Does Cannabis Boost the Negative Side Effects of Drinking?

You know what they say…”beer before grass, you’re on your ass.” While everyone has their own opinions on the essential order of their turn up, one thing we’re all pretty unsure of is the everlasting effects of mixing cannabis with alcohol.

According to recent research published on Science Daily by Penn State, in comparison to those who only drank alcohol, those who used both alcohol and cannabis simultaneously were more likely to drink heavier and more often. Further, they were reported more likely to experience impulsive actions amongst other alcohol related issues. 

“The problem with simultaneous use is that it can affect people cognitively and perceptually, and also have an impact on motor impairment,” explained assistant research professor, Ashley Linden-Carmichael. “There is a burgeoning area of research that is examining why people are using marijuana and alcohol together and what those effects are.” 

With 1,017 participants from 49 different states, researchers were able to get information on how often they used alcohol, cannabis, and the two substances together, as well as their experiences with alcohol-related problems and more. 

According to the participants’ questionnaire responses, researchers found that those who used both substances consumed more alcohol, and consequently had higher levels of sensation-seeking characteristics (like the tendency to pursue new experiences, the study explained). 

Researchers also suggest that prevention and intervention programs should take into account further substance abuse issues in addition to problems with alcohol. 

“Right now, a lot of campus programs focus on whether students are drinking, and while sometimes they are asked about other substances, it’s not necessarily whether they’re using these substances simultaneously,” explained Linden-Carmichael. 

With research on alcohol and cannabis always continuing to progress in search of health related answers, be sure to check back for updates in the future. 


Emerald contributor since June 2019


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