There are plenty of articles comparing the effects of alcohol and weed. And there are plenty discussing the reasons not to mix them. I have friends that drink and smoke together as often as they choose and I have friends that have accidentally gotten sick from mixing the two.

So here I say ‘fuck it. Do it but be careful.’ For verisimilitude I am writing this article under the influence of both. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

Tip #1–Know your smoke

Tonight I am drinking pale ale, because I love pale ale, and smoking Sour Diesel available from Three Happy Cats. Everyone is different, okay? But I, personally, do not like mixing indicas with alcohol. Laziness plus laziness is laziness. The bud that gives you a physically enervating effect is a great match for whatever you choose to give you a fuzzy brain.

Wikipedia classifies both alcohol and pot as psychoactive drugs but calls alcohol a poison and marijuana a medication. Alcohol seems like the bad guy but it’s not, really. It’s doing what alcohol always does—makes you slightly nauseated and opens your vascular system to better absorb other things you consume. Pot’s anti-nausea effects is also an issue: drinking enough to need to throw up but not being able to can be a major problem. And alcohol makes other drugs hit harder and faster; getting more stoned can cause latent negativity to take over the experience.

Tip #2–Eat!

Your body needs fuel to process being drunk and you know how much better food tastes while stoned. If you want to get droned (cross-faded, stunk, whatever) then plan a meal (or hearty snacking equivalent—I’m not your mothers) to match. If something makes you a little queasy when you’re stone sober, then don’t eat it now! And the same things that you know help you with a hangover will help while you’re under the influence and taste fantastic.

‘Pot then beer, you’re in the clear; beer then grass, you’re on your ass’ goes the 420 version of ‘beer then liquor, never sicker; liquor then beer, you’re in the clear’. Well, kids, I had my first beer an hour before my first bowl but I am going to be absolutely fine, nonetheless, because my body has more experience with alcohol than with pot. If I hadn’t quit smoking pot for fifteen years, I’d reverse that order. When I first started mixing, I smoked first and then I’d drink to get rid of pasties. I got really embarrassingly fucked up on more than one occasion. Learn from my fail, if you’d like.

Tip #3–Reduce your intake!

These aren’t opposing drugs. This isn’t taking an upper and a downer together. Pot and alcohol don’t counter each other, they enhance each other—both good and bad parts. If you regularly drink a sixer maybe only have a few on hand when you’re planning to start mixing (because rational decisions not to drink more are hard to make). Or if you usually pack a pipe full maybe there’s room for a little air in that bowl this time. I halve my bud and drink a third less and that is about enough.

But why would I be continuing if there’re all these health hazards and bad-trip worries? How can I, when I have made a fool of myself when I mix, say that I quite enjoy having a few beer and a little bud more often than I enjoy the two apart? One reason is because it’s so much fun when you know what’s going to happen and you keep yourself safe.

Tip #4–Let your mind relax

Droned is unique. Be in a place and time where you are safe to let your mind wander; if you try to ‘function normally’ when first combining pot and alcohol it can get weird. Do not add stress to the stress that THC causes. If a party isn’t 420-friendly, don’t bring pot to top off your alcohol. And don’t bring booze to a bud-only party. There are plenty and good reasons why legalisation advocates need to separate themselves from those who imbibe both. Remember the earlier mention of ‘alcohol or weed’—make sure it’s not a dry party before bringing drinks.

What’s the other reason to do it? Why suggest diluting a pot experience with alcohol? Sully a stone with a little buzz? Because so many have friends and family that are self-medicating with alcohol, people that could benefit from marijuana. But to introduce a drinker to pot as an adult means first knowing what they’ll be in for.

Tip #5–Don’t go to sleep droned

If you do not hydrate and replenish you are going to have a hangover. I aim to have another snack and some water and juice after I can feel the alcohol’s effects fade. Going to bed under the influence of alcohol reduces the effectiveness of sleep—which your body definitely needs now. So don’t just pass out at the end of the night, be as mindful at the end of your trip as you were when you started.

I’m lightly toasted and happily signing off to sober up before sleep and smoke some bud before bed. Thanks for coming along with me tonight.