Up until recently in California, CBD cocktails were some of the most expensive and trending drinks in Los Angeles bars and cafes. Ever since California’s approved recreational marijuana law went into effect at the beginning of 2018, bars, cafes, and restaurants were serving up CBD and THC infused drinks to their patrons. Assembly Bill 2914, however, undid all of that by prohibiting the use of cannabis in alcoholic beverages.

Earlier this year, the California Department of Public Health warned businesses to not serve CBD-infused cocktails until the Food and Drug Administration determined its safety. Despite the popularity and uptick of THC and CBD infused cocktail beverages, new regulations make it difficult to mix alcohol and cannabis. Even CBD-derived from hemp can’t be infused into alcoholic drinks.

Although individual users have been mixing cannabis and alcohol for years, preliminary research suggests mixing alcohol and cannabis should be approached with caution. One study found that people that smoked cannabis first and then drank alcohol had lower blood alcohol levels than those who didn’t consume cannabis, but participants still exhibited the same signs of impairment.

A second study found that people that drank and then smoke had higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Since alcohol allows for greater absorption of cannabinoids in the digestive tract, more THC can be absorbed into the body. Another study in 2015 confirmed this finding when they were testing the effects of mixing alcohol and cannabis on driving.

For people who are interested in mixing cannabis and alcohol, there are a few things they should be aware of before diving into this new and uncharted territory. Cannabis and alcohol affect everyone differently depending on how often they consume alcohol and cannabis, the type of product they consume, the amount consumed, and plenty of other factors. First-time users of cannabis-infused drinks can become overwhelmed if they consume too much too soon.

Users should determine how they react to each substance on its own before mixing them together. Mixing cannabis and alcohol will only exacerbate the effects of impairment making it more dangerous for an individual to operate heavy machinery, which is not recommended. Users that take dabs or edibles with alcohol can experience a greater risk of intoxication due to the higher potency and longer-lasting effects than other delivery methods.

People who are new to cannabis-infused drinks should do so with caution adding very minute doses of CBD or THC tinctures into their alcoholic drinks. Users should also have their first experience in a place where they are comfortable and with people they are comfortable with. While THC-infused drinks can get people high, CBD-infused cocktails don’t make people feel heightened sensory perception or have that signature cannabis buzz.

For now, cannabis-infused alcoholic drinks will experience some pushback from legislators and health officials in order to protect citizens from impaired drivers and themselves. In a private residence, however, users are free to experiment as they please. Here’s to hoping they don’t go overboard.


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