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Cannabis and Alcohol

Cannabis and alcohol are often used together in social situations, this is one of the more common forms of ‘polydrug’.  It will potentially become more popular once Cannabis is fully legal in Canada later this year.  Combing both ‘social drinking’ with Cannabis can be dangerous, considering most individuals are new to the herb and don’t yet understand their tolerance level.

Crossfade is a term used to describe the act of being both drunk and high at the same time.  Some of the risks of over-consumption can be its unpredictable effects, giving the individual the feeling of ‘greening out’.  It can also affect your ability to drive and operate heavy machinery.

A study by McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School suggests that ethanol may increase the absorption of THC.  As a result, the effects are felt much faster and are often stronger compared to when these substances are used separately.  Another study by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry suggests these effects happen because alcohol opens blood vessels in your digestive system, which aids the absorption of THC.

The Government of Canada reports that 80% of adults consume alcohol and approximately 22% of adults use Cannabis and some of these individuals will combine the two.  As much as 15% of individuals reported having driven a vehicle within two hours of using Cannabis in combination with alcohol.  And up to 75% of these individuals surveyed felt Cannabis use affects their driving ability.

Driving under the influence can affect motor skills, slows reaction time, can impair short-term memory and concentration, causes drivers to vary speed and to wander and reduces the ability to make decisions quickly or handle unexpected events. It is not advisable to drive while drunk or while under the influence of any combination of substances.

You can be prosecuted for driving under the influence.  There is new legislation introducing a hybrid offence for a combination of 50 milligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100 ml blood and 2.5 ng or more of THC per 1 ml of blood.  The first offence carries a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine, the second offence carries a mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment.  Finally, the third and subsequent offences carry a mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment.

Cannabis tinctures are very different from infused cocktails, even though the main ingredient in both is alcohol.  Tinctures are alcohol-based Cannabis extracts and are used sparingly, only a few drops under the tongue instead of a full ounce of infused cocktail at once.  Social drinking is not medicinal, compared to the use of medicated tinctures.

Everyone’s tolerance is different and it is up to everyone to use these substances responsibly.  #BeSpiritSafe

Reference:  Tonic, Urban Dictionary, Urban DictionaryNational Center for Biotechnology InformationAmerican Association for Clinical Chemistry, Learn about Marijuana, Government of CanadaCanadian cannabis survey 2017Government of Canada, Leafly and the Canadian Department of Justice.

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