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Cocaine and weed (cannabis) are currently the two most abused drugs in the UK today. But what happens when you mix them together, and is it dangerous?

Cocaine is a powerful Class A stimulant that is extremely volatile in its effects. It is responsible for a substantial number of deaths both in the UK and around the rest of the world.

Weed, a popular type of cannabis, is a Class B substance and depressant drug with strong hallucinogenic properties. Weed has the highest amount of THC content out of all the marijuana strains.

Weed is perceived as relatively harmless in comparison to cocaine and other illicit drugs. However, this does not mean that it comes without its own risks and dangers.

Cocaine, dried hemp and ecstasy on wooden table, closeup

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Mixing cocaine and weed together can become habit forming and lull you into a false sense of security, that cocaine is less dangerous when taken with a depressant drug.

The reality is that taking any form of cannabis with cocaine is more harmful than taking either drug alone. It comes with an increased risk of both physical and psychological harm.


How Cocaine is Taken When Mixed With Weed (Cannabis)

When powdered cocaine is mixed with weed, or any other form of cannabis, it is usually sprinkled directly onto the weed before being smoked through a bong, pipe, spliff or joint.

In other cases, individuals who take both drugs together, may mix crack (the solid and most potent form of cocaine) with cannabis and also smoke it.

Cocaine and weed are not always taken together at the same time. It is more common to use one after the other; either to bring the user up or to bring the user down.

Some users will smoke weed first then take cocaine to change and heighten the feelings of euphoria.

Cocaine is a very powerful stimulant and as a result can leave a user feeling ‘wired’, especially after a cocaine binge. Cannabis, adversely, has the effect of relaxation and so frequent or heavy cocaine/crack users will often use cannabis after cocaine to help them feel more ‘levelled out’

Man smoking weed

To counteract cocaine’s withdrawal effects and reduce feelings of anxiety, aggression, irritation and strong drug cravings, it is not uncommon for regular cocaine users to smoke weed or take some other form of depressant drug. Other depressant drugs that are commonly used with crack/cocaine include alcohol, heroin and benzodiazepines. Users do this to not only avoid feeling the withdrawal effects of cocaine but also to continue staying high.

Weed and any other form of marijuana is rarely injected. In order for marijuana to be injectable it firstly needs to be made into a soluble broth (1) Injecting cannabis can cause fever, myalgia, nausea and vomiting, hence it is very rarely administered in this way (2) Regardless of how the cocaine or crack is taken (snorted, bombed, smoked or injected) weed is nearly always inhaled or swallowed.


Why Mix Cocaine and Weed? – The Effects of Mixing Cocaine and Cannabis Together

Individuals who mix cocaine and weed together simultaneously are aiming to achieve a euphoric high that is different to taking either drug on its own. Ultimately they are aiming to gain the desired effects of both drugs at the same time.

A user who combines cocaine and weed will be hoping to achieve a more pronounced euphoric high that lasts longer than the effect of cocaine on its own, one that is more mellow and less aggressive than using only cocaine. The hallucinogenic effects of the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in weed will also be sought after.

A scientific study carried out in Brazil to find out why crack cocaine users use cannabis/weed together with crack, reported that the users felt marijuana provided them with ‘protection’ against the less desirable effects of crack cocaine (3)

The crack users interviewed in the study reported that by using cannabis with crack they found they had improved sleep and appetite, reduced cravings for crack cocaine and were less likely to engage in violence associated with the crack culture. They also felt they were able to retain and recover some quality of life (3)

As cocaine is a stimulant and cannabis a depressant, the two taken together can cancel out some of the less desirable effects of each individual drug. However, it should be noted that the dangers of developing unwanted side effects such as anxiety, paranoia, psychosis and overdose are dramatically increased.


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The Dangers of Mixing Cocaine With Weed

Mixing cocaine (a stimulant) with weed (a depressant) can confuse the body and the brain. This increases the chances of developing the unwanted side effects from both drugs. Side effects also tend to be more pronounced due to combining the two together.

Even when one is taken after the other, the dangers are still very relevant. Whilst the effects of one drug may have worn off, the toxins still remain in the body and bloodstream for some time after. This means that one drug will still interact with the other.

Mixing cocaine with weed (cannabis) increases the danger of:

  • Suffering a cocaine overdose. Due to the relaxing properties of weed, cocaine users are likely to use more cocaine than they would if they were taking cocaine on its own.
  • Suffering a stroke and heart attack. Studies have found that mixing cocaine and weed together increases users blood pressure, especially during physical activity (4,5)
  • Suffering a cardiac arrest. Studies have found that combining cocaine and weed (cannabis) increases users heart rate, especially during physical activity (4,5)
  • Having an accident – Both weed (cannabis) and cocaine gives users a false sense of well being. Users of either drug become less alert to danger, have an altered perception of reality, suffer from a compromised cognitive ability and poor decision making, judgement and coordination. Mixing cocaine and weed together puts the user at far higher risk of harm caused through an accident or through poor judgement of a situation
  • Developing a mental health illness – Cocaine can cause paranoia as can the THC component of cannabis. Combining the two increases the chances of developing paranoia, anxiety, depression and psychosis. Mental health illnesses are not always resolved by stopping taking drugs. Some sufferers will require ongoing medical and/or therapeutic treatment to manage their mental health condition.
  • Developing a drug dependence and addiction – To a user, weed can normalise taking cocaine by enabling them to continue to function (albeit at an impaired level). This can lead a user to taking more of both drugs as they feel safer in their drug use. This can develop into a full blown cocaine and weed addiction.

Treatment for Cocaine and Weed (Cannabis) Addiction

If you or a loved one are suffering from abuse or addiction to cocaine/crack and weed (cannabis) it is critical to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Addiction doesn’t just go away, nor does it get better on its own. Drug addiction is a life threatening disorder of the brain that requires comprehensive medical and therapeutic treatment in order to avoid progression and death.

Delamere specialise in the treatment of all types of addiction, including those that have addiction to more than one substance and those that suffer from a mental health condition (dual diagnosis)

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We have the professional expertise to help you or a loved one to break free from addiction to cocaine and weed within the safety of our purpose built rehab facility.

Following a cocaine and weed medical detox, we will design a bespoke rehabilitation programme consisting of evidence based addiction treatments tailored to your individual treatment needs.

You or your loved one will benefit from a vast array of extensively researched and proven holistic and complementary therapies, in addition to intensive counselling and psychotherapy

Delamere’s innovative and compassionate approach to addiction treatment will help you to heal on a physical, emotional, mental, social, behavioural and spiritual level. We treat the whole person not just the singular aspect of drug use.


Further information & guides about cocaine

Struggling with cocaine? Take action today…

For more information speak to our team about how we can help you grow beyond addiction and find residential cocaine treatment programmes today.

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References:

  1. Daniel Brandenburg; Richard Wernick (July 1986). “Intravenous Marijuana Syndrome“. Western Journal of Medicine. 145 (1): 94–96. PMC 1306836. PMID 3489321.
  2. Brandenburg, D; Wernick, R (1986-07-01). “Intravenous marijuana syndrome“. Western Journal of Medicine. 145 (1): 94–96. ISSN 0093-0415. PMC 1306836. PMID 3489321.
  3. Factors that lead to the use of crack cocaine in combination with marijuana in Brazil: a qualitative study – Janaina R. Gonçalves & Solange A. Nappo
  4. The effects of combinations of intranasal cocaine, smoked marijuana, and task performance on heart rate and blood pressure. Foltin, R.W. & Fischman, M.W. (1990, June).
  5. Marijuana and cocaine interactions in humans: cardiovascular consequences. Foltin, R.W. et al. (1987, December).