Let’s get this out of the way lickity split. If you aren’t much of a drinker, or you aren’t much of a cannabis user, you’re probably better off just sticking with one. Anyone who has taken the train to crossfadesville knows it can go horribly wrong. Here’s my story: I had just moved to Seattle and had been drinking with friends for much of the night. Someone said, “Here, try this weed drink.” I thought to myself, “I like weed. This will be fun.” It’s at this exact point that you can almost imagine the narrator of my life going, “It would, in fact, not be fun.” I drank 50 mg of a weed cannabis drink that my friend picked up at a pot shop. Fast forward about an hour and a half later, and I’m sitting on the floor of a shower, with the water running on cold, making deals with whatever divine forces I believed in at that particular moment to just simply make it stop. The only things more overwhelming than the anxiety I felt was the teetering of the world on its axis and a pretty pronounced feeling of nausea. It was awful. Like really, really awful.
I see it happen all the time. Someone is in town from somewhere without legal weed, and they’re at the bar drinking, and someone will pull out some massive kief and shatter infused joint. I’ll literally look at them and be like, that isn’t a good idea man. But Bob from Ohio thinks, “What does this guy know?”
So when I’m watching Bob from Ohio puke his guts out on Pine Street, I usually think that someone should really teach people how to crossfade like adults.
So here I am. The hero that you may not have known you wanted, but you certainly need. To be honest, I think crossfading is great. It can be an awesome way to go out, have fun, and get goofy. It doesn’t need to be as dramatic as my first attempts, but it requires a little bit of planning and adhering to some simple rules.
Rule #1: Smoke Your Weed First
I have no idea why or if there is any science at all behind this. It’s entirely anecdotal, but I find that if I smoke a little weed before I go out drinking, it goes much better than if I smoke a joint after. It seems much easier to control, and much less likely to end with me kissing a toilet.
Rule #2 Stick With Flower or Vapes
I’m not saying you can’t eat some edibles and go out. I will say that that’s some Jedi-level crossfading though. The lack of predictability with edibles makes the combination of booze and weed tough to control – which is rule #3
Rule #3 Go Easy
For me, when I combine alcohol and cannabis, I would say it approximately doubles the effect of both. Take it nice and easy. Sip your drinks. Have a couple puffs. Drink and smoke much less than you usually would, because even if you take it easy, a night of combining is likely to end with you pretty lit.
Rule #4 Keep it Neat
This may seem counterintuitive, but if I’m crossfading, my go-to is neat liquor and a tall soda water with bitters and lime. I think when people are high, they tend to favor things that taste like candy. Now I approve of a lemon drop shot as much as the next grumpy and heavily tattooed bartender (which is to say not much), but those things taste too good. They aren’t sharp enough.
It’s really easy to overindulge when you’re drinking things that don’t seem like booze but if you’re high it’s much worse. Think about what you can do to a pint of ice cream when you’re ripped. So if you’re drinking things that are fruity and tasty and don’t seem like they’re full of booze, you’re probably going to drink more than you mean. If you’re drinking whiskey on the rocks, it tastes like booze. You know you’re drinking. Carl Sagan also wrote, “The enjoyment of food is amplified; tastes and aromas emerge that for some reason we ordinarily seem to be too busy to notice. I am able to give my full attention to the sensation. A potato will have a texture, a body, and taste like that of other potatoes, but much more so.” So when you’re drinking that whiskey, or gin, or tequila, you’re going to pick up on things in that booze that you might not have otherwise. I personally love drinking botanical gins like the Botanist or Uncle Val’s on the rocks with some lemon, or a sweeter whiskey like Tullamore Dew, or Powers neat. The soda water on the side is key. It’ll make you drink less and slower.
Rule #5 Take Stock
Keep track of how much you’re drinking and smoking. Remember that everything is exponentially stronger, so that last shot on the way out the door (which in all truth is almost always a bad idea anyway) is going to hit you harder than normal.
Rule #6 50/50s are key
I don’t like smoking straight Sativas when I’m crossfading. Although it may seem like a good idea, I find booze can kind of amplify the anxiety. Similarly, heavy Indicas make me non-conversational when I’m out. I try to stick with high euphoria strains that are mixed.
Obviously this is not a recommendation to go out and get wasted. This is a cannabis blog and my opinions are my own. As a bartender, I don’t have a lot of joy in cleaning up after an amateur hour. But in saying that, you don’t need to be scared of mixing cannabis and booze but you do need to be smart. Stay safe out there kiddos and you’re welcome!