Drug and Alcohol - Addiction Recovery - Sobriety

Cross Faded: The Effects & Risks of Being Drunk and High


“Cross faded” means being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana simultaneously, leading to intensified effects and unpredictable outcomes. Learn the risks and symptoms here.

What does it mean to be “cross faded?” This term describes the state of being under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana at the same time, a combination that can lead to unpredictable and often risky effects as these substances mix in the body.

From intensified intoxication to impaired cognitive and motor functions, the experience of being cross faded can vary widely. But what exactly happens when these two substances mix, and what are the dangers?

Learn more about what it means to get cross faded, as well as the potential risks involved — and if you’ve been leaning on weed and alcohol to cope, or are struggling with addiction, give us a call today.

What Does "Cross Faded" Mean?

The term “cross faded” refers to the state of being simultaneously under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. The combination can result in a unique blend of effects due to the interaction between the two substances.

When alcohol and marijuana are consumed together, they can intensify each other's effects. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the central nervous system, while marijuana contains psychoactive compounds that can alter perception and cognition. The combined impact of these substances can lead to unpredictable outcomes, affecting both physical coordination and cognitive function.

Origin and Usage

The phrase "cross faded" has its origins in youth culture and is commonly used in social settings where both alcohol and marijuana are prevalent. It has become a popular slang term among young adults to describe the experience of combining these two substances. The term encapsulates the unique state of mind and body that arises from the simultaneous consumption of alcohol and marijuana.

Cross Faded Symptoms

Being cross faded can lead to various physical symptoms including dizziness, nausea, and an increased heart rate. These physical effects are often intensified due to the combination of alcohol and cannabis in the body. It may cause a sense of imbalance and lightheadedness, making even simple tasks challenging.

On the psychological side, anxiety is a common symptom when someone is cross faded. The mix of alcohol and cannabis can amplify feelings of worry and unease, leading to heightened levels of stress. Confusion may arise, impacting cognitive abilities and decision-making processes. Memory impairment is another psychological symptom that can occur, potentially affecting short-term memory retention.

Symptoms of being cross faded may vary depending on a person’s tolerance levels to alcohol and cannabis. Some people may experience more severe physical or psychological effects compared to others, as factors like body weight, metabolism, and overall health can also influence how someone reacts to being cross faded.

Physical Symptoms

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Increased heart rate

Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety

  • Confusion

  • Memory impairment

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What Happens to Your Body When You Get Cross Faded?

Being cross faded can lead to increased intoxication, reduced cognitive function, and various other risks. The synergistic effects of mixing substances like alcohol and marijuana can also have severe consequences on judgment, coordination, and overall well-being.

Here’s a more in-depth explanation of how the combination of these substances can drive these adverse effects:

Increased Intoxication

Alcohol and marijuana, when consumed together, intensify each other's effects by synergistically impacting the central nervous system. This leads to a rapid intoxication process that affects both coordination and cognitive function. The risk of impaired judgment significantly increases as well, due to the combined impact on the brain's neurotransmitters.

Consuming higher amounts of alcohol and marijuana while cross faded poses increasing dangers as the intoxication escalates, often leading to potential blackouts and risky decision-making, as the interaction between these substances typically results in a higher level of intoxication than if they were consumed separately.

Reduced Cognitive & Motor Function

Cross-fading can severely impact cognitive abilities, including decision-making and problem-solving skills. The simultaneous presence of alcohol and marijuana in the body can impair cognitive functions, making it challenging to process information effectively. This impairment extends to motor skills and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents or injuries.

Knowing this, individuals who are cross faded should avoid activities that require focus or precision, such as driving or operating heavy machinery. The combination of alcohol and marijuana can lead to slowed reaction times and decreased coordination, posing a significant risk to both the individual and those around them.

Other Risks & Vulnerabilities

Cross-fading can lead to other specific risks such as dehydration, paranoia, and an increased heart rate. Dehydration is a common concern due to the diuretic effects of alcohol, while paranoia may be heightened by the psychoactive properties of marijuana. The combination can also elevate heart rate, potentially leading to cardiovascular issues.

Why Do People Combine Drugs?

People combine drugs for a handful of reasons. Combining alcohol and marijuana can intensify effects, leading to a stronger high, while social influences and underlying factors like stress relief can also drive individuals to experiment with drug combinations for enhanced experiences. Here’s an overview of the core drivers:

Enhanced Effects

Combining alcohol and marijuana can lead to intensified effects due to their interaction in the body. When consumed together, they can amplify each other's impact, resulting in a stronger high or altered experience.

People may choose to combine drugs for enhanced effects, seeking a more intense high or altered state of consciousness. This desire for heightened experiences can drive individuals to experiment with different substances simultaneously.

Social Influences

Social influences, such as peer pressure and societal norms, play a significant role in drug combination. In social settings where drug use is prevalent, individuals may feel compelled to partake in combining substances to fit in or conform to group behavior.

Peer pressure can be a strong force in leading people to experiment with drugs in the first place, as well as combinations they may not have considered otherwise. The desire to belong and be accepted within a social group is known to influence decisions regarding drug use and experimentation.

Underlying Factors & Comorbidity

Other factors, including stress relief and seeking altered states of consciousness, can also motivate individuals to combine drugs. For some, the desire for relaxation or escape from reality drives them to mix substances that produce calming or euphoric effects.

Individuals may seek altered states of consciousness through drug combination as a means of exploring different perceptions or emotions. The allure of experiencing new sensations or perspectives can be a powerful motivator for experimenting with various drug combinations.

Underlying mental health conditions could also play a part, as psychological struggles can lead individuals to substance use for comfort. Conversely, substance use often impacts mental health in such a way that prior conditions are exacerbated, or new disorders are identified. This is known as comorbidity, when substance use and mental health disorders collide, and typically necessitates a specialized dual diagnosis treatment.

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The Risks of Mixing Weed and Alcohol

Mixing weed and alcohol can have serious physical and psychological risks, leading to dependence and addiction. From respiratory depression to mood swings, understanding the dangers of combining these substances is crucial for overall well-being:

Physical Risks

When mixing weed and alcohol, individuals face physical risks such as respiratory depression, which can lead to breathing difficulties. This combination can also result in an increased heart rate, putting strain on the cardiovascular system. Recognizing warning signs like dizziness or confusion is crucial.

  • Respiratory depression

  • Increased heart rate

  • Potential for overdose

Combining weed and alcohol raises the risk of overdose, especially when consumed in large quantities. Overdosing on these substances can have severe consequences, including respiratory failure and loss of consciousness. Seeking help promptly is essential in such situations.

Psychological Risks

Mixing weed with alcohol can trigger psychological risks like mood swings and heightened paranoia. Users may also experience memory issues, affecting cognitive function. These psychological effects can impact mental health negatively.

  • Mood swings

  • Paranoia

  • Memory issues

The combined use of alcohol and marijuana can lead to long-term psychological consequences, including anxiety disorders or depression. These substances may exacerbate existing mental health conditions, emphasizing the need for caution when using them together.

Overlapping Effects

When combining weed and alcohol, individuals may experience overlapping effects such as euphoria and deep relaxation. This combination can also result in an altered perception of time and space. Amplification of emotions or sensations is common.

  • Euphoria

  • Relaxation

  • Altered perception

The simultaneous use of weed and alcohol can intensify feelings of pleasure or relaxation but may also magnify negative emotions like anxiety or sadness. The unpredictable nature of these overlapping effects underscores the importance of moderation.

Dependence & Addiction

Cross fading increases the risk of developing dependence on either alcohol or marijuana due to the reinforcing effects of both substances. This pattern of use can contribute to substance abuse and addiction over time, and seeking professional help is crucial for managing dependency issues.

  1. Risk of dependence

  2. Contribution to substance abuse

  3. Importance of seeking professional help

Treatment Options for Substance Use & Addiction

If you find yourself consistently cross-fading and potentially struggling with a substance use disorder, a comprehensive treatment plan can guide you toward recovery. From detox to outpatient treatment and ongoing support, each step plays a crucial role in long-term healing and sobriety:


Detox is a crucial first step for individuals struggling with substance use disorders, such as addiction to alcohol or dependence on marijuana. The process involves medical supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, and intense cravings. It is essential to have professional guidance during detox to ensure safety and comfort.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care offers a structured environment ideal for individuals battling substance abuse. These facilities provide intensive therapy sessions and round-the-clock medical supervision. Medical professionals play a vital role in monitoring progress, adjusting treatment plans, and offering support throughout the recovery journey.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment options cater to individuals seeking flexible recovery support while maintaining daily responsibilities. These programs typically include therapy sessions, group counseling, and medication management. Ongoing care and accountability are emphasized in outpatient settings to promote long-term sobriety.


Aftercare programs play a significant role in sustaining long-term sobriety post-treatment. These programs focus on relapse prevention strategies and coping mechanisms for triggers that may lead to substance use. Support groups, individual counseling, and lifestyle changes are integral components of aftercare to provide ongoing support and guidance.

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Could Getting Cross Faded Indicate a Deeper Issue?

While occasional use of alcohol and marijuana together may not necessarily be problematic, frequent or regular cross-fading could be a sign of a more serious problem. This behavior may suggest that an individual is using substances to cope with underlying emotional or psychological issues, for example.

It's important to consider the reasons behind this behavior, and to seek help if needed. However, if you’re acting on behalf of a loved one, it's essential to approach this topic with sensitivity and avoid making assumptions about someone's mental health based solely on their substance use habits.

Closing Thoughts: Mixing Alcohol & Weed

Being “cross faded” — the simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana — can lead to a unique blend of effects, both physical and psychological. While some may seek the intensified sensations and altered perceptions, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks, including impaired judgment, reduced cognitive and motor functions, and increased vulnerability to accidents.

If you or a loved one is struggling with dependence on alcohol, marijuana, or both, remember that help is available. Along with healthcare professionals, drug rehab centers can provide a welcoming, supportive environment for you to detach from a potential dependence.

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Break Free From Addiction at The Edge

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or both, along with the mental health challenges that often accompany these battles, know that you’re not alone — and The Edge Treatment Center is here to help.

Our team of treatment experts and mental health professionals are dedicated to guiding you on your journey to recovery. With a range of therapies and personalized treatment plans, we’ll arm you with the tools to break free from addiction and regain control of your life. Call us today to take the first step towards a brighter, healthier future.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

monty-montgomeryMonty Montgomery

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

Addiction Recovery


July 10, 2024


Frequently Asked Questions

"Cross Faded" refers to the state of being under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana simultaneously.

Being cross faded can lead to intensified effects of both substances, such as impaired coordination, altered perception, and increased risk of negative outcome.

When you get cross-faded, your body may experience heightened impairment, slower reaction times, increased heart rate, and potential for memory issues due to the combined effects of alcohol and marijuana.

People may combine drugs seeking enhanced effects or altered experiences. However, this practice can be dangerous and increase the risks associated with substance use.

Mixing weed and alcohol can amplify impairment, leading to increased drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and cognitive difficulties. It can also raise the risk of accidents and overdose.

Yes, there are various treatment options available for substance use and addiction, including therapy, counseling, support groups, detox programs, medication-assisted treatment, and inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation services. Treatment should be tailored to individual needs for the best outcomes.