Crossfaded Definition: Drunk and High at the Same Time

What is crossfading and should you be doing it?
Nicole Richter Nicole Richter / Updated on June 11, 2019

Crossfaded Meaning

Whether you are a lover of alcohol or prefer nature’s most excellent bud, you’ve probably found yourself overindulging in your chosen substance at least once in your lifetime. While it is deemed reasonable to exceed limits once in a while, doing so will almost always lead to some unpleasant effects, and in worse cases can lead to severe and dangerous situations.

Thanks to the controversy surrounding both alcohol and marijuana, scientifically backed studies are abundant out there into the effects of regular and long-term use of both. However, what we rarely see is a look at what can happen to the mind and body when both alcohol and cannabis are combined.

Today, we are going to take a look at the phenomenon known as crossfading, what it means, and why getting high and drunk simultaneously may not be all it’s cracked up to be!

What is Being Crossfaded?

In a nutshell, ‘crossfaded’ is the term used to describe someone who is both high and drunk at the same time. Now, we hear what you are saying, why would anyone choose to combine two potent substances that are marketed to do pretty different things? Well, in reality, it’s much more common than you think…

It may come to a surprise to some, but in the U.S. alcohol and marijuana are the two most commonly used intoxicants, with statistics showing that those who indulge in either are up to 2 times more likely to combine them both than to use just one at a time.

The use of alcohol in conjunction with marijuana is such a prevalent issue in America that it accounts for more car accidents than any other combination of substances.

So with so many people opting for a mind-altering cocktail of substances, we have to wonder what’s in it for them? Listed below are some of the top reasons for why people may opt to crossfade using cannabis and alcohol:

  • To enhance the effects of the first drug consumed
  • To increase levels of intoxication
  • Overindulgence due to a lack of capacity or rational thought

Whether it is an attempt to more effectively treat an underlying medical condition, a bid to be the most intoxicated person at the party, or just a reckless act, there are numerous motives for getting crossfaded, and the stats don’t see this trend dying down anytime soon!

What are the Symptoms of Crossfading?

If you have ever had one too many drinks or that extra bowl too many, you will be familiar with some of the unpleasant side effects that can come from too much pot or booze, but what happens when you combine the two? Below are some of the most common side effects of crossfading; however, this list is not exhaustive:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Panic
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath

What Causes the Side Effects of Crossfading?

It goes without saying that if you combine two substances that have opposite effects on the body, you are bound to get some unpleasant and risky side effects, but what is going on when we are crossfaded?

Alcohol is a well-known depressant on the central nervous system; it has a direct impact on our motor skills and can impact how our brain and body communicate. Cannabis, on the other hand directly affects the brain itself, leading to cognitive effects, which can lead to things such as paranoia, anxiety and visual delusions.

However, when it comes to the risks of crossfading, it goes way beyond feeling a little spacey. According to a 2001 study, combining alcohol and cannabis actually increases the amount of THC in the bloodstream, almost by double when compared to those who smoked pot but consumed a placebo drink! For the user, this means that they are going to feel double the impact of the pot alone. The study looked at the effects of ethanol on cannabis, which seems to be the catalyst for THC’s impact on the brain, leading to the usual effects of cannabis being significantly heightened.

In a more recent animal study done at Duke University, researchers tested the effects of ethanol and THC on adolescent rats. Those under the influence of both were markedly less motivated to explore than those subjects under the influence of just one of the substances. It was also shown that the rats under the influence of both THC and ethanol had impacted memories compared to the other subjects.

But what does this mean for humans? Well, in short, it means that if you are high and drunk, you are at much greater risk of serious injury, as both your cognitive and physical ability is hampered. When we consider some of the feelings alcohol and cannabis can bring on such as feeling euphoric, buzzed and invincible, coupled with the effects crossfading can have on our motor skills, it is no wonder that the combination is the most significant cause of car accidents!

How to Manage Being Crossfaded

We all make mistakes, and when it comes to substances such as alcohol and cannabis, there can often be a fine line between what’s tolerable and what is a bit too much, so what do you do if you become crossfaded?

Whether you planned to get crossfaded or not, often the effects are far less enjoyable than you may have expected, and so knowing what to do in those situations can be of the utmost importance. Here are some of our top tips for handling an unpleasant crossfade, however, remember we are not medical professionals, and in the case of an emergency we would recommend calling your doctor or an ambulance.

  • Try to remain calm, although this can be difficult if you are experiencing symptoms of panic and anxiety. Try to stay with someone you trust, in a dark, quiet and relaxing environment in which you feel safe.
  • Drink sips of water, and eat some food if you can to help soak up some of the alcohol.
  • Refrain from consuming any more alcohol or cannabis for the rest of that day.
  • Lie down if you are struggling with dizziness or disorientation.
  • Stay indoors somewhere safe.
  • Do not drive or operate any machinery.
  • Consult a medical professional.

Final Thoughts: Is Crossfading a Trend Which is Here to stay?

Whether you love getting high, are partial to a tipple, or think crossfading sounds fantastic, we would strongly advise against combining these to substances. What can seem like a fun idea at the time can rapidly become an entirely different scenario in which you could be exposed to the dangers of two substances, which generally aren’t made to be enjoyed in vast amounts, and particularly not together.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments, are you for or against the idea of crossfading, and is it something we should be doing in a pro-marijuana future? Let’s discuss down below!

1 comment
  1. Martinez
    Worst crossfading experience!

    I was at a family event drinking from early in the day to night then decided to go hang out with some friends and got high. I had thought I was fine, I didn’t feel drunk, I felt sober. After smoking, I was having the some bad experiences. My heart rate was going so fast, I could literally feel my heart pumping really fast, I felt my friends pulse and it was pretty normal and I told her to feel mine and she was like, “wow, are you okay? It’s going really fast”, I choose to ignore it, thought maybe it would go away. I went some where else and I was really paranoid. Then I decided to go to bed and I was woken up by my bf asking if I was okay because my body and skin was extremely hot and burning. I had a pounding headache, when I would sit up I would get dizzy and disoriented. WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. I do NOT recommend crossfading! It is the worst feeling and should not be done purposely.

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