Study shows alcohol combined with weed strongly increases THC levels in blood

It's a scientific fact: a beer with your joint gets you higher.

It’s a scientific fact: a beer with your joint gets you higher.

Quite interesting news from the United States. Scientific research performed by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) has shown that people who drink alcohol in combination with cannabis get significally higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their blood. THC is the main psychoactive constituent in marijuana. In simple words: you can get a lot more stoned with the same amount of weed if you drink some beers with that.

Since marijuana is or has been illegal in most countries in the world, there hasn’t been much research on the effects of this soft drug. But since more and more states in America are allowing (medical) cannabis use under certain rules, this is starting to change. Since a combination of alcohol and THC is detected frequently in car accidents, the AACC decided to do a study on the simultaneous use of both substances.

The study had 19 adult participants. They drank a placebo or a low-dose alcohole, with a target peak of just 0.065 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), which is over the legal limit to drive in most countries, but nowhere near a highscore BAC. 10 minutes later they received 500 miligrams of placebo, low-dose (2.9% THC) or high-dose (6.7% THC) vaporized cannabis. After that it was time for some blood samples.

Among the contestants that had not received any alcohol the maximum THC concentrations in their blood were 32.7 (low-dose) and 42.2 (high-dose) micrograms per liter. And aliter blood respectively contained respectively 2.8 and 5.0 micrograms of THC’s primary active metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC). With alcohol all of these numbers were way higher. The maximum blood concentrations of THC were 35.3 and 67.5 micrograms per liter and those of 11-OH-THC were 3.7 and 6.0.

Now let’s leave the scientific stuff for a bit and let’s put these data to practice. This research shows that if you drink a few beers (3 or 4 small cans should do the trick for most people) with a joint that’s not too weak, your body will pick up about 50% more THC. So all stoners, that were looking down on drinking before, change those stupid energy drinks for a real drink and save yourself some money. Just leave your car in the driveway please. Cheers!

Micky Bumbar

More posts on alcohol and science

6 thoughts on “Study shows alcohol combined with weed strongly increases THC levels in blood

    • Well… Weed doesn’t really give you a hangover. You can just be a bit slow in the morning. Still not really my cup of tea. Being stoned is boring!


      • Well that’s not my experience. The times I mixed weed with booze, I could handle less alcohol than usual and therefor I was pretty fresh in the morning. The combination can screw you up pretty bad the night before the morning after though haha


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