Study: Consumers Infrequently Combine Marijuana And Alcohol

personal_cultivationMarijuana consumers do not typically use cannabis and alcohol in combination with one another, regardless of whether they are consuming cannabis for medicinal or social purposes, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction.

Investigators with the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and the University of California, Irvine surveyed marijuana use patterns among participants between the ages of 18 and 91 in four states: Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. (The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal in New Mexico, while laws in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington permit adults to possess and purchase cannabis for both medicinal and/or recreational purposes.)

Authors reported, ”Individuals who use cannabis do not commonly use it with alcohol, irrespective of whether they are consuming cannabis recreationally or medically.” They concluded, “Fewer than one in five recreational users report simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis most or all of the time and less than three percent of medicinal users report frequent simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis.”

Although some studies indicate that cannabis can be a potential substitute for the use of alcohol, others have implied that the two substances may be complementary.

An abstract of the study, “A baseline view of cannabis use among legalizing states and their neighbors,” appears online here.

35 thoughts

  1. Personally, I’m one of those people who really enjoy alcohol and cannabis together. Instead of over indulging in one or the other I just use a little of each and I love the way it makes me feel .

    1. Doing that right this minute; one bottle of WestMalle Tripple and a small bong of organic home-grown outdoor kush.

    2. @Miles has a reasonable approach. A little cannabis could mean a couple of 25-mg single tokes of sifted bwdflower in a flexdrawtube one-hitter (have you read that free wiki article, “12 Easy Ways to Make a Vape Toke Utensil”?).

      While NORML finishes getting our herb legalized everywhere let’s suggest that every company that markets beer or wine be required to furnish it in little 2-ounce “airliner” bottles which can be made into an education music toy after the drug is drained.

      1. For me, consuming 2 or 3 beers coupled with vaporizing about 1/4 of a gram of weed is perfect. The negative effects, rare of any, are extremely minor.

        I have learned that if I do not have access to cannabis, it takes me about 7 to 8 beers to reach the same level of buzz and the next day I feel awful. Cannabis effectively helps me to control my desire to consume more alcohol!

      2. @Miles,

        1. thanks for powerful endorsement of SUBSTITUTION THERAPY, the other leg of your strategy is to master miniaturization– if “A BEER” in the situations you described means 12 oz. or bigger, you might need to badger your suppliers to offer the little 2-oz airliner bottle, bear in mind the positive virtue of beer for eons has been not the alcohol but the Bitterness (the word beer means bitter, Bitters etc.) which you can get from a $INGLE $IP (swished around several seconds, no need to hurriedly gulpswallow as “drinkers” do).

        You could carry three bottles along, now a sip of “lite”, later “dark”, now exotic flavor etc.

        Note that unlike some huge beer cans up to 25 oz those little plastic bottles (strong enough for beer, don’t let anyone fool you) have a RESEALABLE CAP– the greatest Goebbels treachery of the beer marketing empire has been non-resealable mega-cans, “Oh hurry, drink it fast, it’ll go flat anyway and then it’s no good”). Kinda anhalogous to the 700-mg commercial $igarette…

        Object of their gulpculture has been to get you (the sucker) drunk enough to be MORE careless with The Rest Of Your Money and buy more sit-and-watch-sport tickets or televisions or whatever other sitzkrap someone sells with help of Herr Biermacher. Therefore cities (they want the tax money) and neighboring bars welcome a headconcussion stadium (seems watching violence is more fun if you had a beer).

        Guess who might be out of biz within a decade if cannabis is legalized.

        2. 1/4 gram of #16 sifted herb is 10 (ten) $ingle Vapetokes, 25 mg each, in a flexdrawtube one-hitter (DIY version at free wiki artikel, “12 Easy Way to Make Vape Toke Utensil Almost as Good as a Vaporizer”). (In my case 2-3 of those servings has been enough to write zany answers like this one.) “Give mini a try”

    3. That is my pattern as well. If I overdo one or the other the hang over the next day is less than pleasant.

      1. I actually find it surprising that anyone has a hangover effect the next day from cannabis. That has never happened to me after 40+ years of usage. I certainly cannot say the same about alcohol though.

        When I was serving in the Marine Corps, almost everyone I knew used cannabis (under the rank of E5; Sergeant). For us, cannabis was never a problem; beyond getting busted that is.

        Alcohol was the real problem. Marines would get drunk, violent, loud, etc. The next day they would be relatively useless.

        With cannabis however, we’d mostly be peaceful, get to bed early and then be perfectly ready to go the next day.

      2. I find I can get a hangover from most Indicas. However the alcohol hangover is MUCH worse. Sativas never give me a hangover. My local MMJ doc says it is the terpenes in Indicas that cause a problem in my case.

  2. I need to use cannabis medically every day; but I like to have beer in the evening-two or three and I do not notice any increase in impairment; perhaps since I am so used to the effects of cannabis and tend to utilize the same five strains or so to manage my symptoms of chronic lyme disease.

  3. I agree with Miles. I regularly moderate my consumption of alcohol to enjoy my herb. A good pair is a roast-malted blonde ale with a sativa strain high in pinenes such as Trainwreck or Jack Herrer. Just beware of a sleepy indica as when mixed with alcohol it doubles the couchlock effect for a couple of hours.

    What I am looking forward to is the good example marijuana legalization will provide to the young crowd up to 25. This is a time when access to marijuana instead of alcohol can vastly improve one’s game in life.

  4. If marijuana was legal in PA to the point where one can go to the bar to toke up and/or drink it, I would probably do just weed, but since it’s still illegal, it’s gotta be done sparingly.

  5. I’m a recovering alcholic, and a self-identified stoner. And I can tell you from personal experience that when I was drinking, I found it best to save my weed until after I was fully hammered and done drinking for the night, and was starting to come down: it is medicine for the pain of the impending hangover, which is already starting at that point. If I tried to smoke while I was drinking, it would make me dizzy and puke. Now that I’m sober, it continues to heal my mind, body, and soul! But you can’t get drunk off weed, and it won’t replace a drunk if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s more of a balm, than a substitute for alcohol.

  6. It’s amazing how Aspen has changed. Now the bars empty out at 9:30 because everyone wants to get to the dispensary before it closes at 10. After ten the only people out on the streets are heading for a place to smoke.

  7. I’ve combined them frequently in the past. I’m not drinking alcohol at home at all now.

  8. In Europe it is very common for people to consume alcohol and cannabis in the same day and often at the same time. But having said that it is also common for people to consume tobacco with cannabis (which does not happen in the US).

    1. I think that this makes sense as drinking habits are different. Americans are far more inclined to drink to get drunk, even in social settings.

      This isn’t to say europeans don’t, only that drinking alcohol is likely often incidental as beer and wine is served frequently at meals or at social gatherings where getting drunk isn’t appropriate.

    2. Have to correct one thing: some Americans are rolling “BLUNTS” which are a sneakotine method of inhaling nicotine (from the cigar skin, duh…) at the same time as cannabis. Smaller amount than European version, to be sure.

      About that tobacco-with-cannabis habit in Europe and some Commonwealth places, the Australian Department of Health has described such a “Joint” or “$pliff” as a Trojan Horse designed to lure children to try nicotine $igarettes… Zap! Hooked for Life!

  9. Being that there are so many myths out there about how and in what order it is possible to avoid projectile vomit when drinking whilst smoking, it should not be a surprise that this isn’t a popular combination.

    That’s about all I’ve ever got from the two together.

    Now, weed and a few cups of strong coffee, that’s another matter all together ::thumbs up::

  10. alcohol+cannabis gives me the spins kills a good buzz and makes me puke. The fudderal govt population control. tobacco and alcohol.Way better than birth control.

  11. Alaska and Denver take heed
    Better fill your bars full of weed
    Keep the grill warm
    Weed; its the new norm,
    Then grow your own for the seed!


    Washington Post reports:

    The D.C. Council briefly opened the door on Tuesday to legalizing the smoking of marijuana in specially designated areas of public restaurants, music venues and private clubs, by failing to extend a ban on such activity that was put in place when pot was legalized in the city last year.

    Within minutes, however, the council reopened debate on the measure, and extended the ban on smoking in private clubs for 90 days.

    The article states that the council has agreed to revisit the issue in 4 weeks. Mayor Bowser, who bravely defended issue 71 against threats from Congress for her arrest, is now showing concern about a Democratic DC council legalizing public consumption of marijuana before a Republican Congress, but clearly this story is developing and there may be more method to the Mayor’s madness.

    The MPP expressed disappointment in the Mayor, stating “regulation later,” but with recent development in MPP’s top lobbyist resigning on account of MPP prioritizing industries over consumers, the credibility falls on a response from NORML:
    Legalization first and regulation later? Isnt legalization regulation? The council wants to heed voters; voters voted on issue 71 for DC to model Colorado. So is what’s good for Denver good for D.C.? Is there regulation yet written in Denver for D.C. to model? And HURRY PAUL! I’m PLANning my spring vaCATion! (Lol, just kidding… No… No Im not kidding, gimme the facts brother! We need the NORML report!)

    1. I heard the news on WTOP about the 90 day delay.I think the intent is to add a level of public safety.If you walk into a bar to smoke what are you getting? A little regulation of who supply’s the product and what’s in it I think is reasonable and responsible.I want my smoke to have that USDA seal of approval.

      1. That’s a good point… Intuitively I have always felt that legalization=regulation.

        But what remains to be seen is the outcome of this Apollonian-Dyonisian conflict between the DC City Council and Congress. The people voted, and the D.C. mayor along with the citizens of D.C. are showing Congress who they work for!

        I just wonder if 4 weeks, 90 days or a Democratic Congress in November will be required to get the regulated legalization D.C. needs?

  13. I used to mix the two in my youth. I learned a lesson very quickly about mixing the two in large quantities, as a person that is primarily afraid of heights, it was scary and enjoyable at the same time. Unfortunately it was very close to alcohol poisoning, however I got to experience what a roller coaster would be like if your feet were on the ground the whole time.

    I wouldn’t suggest anyone do this, but all I can recommend is to always have at least 1 sober person to over see any experimenting.

    1. Some time ago– o.k. it was 1969, in Ibiza, almost no cars on any road– I tried driving after having both cannabis and alcohol. Yow! Everything seemed to be happening too fast– that bridge a km away was right up on me in no time.

      Whereas riefer alone spaces out time, you have more ideas about what’s happening probably accounts for that illusion. The second day I ever tried it it took 300 years to walk a block, the psyche normalized things thereafter.

      Yes be on hand at least the first TWO times any friend tries riefer.

      1. Maxwood – That’s hilarious! I thought we had a new comment from someone who is proud of their staff 🙂

  14. I thought some people might want to know:

    The United States has a PATENT on cannabinoids. Here’s an excerpt: US 6630507 B1

    Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants
    US 6630507 B1
    Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH3, and COCH3.

    Check it out. Google it.

    1. And it’s owned by the same department of Health and Human Services that continues to take custody of children whose parents consume marijuana to treat lethal illness. It remains the greatest hypocrisy of the so-called made-to-fail drug war.
      I believe US patent 6630507 must be made open source by Constitutional amendment.

  15. Cannabis; in fact THC that is decarboxylated will rebuild the brain cells killed by alcohol use. In legal states that have legalized recreational states have seen a decrease in alcohol sales. Now our government does not like this, because they are losing money from legalization.

    It is so very important that we all get involved with spreading the word about this plant we call cannabis. Too many families depend on legalization.

    As a nation we need to send a message to our representatives that they need to end prohibition and give this countries sick hope, young entrepreneur’s hope and create jobs for WE THE PEOPLE.

    If you are in Hastings/Grand Island area in Nebraska go to my facebook page and PM and I will set up a time we can met and I will bring the Petition for LB-643 The Compassionate Care Act. A very limited cannabis bill.

    Thank you

    Jane Stanley
    NORML Nebraska member 112

  16. I love my beer. I love my weed. 40 years tells me they only mix in certain senarios. Grownups seem to get this.

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