an entirely different question; what happens if you do have CBD and drink together?
What Happens When You Take CBD and Alcohol Together?
THC and CBD can be quite flexible when it comes to the reason why you take them. They can both be used as a relaxing or an uplifting substance.
In the case of THC, this will depend on the strain you pick and your tolerance to the substance. For CBD, this often depends on the amount of CBD you ingest.
Higher amounts of CBD usually mean you're trying to relax, while smaller quantities of CBD provide a boost in focus and energy.
CBD and alcohol may have a similar effect on the body. One reduces anxiety and calms your nerves, especially when you're dosing yourself close to your tolerance limit.
It is believed that combining CBD and alcohol could potentialize these effects to the point where it causes drowsiness and even sedation. The level of responsibility for this that each substance carries needs to be investigated further.
Other accounts say that mixing them could cause a sudden change in your behavior and drastic mood swings.
The research on the topic is scarce. But the little evidence that is available to us seems to point towards alcohol being the main reason for unwanted side effects like impaired motor performance and mood swings when taken together with CBD.
This explains the possible immediate physiological effects, but it entirely leaves out the spectrum's safety side, and the potential health effects caused.
Is It Safe to Mix CBD and Alcohol?
Taking CBD and alcohol together in high amounts could be detrimental to the purpose of why you're taking them. Amplifying each other's effects to the point of causing sedation and drowsiness.
Some studies show that CBD can protect the liver against alcohol's adverse effects by reducing alcohol in the bloodstream and protecting cells against alcohol-induced damage.
Many people also take CBD and other cannabis-derived products as a way to cope with withdrawal from alcohol.
This doesn't tell us much about the safety features of mixing CBD and alcohol, but it gives us a window into the possible effects. If CBD may protect you from alcohol damage and help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms, then it could be a good idea to do so.
If you have an alcohol-induced condition, we highly recommend that you follow a licensed physician's advice before taking CBD.
Studies done on mice have also shown that CBD may increase the risk of liver toxicity when the doses of CBD taken are excessive, which is just another reason to consult with a doctor first before you misjudge the right dosage.
Unlike the effects of CBD, the results of excessive alcohol intake are clinically proven to be detrimental to your overall health, and the consequences range from substance dependence to liver failure.
Taking that bit of information into consideration, it must be said that alcohol is never healthy in excessive doses. Combining the two should be safe, but moderation is advised for both substances.
Should You Take CBD and Drink Alcohol?
Taking CBD and drinking alcohol together can be a pleasant experience if both substances' intake is kept to a tolerant level for your body. Taking too much of any of the substances together could result in unwanted sleepiness and sedation.
What’s Up With CBD-Infused Alcoholic Drinks?
As you already know, the cannabis industry is one that doesn’t lack the most minimal amount of product innovation. At times, it almost seems as if a new product category launch every month.
CBD-infused drinks have entered the market, and numerous beers and liquors have filled the stands of your favorite dispensaries.
CBD-infused drinks are marketed as an easy way to accommodate your CBD intake into your usual diet, and the minimum risk involved with moderate consumption makes this option even more appealing.
The long-term effects of this combination are still to be explored, and the market for CBD-infused drinks has not developed enough for anyone to judge how useful the product is.
Time will tell, but the category’s popularity is growing, and market acceptance has been great.
Mixing cannabis and alcohol could result in an unpleasant experience if consumed in excessive amounts that surpass your tolerance to either substance. This rule applies to cannabis products with THC, CBD, or a combination of both. However, it’s impossible to crossfade high with CBD based products due to the lack of intoxicating properties in CBD.
The real consequences of combining CBD and alcohol is yet to be determined, but even in the subject’s infancy, the mix seems to be well tolerated by the body and safe in moderation. A great (and safe) way to experiment could be with a CBD-infused beer or cocktail.
 Cross-faded: Young Adults’ Language of Being Simultaneously Drunk and High. (2018). NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329594/ Nona, C. N., Hendershot, C. S., & Le Foll, B. (2019). Effects of cannabidiol on alcohol-related outcomes: A review of preclinical and human research. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 27(4), 359–369. https://doi.org/10.1037/pha0000272