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How does marijuana usage affect alcohol intoxication?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2022 | DUI |

If you suffer from certain medical conditions, such as cancer or glaucoma, using marijuana may help to alleviate your symptoms. Fortunately, Mississippi recently became the 37th state to legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, legislators passed the measure by one of the largest vote margins in state history.

Before ingesting medical marijuana, it is important to discuss its side effects with your doctor. If you use marijuana before consuming alcohol, though, you should understand how it may affect your alcohol intoxication.

Masking intoxication-associated sensations

Even though marijuana and alcohol typically cause feelings of intoxication, combining the two substances may have the opposite effect. That is, consuming marijuana before drinking alcohol may mask your intoxication-associated sensations, causing you to feel less drunk than you actually are.

While you may feel mostly sober, marijuana is not likely to have any effect on your blood alcohol concentrations. If your BAC climbs higher than 0.08%, you may face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol. Put simply, the signs you normally rely on to tell you when you are drunk may no longer work after ingesting pot.

Drinking more than you otherwise would

If you have ever used marijuana, you are probably familiar with cotton mouth. Mouth dryness happens when THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, binds with sensory receptors in your salivary glands. This reduces the amount of saliva these glands produce while also causing saliva to become more viscous.

To keep your mouth moist, you may drink more alcohol when using marijuana than you otherwise would. Ultimately, to keep yourself out of legal trouble, it is advisable never to drive after consuming either medical marijuana or alcohol.