What does it mean to get crossfaded?

Even the most experienced consumers of alcohol and cannabis can find themselves in that dreaded over-intoxicated space, when a fun night sipping drinks and toking up with friends turns into a greened-out horror show.

Crossfading, or being high and drunk at the same time, is a difficult thing to master without going over the edge of either one. Most often, crossfaded highs are a terrible experience because they can be disorienting, nauseating, dizzying, and can even bring on anxiety and panic attacks. Motor skills are significantly diminished to the point of putting people in danger.

Some medical experts believe that consuming alcohol and marijuana can be straight up dangerous. For instance, cannabis is an antiemetic, meaning that it helps prevent nausea and vomiting. However, if you’ve consumed too much alcohol, the most efficient way to get it out of your system is to vomit. In this scenario, cannabis disrupts the body’s instinct to rid itself of excess alcohol.

Cannabis and alcohol are both frequently consumed psychoactive substances, where they alter a person’s mental state. Though they exert different effects, the combination of the two often leads to impaired decision making. We all know how dangerous it is to drink and drive, which kills one person in the U.S. every 50 minutes.

But, hey, you’re only human. Sometimes the night simply gets away, and you’ve found yourself totally wasted, baked, and careening into crossfaded territory. Here are some of the warning signs to keep an eye on:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Paranoia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation

Should you experience any of these symptoms, stop consuming both substances immediately.

Tips to overcome the crossfade

Tips and tricks for coming down from a high could also be applied to alcohol. Myths about sobering up aside, no matter what you do, substances won’t metabolize from your body any faster by vomiting, drinking coffee, or taking cold showers.

When you feel like you’re crossfaded, the first thing to do is make sure you get somewhere safe if you aren’t already. Do not get behind the wheel! Get a ride from a friend, rideshare, or taxi to a place where you can shelter until the crossfade passes.

Once safe, take deep breaths. Crossfading may cause anxiety and paranoia, so stay calm and remember that this too shall pass. Sip water, eat something mild if your stomach can handle it, and assuming your world isn’t spinning, sleep. Getting a good night’s rest is the best remedy for being crossfaded.

Though there has been a pile of research on how alcohol affects the body, there is less research on how cannabis does the same. And there is even less research on the effects of combining alcohol and weed. However, the small amount of research thus far seems to illustrate how cannabis and alcohol is probably not the best pairing.

Given all the risks and unpleasantness of crossfading, why do it at all? Some may want to tinker with the effects of the substances, experiment with differing levels of intoxication, or test their own tolerance to each substance.

Regardless of how you choose to consume, do so safely and mindfully.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Erin Hiatt came to writing about cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics after a career as an actor and dancer. Her work has appeared in Vice, Civilized, MERRY JANE, Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, Marijuana Goes Mainstream, Doubleblind, and others.

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