Wine and Marijuana, What could go wrong?

Wine and Marijuana, What could go wrong?

Cannabis and Wine in Sonoma County

The Cannabis Advisory Group was formed by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to advise the Supervisors on Cannabis regulations.  It consists of 20 volunteers, mostly involved in the Cannabis business.

At the Feb 27th meeting some the CAG board members comments were:

Grapes use more water than Cannabis and they are worse for the environment.
Less water is used to produce one pound of Cannabis than one gallon of Wine.We don’t need more grapes in Sonoma County.
For 60,000 acres of vineyards the County only gets $845k of revenue.For 500 acres of Cannabis the County would get $950k of revenue.
If we could convert the grapes to Cannabis, there would be significantly more money for the County.

On the Facebook page of CAG board member and Cannabis Attorney Omar Figueroa there is a link to an article that states “Roundup’s Toxic Chemical Glyphosate, Found In 100% Of California Wines Tested”

At the 3-27-18 Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting. Several people involved in Cannabis spoke and several had negative things to say about Vineyards.  There is a video available online of the BOS meeting.  We were told that Vineyards are depleting the water supply.  We were also told alcohol kills a lot of people, yet there have been no confirmed deaths from Marijuana.

The Sonoma County Sheriff reports that 9 of the last 11 murders in Sonoma County have been Marijuana grow related.

The Board of Supervisors and county PRMD require that all commercial grows are fully fenced and have security in place.

The fact is the cannabis business is inherently dangerous.  This has been publicly stated in the newspaper by the Petaluma Police and the county Sheriff.  This was evidenced by the three innocent families terrorized by armed criminals that broke through their front doors at 3am earlier this month, and the innocent families terrorized last month.  All close by, but not involved in the cannabis business.

Banking challenges:  Since the industry is still illegal under federal law, banks, which are federally insured, cannot do business with growers without serious federal repercussions. This means that all transactions, including paychecks and paying taxes, are only done in cash. Another big problem with the federal legalities is that the cannabis industry can’t take off normal business deductions on their taxes. When all is said and done, cannabis products might very well end up being taxed by 70 percent or more. If it becomes that difficult to make a profit, some fear growers might choose to forgo licensure and just sell on the black market.  Anyone who is involved in the Cannabis is not allowed to put their monies in an FDIC bank.

Some think a nearby Marijuana grow can influence or taint a vineyard’s grapes:  “The owners of a vineyard in coveted Yamhill County wine country have asked a judge to ban their neighbor from growing marijuana out of fear that the smell will waft over to their land and taint their prized grapes.  The marijuana operation will produce “foul-smelling particles” that will migrate to the neighboring properties and could tarnish the grapes, the lawsuit claims.”

Labor shortage for Vineyards: The marijuana industry pays workers more money and can have up to 4 crops a year, creating a shortage of labor for the wine industry.

It can be dangerous mixing alcohol with Cannabis: Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used by people at the same time. New information indicates that combining the two may cause individuals to over-use both substances and in some cases, can result in death.

Napa County has a moratorium on all outdoor commercial Cannabis.  They don’t want it to impact their Wine industry.   Quote from David Morrison Director of Planning, “marijuana isn’t what Napa does” “I don’t see Napa converting over to marijuana right away any more than we’d convert over to kale just because it’s trendy,” Morrison said. “It’s just not our main line of business.”

Policy in Counties

Humboldt County has placed a moratorium on Cannabis Permits
Napa County has placed a moratorium on Cannabis Permits
Calaveras County has placed a ban on Commercial Cannabis Cultivation
Marin County prohibits all commercial activities associated with recreational Cannabis

Policy in Sonoma County Cities

Healdsburg       Medical only – 3 outdoor plants, 6 indoor plants with medical card.
Sebastopol        Personal only up to 6 plants or 100 sf in any residential districts (can be outdoor)
Petaluma          Commercial allowed in specific business parks and industrial zones – manufacturing, testing and delivery only
Rohnert Park    Indoor cultivation limited to 100 sf
Santa Rosa       Commercial cannabis in industrial and commercial areas only
Sonoma            All commercial cannabis activities are prohibited, except for deliveries for medical
Cotati               All prohibited until Feb 2018, permit applicants will be scored based on 5 factors
Cloverdale        May not begin operations until permit has been approved and issued

Articles on the Combined Effects of Alcohol and Marijuana

What happens in the brain when you mix marijuana and alcohol?

Both the effects of marijuana and alcohol have on the human brain have been widely studied, but the same thing can’t be said about the combination of the two.   Scott Lukas, a professor at Harvard Medical School, investigated what happens in the brain while cross-faded in 2011 and came to some surprising conclusions.

First off, it’s important to note that marijuana (THC to be more specific) and alcohol are two psychoactive substances that are far from being similar to one another. THC acts upon the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, sparking intense cognitive effects like paranoia, a distorted sense of time, attention deficit and more. Alcohol, on the other hand, depresses the nervous system with significant consequences to motor skills

It’s important to note that combining alcohol and marijuana enhances not only the high but also the lows. Impaired judgment and increased heart rate – usual symptoms while high on weed – are stronger. It’s also worth being aware that marijuana has an antiemetic effect, meaning it makes it harder for the body to vomit. As you likely know, vomiting is the body’s first line of defense against severe alcohol intoxication. In extreme cases, a user might choke on the vomit and die. Combining weed and alcohol could also be potentially dangerous for people with heart problems and also increases the risk of accidents.

Lukas found that not only did the two effects combine, but in some instances, the effects considerably became amplified. For instance, Lukas noticed that people who smoked a joint and also drank a lot of alcohol (a couple of shots) had twice as much THC in their blood than those who didn’t drink at all. Oddly, this seems to happen only when you drink first, and then smoke.

This happens, Lukas says, because alcohol opens up blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract helping the THC to be absorbed more efficiently.

Also, those who smoked and drank self-reported the high effects much sooner and rated their high as ‘better’. However, this works only to a point. If you drink too much before lighting the first joint, you risk getting ‘greened out’. That is, suffering from nausea, bouts of vomiting, and an intense urge to lie down.

Bottom line: alcohol and marijuana can mix well but only if you’re very sensible about the quantities you ingest. Like anything, don’t go overboard.

The Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Marijuana

Using pot and alcohol together can lead to injury, illness, even death.

Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used by people at the same time. New information indicates that combining the two may cause individuals to over-use both substances and in some cases, can result in death.

The danger of drinking before smoking is severe illness. A side effect of smoking marijuana, called “greening out”, is more likely to occur if a person drinks alcohol before smoking.

Greening out is a term used to describe a situation where a person may feel sick after smoking marijuana. The individuals may go pale and sweaty, feel dizzy with “the spins,” nauseous, and may even start vomiting. This is often followed by the need or strong desire to lie down.

Smoking marijuana and then drinking alcohol can lead to death. When recreational drinking and smoking are combined, it is easier to drink excessively and risk alcohol poisoning, which can kill you.

According to Northeastern University, marijuana has an antiemetic effect, meaning that it makes it more difficult for the body to vomit.

Usually, when a person drinks too much alcohol, the body responds by vomiting in order to rid itself of the excess alcohol. Since marijuana helps prevent vomiting, the body may be unable to rid itself of dangerous toxins or an individual may choke on the vomit that is produced.

Used together, alcohol and marijuana can also cause paranoia, causing people to make flawed or even fatal choices. Alcohol and marijuana are both depressants, which work by slowing down the central nervous system. An ingredient of marijuana is THC that is absorbed into the blood faster when alcohol is also present. Magnified effects of using these substances together can be very unpredictable and cause panic, anxiety, or terror to occur in people who use both substances in the same period.

Little research has been done on combining alcohol and marijuana, but indications are that there can be major risks. No matter what substances you are using, please consult a physician before combining them and please, always use substances responsibly.

Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in blood

Cannabis plus alcohol is one of the most frequently detected drug combinations in car accidents, yet the interaction of these two compounds is still poorly understood. A study shows for the first time that the simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis produces significantly higher blood concentrations of cannabis’s main psychoactive constituent, THC, as well as THC’s primary active metabolite than cannabis use alone.

Experts agree, however, that the combination of cannabis and alcohol raises the chance of crashing more than either substance by itself. In a study of 1,882 motor vehicle deaths, the U.S. Department of Transportation found an increased accident risk of 0.7 for cannabis use, 7.4 for alcohol use, and 8.4 for cannabis and alcohol use combined.

What Happens When You Mix Marijuana and Alcohol?

Recreational marijuana use is often accompanied by alcohol, a combination referred to as “crossfade.” It’s a euphoric state of mind that some seek to ease stress and anxiety. Because everyone reacts to the mixture of marijuana and alcohol differently, it can be difficult to determine exactly how the body will react. Some people become extremely reclusive and paranoid, while others may act more boisterous.   We do know, however, that smoking cannabis activates the brain in such a way that makes the blood alcohol levels appear lower than if you were to just drink alcohol alone. Conversely, alcohol has the opposite impact on THC (the chemical responsible for most of the marijuana’s psychological effects). The highs associated with marijuana are intensified as alcohol expands the blood vessels in the digestive systems, making THC more easily absorbed. These reactions can induce changes in behavior and thought patterns that can easily lead to overconsumption of either substance. To avoid dangerous side effects, marijuana and alcohol should not be used together.

The plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the agent that causes the mental effects of marijuana. Despite its popularity, it isn’t necessarily healthy for all uses, especially when combined with other substances like alcohol.

What Are the Side Effects of Marijuana and Alcohol?

Alcohol and marijuana both have their own individual side effects, but when used together, these effects can be compounded. Because both substances alter your mental state, their combined use should be avoided. Some of the symptoms of both alcohol and marijuana use include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Delayed or slowed speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory problems
  • Drowsiness

Although both marijuana and alcohol are prevalent in American pop culture, they are risky substances. Because alcohol heightens the effects of THC on the body, and marijuana decreases the blood alcohol level, some may increase the dosage of both substances to feel their perceived positive effects. This can lead to dangerous consequences like alcohol poisoning. And since both substances have the potential to alter your perception, it can be difficult to control and predict your behavior.

Mixing Alcohol and Marijuana

Marijuana is considered a psychoactive drug that induces psychological effects when consumed. Marijuana is a popular drug among poly-drug users because it can induce a mix of symptoms exhibited by sedative and stimulant drug abusers. Symptoms include:  Nausea, Headache, Loss or decreased of coordination, Increased appetite, Tremors or shaking, Breathing problems, Anxiety, Sleepiness, Memory lapses, Difficulty focusing or concentrating, Hallucinations, Paranoia and Red, bloodshot eyes.

According to a study conducted by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Center (NCPIC) conducted in Australia, the most common type of poly-drug mix is marijuana and alcohol. A person addicted to both can experience the same symptoms, but to a wholly unpredicted level. This may be due to the psychedelic properties of marijuana, which can affect the mind in different ways. These psychedelic effects may be heightened with the sedative effect of alcohol. This, in turn, can increase the risk for psychological problems and psychotic symptoms.

NCPIC also reported that alcohol can increase the rate of absorption of THC, the primary active component of cannabis, or marijuana. Taking alcohol with marijuana can strengthen the effect of the latter and cause a condition referred to as “greening out.” This is a term used to describe when marijuana users experience nausea or sickness after smoking weed. People addicted to marijuana and alcohol may feel dizzy, go pale, become sweaty, start vomiting, or feel the need to lie down immediately.

Both drugs have also been known to be contributing factors in fatal car accidents and many drivers involved in accidents tested positive to both alcohol and marijuana in blood tests. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), marijuana is the most prevalent illicit drug involved in incidents of driving under influence in recent years.

The combination of marijuana and alcohol is dangerous even in low doses. Long-term abuse or addiction to marijuana and alcohol can cause withdrawal symptoms that are more severe when compared to withdrawing from just alcohol or marijuana alone.

Marijuana or weed smoking is becoming more popular than cigarette smoking. According to the Monitoring the Future Survey of University of Michigan, in 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors smoked weed in the past 30 days, while only 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes.

Marijuana users are more prone to memory lapses and impaired thinking. Heavy usage of marijuana can cause irreversible loss of intellectual capacity.

Drunk And High: Science Explains Some Of The Side Effects That Come From Mixing Alcohol And Marijuana

Nicotine is the only drug that eclipses alcohol and marijuana as the most commonly used drugs in the U.S., according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. So, it makes sense that the latter two are also the most common drugs to be used together. Although most people probably have a preference of which drug they prefer, you most likely wouldn’t have to go very far to get a firsthand account of what it’s like to be high on alcohol and marijuana at the same time. What many don’t understand is the biology behind the side effects that follow using these drugs concurrently.

Why Cross Fade?

Using alcohol and marijuana at the same time is often referred to as “cross fading.” Some people will mix the two because they enjoy the unique high it gives them. For others, they are already so intoxicated with alcohol that they are no longer making rational decisions. To them, taking a toke of a joint seems like a good idea at the time, although some may regret it later. Although a college student may not be able to tell you what the main subject on their senior thesis is, they most probably can tell you that smoking grass before beer, you’re in the clear, while beer before grass, well… isn’t as advisable. Is there any science behind this coming of age mantra passed down through generations? Turns out, there actually is.

Greening Out

Greening out is a term used to describe a situation where a person may feel sick after smoking marijuana. The individuals may go pale and sweaty, feel dizzy with “the spins,” nauseous, and may even start vomiting. This is most commonly followed by the immediate desire to lie down. Greening out is not a very common side effect of smoking marijuana, but it is much more likely to occur if a person has been drinking alcohol before they start smoking. However, when an individual smokes marijuana before they drink alcohol, the effect is not the same.

Overdoing It 

Using alcohol and marijuana in combination is more likely to make the individual overuse both substances. It is common for an individual to experience the effects of marijuana more severely when they have already have alcohol in their system. Although “greening out” is not life-threatening, the effect of overdoing alcohol — alcohol poisoning — surely can kill you. Using both substances can make the individual drink beyond their tolerance and therefore be more likely to experience alcohol poisoning. According to Northeastern University, marijuana has an antiemetic effect, meaning that it makes it more difficult for the body to vomit. Normally this side effect is non-consequential, and it can even be beneficial in cancer patients who use medical marijuana because they have trouble keeping food down. However, in the case of alcohol poisoning, vomiting is the body’s way of expelling the excess alcohol. If a person is unable to properly vomit, they are more likely to choke on their vomit or succumb to the effects of alcohol poisoning.

Intensified Highs are Not Always a Good Thing

Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the central nervous system. Marijuana also slows the body down. Using them concurrently will magnify the effects of both, but how is highly unpredictable. Having alcohol in your blood can also potentially cause your body to absorb the THC faster. Based on information from Australia’s National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC), in vulnerable people, the combination can produce psychotic symptoms such as panic, anxiety, or paranoia. Alcohol is known to have a very unpleasant side effect of making you “black out.” New studies are just beginning to show the detrimental effects of marijuana use on memory. It can disrupt the activity in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls memory. When used together, it can seriously fog an individual’s mind, making them more susceptible to dangerous situations such as being less able to look after their belongings and more likely to be unable to negotiate safe sex.

Unknown Effects

The separate effects of alcohol and marijuana use on the body are pretty much fully documented. Not as much is known about the combined effects. According to data from Northeastern University, these can vary from person to person. Some people can get sick and pass out, and others will say they had the time of their life and can’t wait to do it again next weekend. When used together, the likelihood of having a bad reaction increases significantly, according to the NCPIC. Mixing alcohol with any substance, legal or not, can intensify the side effects and create negative interactions.

Marijuana is the most popular illicit drug to use simultaneously with alcohol.

Signs and Symptoms

There are several visible signs of concurrent alcohol and marijuana abuse. They include:

  • Red, bloodshot eyes.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Awkward gate.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Distinct smell of either substance

Other problems which may stem concurrent use include:

  • Memory loss.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Loss of motor skills.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Panic attacks.

Alcohol and Marijuana Facts

  • Alcohol and marijuana amplify one another’s effects.
  • Alcohol and marijuana is the most common mixture of illicit drugs.
  • Both impair judgment and motor skills.

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) describes the mixture of alcohol and marijuana as unpredictable at best. Some users may experience intense paranoia, nausea, and vomiting. The effects of alcohol amplify the effects of marijuana and vice versa.

Depending on the state of mind of the user, effects of marijuana use can include paranoia and high anxiety. In fact, the Harvard Mental Health Letter reports that 20-30% of smokers experience panic attacks. The amount of marijuana consumed changes its effects, though even a small amount can have dramatic effects in individuals prone to panic and anxiety disorders. Though it is nearly impossible to overdose on marijuana, there is even evidence that marijuana can lead to symptoms of long-term psychosis.

Alcohol and Marijuana

Not counting tobacco, the most common form of polydrug mix is alcohol and marijuana. When people mix marijuana and alcohol together at one time, the results can be unpredictable. The effects of either drug may be more powerful or the combination may produce different and unpredictable reactions.

What Are the Effects of Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol?

When people smoke marijuana and drink alcohol at the same time they can experience nausea and/or vomiting or they can react with panic, anxiety or paranoia. Mixing marijuana with alcohol can increase the risk of vulnerable people experiencing psychotic symptoms.

There is some evidence to support that having alcohol in your blood causes a faster absorption of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana that causes intoxication). This can lead to the marijuana having a much stronger effect than it would normally have and could result in ‘greening out’.

Greening out is a term commonly referred to in a situation where people feel sick after smoking marijuana. They can go pale and sweaty, feel dizzy, nauseous and may even start vomiting. They usually feel they have to lie down straight away.

It appears that this is more likely to happen if a person has been drinking alcohol before smoking marijuana rather than the other way around.

What Are the Risks of Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol?

  • Unpredictable effects – if marijuana and alcohol are used at the same time there is a greater likelihood of negative side-effects occurring either physically (greening out) or psychologically (panic, anxiety and paranoia).
  • Effects on driving – the negative effect that alcohol has on driving is well documented. marijuana use also affects a person’s ability to concentrate and react in driving situations. Even at low doses the combination of alcohol and marijuana is dangerous and places the drivers, their passengers and others on the road at serious risk.