cocaine, weed, and syringes

Understanding The Dangers Of Mixing Coke And Weed

Coke and weed are some of the most common drugs used in the United States. Many people have used one or the other and, in many cases, have combined them together. While both of the substances have distinct effects on the body, combing them can amplify the dangers associated with each drug. Understanding these dangers is critical for individuals to make informed decisions on their drug use and prioritize their physical and mental well-being.

This article will cover the differences between coke and weed, the dangers of mixing stimulants and depressants, and polysubstance addiction.

What is the Difference Between Cocaine and Weed?

Cocaine and weed, also known as marijuana, are both psychoactive substances that affect the brain and central nervous system. While they share some similar traits, they also have significant differences in their chemical composition and effects on the body.

Chemical Composition

Cocaine, also known as crack cocaine or coke, is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is derived from the coca plant. Due to its high potential for addiction, it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. Cocaine is typically produced as a white powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. This substance provides an intense, euphoric high by increasing dopamine levels in the brain.

Weed comes from the dried leaves of the Cannabis plant. Weed is commonly smoked but can also be consumed in edible form or vaporized. The primary psychoactive component in weed is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. As the THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it produces a wide range of mind-altering side effects.

man experiencing the effects of mixing coke and weed

Side Effects of Cocaine & Weed Use

There are many side effects of both cocaine and weed. Understanding these effects is essential to see how the two substances interact.

Cocaine use produces rapid and intense euphoria, as well as increased energy and heightened alertness. However, these effects are followed by a crash, leading to fatigue, depression, and intense cravings. Long-term use of cocaine can have severe health problems, including cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues, mental health disorders, and cocaine addiction.

Weed has milder psychoactive effects compared to cocaine. Its side effects can vary depending on the strain, potency, and the individual. Common side effects include relaxation, altered perception of time, and increased appetite. Some potential risks associated with marijuana use include impaired memory and cognitive function, respiratory problems from smoking, and potential addiction in heavy users.

The Dangers of Mixing a Stimulant & Depressant

As stated previously, cocaine is a stimulant drug, also referred to as ‘uppers,’ and this is because of the increased energy levels that occur after taking the drug. On the other hand, marijuana is considered a ‘downer’ because of its relaxing properties. By mixing substances that have opposite effects, you can increase the risk of severe health problems. Some of the dangers of mixing coke and weed are:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased risk of cocaine overdose

Marijuana use while also using cocaine can decrease some of the effects of cocaine. However, continued and prolonged use of both substances can lead to the development of drug tolerance. This can lead to individuals using higher doses to achieve the same effects, resulting in dependence or cocaine addiction.

Continue reading about the dangers of uppers vs. downers here

Why Would You Mix Cocaine and Weed?

As stated previously, marijuana and cocaine have opposite effects, which can entice some users. While many people do not always physically mix the two together, some may use one right after the other. For example, a cocaine user may snort cocaine and then smoke weed afterward or vice versa. Due to the rapid effects of cocaine, it’s common to see users smoking weed immediately after using cocaine to alleviate any comedown symptoms that follow the cocaine high.

On top of mixing coke and weed, many individuals will mix other substances together. This is referred to as polysubstance abuse and can devastate a person’s life.

person laying around multiple drugs, like coke and weed

Polysubstance Abuse

Polysubstance abuse is the misuse or abuse of multiple substances, such as cocaine, weed, and alcohol. Individuals may use the different substances together or alternate between them. According to the CDC, in 2019, nearly half of all drug overdose deaths involved using multiple substances. This is why it’s essential to understand the dangers of mixing substances together. Many of the dangers include:

  • Brain injury
  • Heart attack
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Risk of overdose
  • Damage to organs
  • Slowed breathing
  • Confusion
  • Death

Treatment Options for Polysubstance Addiction

Treating polysubstance abuse can require comprehensive and individualized approaches. Since numerous different substances can be mixed together, addressing specific substance combinations and each person’s individual needs increases the chances of successful recovery. Some of the most common treatment options can include:

  • Medical Detox: The first step in treating polysubstance addiction is medical detoxification. Detoxing your body removes the substances and allows the individual to manage any withdrawal symptoms. These treatments are generally offered at an inpatient treatment center.
  • Individualized Therapy Plans: The next step in treating this kind of addiction is utilizing different behavioral therapies. These therapies should be individualized to the person as many factors contribute to their addiction. The therapies used are typically focused on developing coping skills and preventing relapse.
  • Aftercare Services: To achieve long-term recovery, it requires ongoing support and treatment. Participation in support groups, outpatient therapy sessions, and creating a supportive network is crucial to maintaining sobriety.

Drug Addiction Treatment at Oasis Recovery Center

If you are finding yourself mixing coke and weed or engaging in substance use through polydrug use, you may be experiencing drug addiction. Substance abuse and drug addiction can cause many health problems that negatively affect your physical, mental, and social aspects of life. Luckily, treatment centers are available to help you find your way to sobriety.

At Oasis Recovery Center, we treat addiction through holistic, dynamic, and individualized treatment programs. Our programs are evidence and mindfulness-based to ensure our highly trained medical professionals are providing you with the best care possible.

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of drug addiction, contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you. Oasis Recovery Center is here to guide you toward a happier, sober life.

Reviewed By A Specialist In The Field


Dr. Brady J. Schroer is a psychiatrist in Asheville, North Carolina and is affiliated with Pardee UNC Health Care-Hendersonville. He received his medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

More Articles Reviewed By Dr. Brady →

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