Combining multiple mind-altering drugs is something our culture generally treats with caution. Such is the case with the practice known as crossfading. The practice is one of combining cannabis and alcohol in order to maximize the effects of both drugs. Though it can be dangerous, crossfading is also a common party practice. How much do you know about it?
It might seem like crossfading is not an issue in Utah given that our cannabis landscape is medical-only in nature. But using Medical Cannabis does not prevent one from also using alcohol. Medical users can still participate in crossfading in the privacy of their own homes. The question is whether they should.
A 2018 survey among young people showed a general familiarity with crossfading. According to the study data, 87% of the nine hundred survey participants had at least heard of the practice. Approximately 43% described it as combining alcohol and cannabis while 25% said that a person is not crossfading unless they have consumed enough of the two drugs to be both drunk and stoned.
In terms of who actually participates in crossfading, research data suggests that just over 60% of users had experienced it at least once. Just 13% viewed it as a positive experience. Some 59% reported a negative experience. Finally, 45% of the respondents reported believing that crossfading was moderately risky; just over 33% said it was very risky.
The data shows that alcohol and cannabis users are aware of crossfading as a practice. It also shows that the practice is common, though not desirable in the end. We advise being extremely cautious with it. Even though you may use Medical Cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of your qualifying condition, combining it with alcohol could create problems you are not interested in dealing with.
Both alcohol and cannabis can affect cognition and coordination. They can alter your emotional state. The two drugs can lead to fatigue, slow reaction times, etc. Using either drug makes driving a dangerous proposition. Unfortunately, crossfading amplifies the effects of both drugs. When a person crossfades, they feel the effects of both drugs more intensely than they would have by using one of them alone.
Crossfading can also create side effects above and beyond amplifying what is normally experienced with alcohol or cannabis. For example, it can create a profound sense of confusion. It can also lead to nausea and vomiting, serious sedation, and a prolonged high that could ultimately prove very uncomfortable.
Though rare, the most serious cases of crossfading can result in passing out, blackouts, dehydration, and dangerous slip and fall accidents. Patients have been hospitalized with serious injuries associated with crossfading.
As a Medical Cannabis patient, you use cannabis to help alleviate your symptoms. We think that this is a good thing. We hope you will continue to do so by consulting with your QMP and PMP. As for crossfading, we don’t think the practice is worth the risk involved.
Though there are no guarantees you would have a bad experience with crossfading, the possibility exists. To be quite honest, crossfading could also negatively influence the therapeutic benefits of using Medical Cannabis. Finally, why take the chance of making your qualifying condition worse?
Continue using Medical Cannabis as directed by your PMP. Should you choose to use alcohol as well, do not mix the two. Your PMP or QMP should be able to help you figure out how to use both without crossfading. That’s the best way to go.