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Do different Alcoholic Drinks Cause Different Drunk Experiences?



Have you ever wondered why different alcoholic drinks will make you feel a different kind of drunk. Why does beer chill you out but gin makes you angry? Why does wine cause you to have deep chats but vodka makes you sad? Some will argue that there’s no logic behind this, that it’s simply the amount of alcohol within the drinks and the speed at which you metabolise them. But maybe there’s more going on here. Maybe there’s more in the science that differentiates alcoholic drinks than we think. As always, we’re going to delve into the truth and flesh it out. Let’s go. 

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol – whether we like to hear it or not – is technically a drug. So don’t think you’re not taking drugs when you sip on that vodka and coke. You are. Alcohol, or ethyl alcohol, is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that can produce a range of effects on the brain and body, depending on the type of alcohol consumed and the amount consumed. Other drugs that join the depressant or downer club include ketamine or GHB. These kinds of substances are known for specific effects:

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Relaxed feelings
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Enhanced mood

Sound familiar? Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that is widely consumed in various forms around the world. It is produced by the fermentation of sugars or starches, which is a process that occurs when yeast or bacteria consume the sugars and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide as by-products. The alcohol content of beverages can vary greatly, with some containing only a small amount, while others have a high concentration.

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There are several types of alcohol – many will experience them all in one evening – but the most commonly consumed form is ethyl alcohol, or ethanol. Ethanol is the main active ingredient in alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and spirits. It is responsible for the intoxicating effects that are associated with drinking alcohol.


Alcoholism causes 140,000 deaths in the US every year, yet it still remains a legal substance. On the other hand, cannabis kills essentially 0 people every year and there are still several states yet to legalize it. So why is alcohol dealt with differently to other drugs? The Conversation writes:

“The main reason why alcohol remains legal in the U.S. – despite mounting evidence of the harm it can cause – is that banning it a century ago failed… Prohibition initially helped reduce alcohol consumption. But it also bolstered the illegal liquor trade. This practice, called “bootlegging,” created new problems.”

This theory makes sense, until you consider that there is a black market for all illegal drugs. So why have substances like cocaine or ecstacy been legalized? Nonetheless, due to the fact that alcohol is illegal basically everywhere in the world, it has meant that money has been within the industry for a long time. In fact, the global market worth of the alcohol industry hit 1.45 trillion dollars in 2021. Where there is money, there is innovation, hence why there are so many different kinds of alcoholic drinks. Not only are there varying types of alcohol, but there are also hundreds of brands. It is no surprise, with all of the diverse options, that people start to wonder if one alcoholic drink can cause different effects than another. But is this just a myth?

Different Alcoholic Drinks, Different Effects

There are several theories both for and against the theory that different alcoholic drinks can cause different effects. Some believe it’s a placebo and psychological, whilst others claim there’s truth to it.

Reasons in Support

Different types of alcohol can cause different experiences due to variations in their chemical structures, metabolism, and effects on the brain and body. Ethanol, the type of alcohol commonly found in alcoholic beverages, is a simple molecule consisting of a hydroxyl group attached to a carbon atom. The molecular structure of different types of alcohols, however, can vary greatly. In addition, the way that alcohol is broken down in the system can also affect the experience it produces. The rate at which it is metabolised can vary depending on a person’s liver.

If alcohol is absorbed quicker, this could manifest itself as a different drunk experience. With less intense drinks – such as beer – we tend to drink more of it. This can be quite a dehydrating experience, needing to consume more to get drunk. This can trigger tiredness or a more relaxed feeling. Spirits, on the other hand, have a higher percentage and thus are usually drunk slower. The intensity of the higher percentage drinks can cause more energy. Suddenly, alcohol becomes a stimulant, rather than a depressant. Perhaps this is why Tequila makes you crazy but Fosters makes you sleepy?

Reasons Against

Let’s be honest here, ethanol is ethanol. Alcohol is alcohol. How can there really be different effects from different alcohols? Whilst there has been limited research into this, the mainstream school of thought is that the theory is a myth. Instead, scientists prefer to think about the idea of expectancy. Dru Jaeger writes:

“Expectancy is a psychological term for a predictable relationship between an external stimulus and our response to it. At its simplest, your expectation of what will happen can shape your experience of what happens. So what you expect to happen when you drink can change what actually happens in practice.”

A recent study of 30,000 people found that people attach different emotions to different alcohols. However, these are believed to be caused by this idea of expectancy. Throughout life we find reasons to believe that different drinks make us feel differently – this is based on certain factors. Ultimately, it’s our mindset. Like with the set and setting idea and psychedelic drugs, how we feel before drinking can dictate our experience. If we drink wine when we’re relaxed, it’ll probably make us feel more relaxed. If we drink spirits to go out, we’ll probably feel energetic. If we drink beer to chill out, we’ll probably feel sleepy. You see what’s happening here? The alcohol itself isn’t changing, but the way we feel towards it is. The Conversation writes: 

“The direct effects of alcohol are the same whether you drink wine, beer or spirits. There’s no evidence that different types of alcohol cause different mood states. People aren’t even very good at recognising their mood states when they have been drinking.”

It seems that the evidence is pointing towards this theory being a myth. It’s a bit like people saying that different sweets cause different sugar highs. Of course there are foods that have more intense portions of sugar, but this doesn’t mean that it’s causing an entirely alternative experience. The mixture of varying levels of alcohol, alongside this idea of expectancy, is what gives people the impression of a different kind of drunk. With this in mind, it’s not the alcoholic drink that is different, it is us. 

Final Thoughts on different alcoholic drinks

I myself have wondered at points why some alcoholic drinks do seem to give me different – let’s say – vibes. I’ve experienced feeling chill on wine and beer, but more energetic on spirits. Although, at the same time, now that I think of it, I’ve also experienced having intense arguments after a bottle of red wine. I also remember first drinking beer and feeling invincible.

It seems that it isn’t the alcohol that is changing, it’s my attitude towards it. Thus it seems that the theory has been deemed a myth, doesn’t it? Although, on the other hand, if we believe it to be true, then doesn’t that make it true? In other words, if our attitudes towards different alcoholic drinks can change how we feel they affect us, then maybe that’s enough to give a bit more credit to this theory. Who cares what’s causing it? It’s still happening, right?

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Toast 4/20 With A THC Infused Mocktail




It is the high holiday of marijuana use.  You want to go out and have some fun, so why not toast 4/20 with a THC infused mocktail? Friday and Saturday are the busiest night at bars and sometimes you want something other than a vape or a gummy – so why not have a “cannabis mocktail”?  This way you can indulge with your friends, have a little sugar in your system and chill out.

RELATED: Celebrate With These Simple Classic Cocktails

Non alcoholic cocktails – called the mocktail have been around since the 1860s with the temperance movement. The craft cocktail movement has spurred the cocktail renaissance, characterized by a revival and re-prioritization of traditional recipes and methods in the bar industry.  So why not do what you love and be part of the movement also?

cannabis cocktail
Photo by viennetta/Getty Images

The easiest way is to add a THC tincture to the mocktails while the staff aren’t looking.  Simply stop at your local dispensary and pick one up. Find something with a bland flavor so it will go with whatever you order. When looking for a mocktail, consider drinks with strong flavors and a little extra ice.  Remember, it will take 15-30 minutes at least for it to kick in (like a real cocktail), so don’t drink too quickly.

RELATED: How To Be Discreet When Using Weed

You can also make your own marijuana simple syrup. It is bit involved but it’s still nothing too crazy if you love creating. You’ll need issome combination of water, fine granulated sugar, vegetable glycerine, marijuana, a bottle or jar, and cheesecloth. If the marijuana is baked before hand in order to encourage decarboxylation if can make a different. There is a bit of trial and error based on the strength of the plant used.

In 1971, 4/20 was born as a code word when five Californian high school students used to to connect.  They had a a treasure map to help them find an abandoned cannabis crop. Since them it has become a universal term used for weed and the date is biggest cannabis day of year.

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What’s The Buzz About Beer And Weed




Beer is universal, it is the 3rd most consumed fluid behind water and tea (surprise – not coffee).  China, the US and Brazil lead the world in consuming beer.  But things are changing again for the popular drink.  So what’s the buzz about beer and weed. With the increased popularity of marijuana in the Americas and Europe, beer is having to figure out a new path.  And we aren’t too sure beer and weed should mix.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

The first sign of trouble was in California when beer sales lowered during the first part of the week. Then Canada did a study and said beer sales were slightly shrinking with legal weed and they. Then data shows some people reducing beer consumption and replacing it with marijuana.  Another trend shows Gen Z is drinking less and consuming more…helping spur the trend of California sober.

So, can these two now rivals, mix? Well, it has been a common practice, but it comes with a warning. The combination results in a very specific kind of high. Known as a crossfade high, it is supposed to help you feel especially relaxed. This appears to be because alcohol increases the absorption of THC, ramping up the effects of the high.

But, there are downsides. Some have a really unpleasant high. This could be in the form of greening out, which is basically getting really nauseous, vomiting, and even getting sweaty and pale. Others might get really paranoid.

Unfortunately, when you use weed and beer at the same time, the situation can escalate to a lot more than a bad high. In some cases, the user could wind up with alcohol poisoning, which can sometimes lead to death. Here’s what happens when you mix weed and beer.

According to research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, it seems marijuana impacts the bioavailability of alcohol, or how much is actually absorbed by the body. The results indicated marijuana users had a higher blood-alcohol level than if they had skipped the weed and just had beer.  Due to the absorbing rate, there is a risk of excessive drinking, which could cause alcohol poisoning with symptoms like passing out, hypothermia, slowed breathing, and seizures.

Difficult Menstruation
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Marijuana is known to reduce vomiting and nausea. While it can be a medical benefit, but when drinking it can have serious consequences. The body often responds to over drinking by making us throw up, preventing alcohol poisoning

RELATED: Legal Cannabis Might Help Stop Alcohol-Related Deaths

It is probably best to just be really careful, to stick with a small amount of alcohol and a small amount of weed and stick with a controlled environment, like you’re home, to make sure you’re safe.

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How To Manage When Only One Partner Consumes Weed




Dating and relationships can be fun, challenging and fulfilling, but it important to be on sync on who you act as both a couple and individual.  Politics, religion, having children, and money are all the big hurdles which can cause a rift. A survey showed the three leading causes of divorce are basic incompatibility (43%), infidelity (28%), and money issues (22%).  So what happens if you have some incompatibilities?  How do you overcome it.  Until the spread of legalization, alcohol and smoking were the only consuming habits to navigate. Now it includes how to manage when only one partner consumes weed.

RELATED: OKCupid Says Caring About The Environment Gets You More Dates

If only one partner drinks, it can be a challenge and something a couple has to figure how to approach. Alcohol is generally legal and social accepted, but can cause more issues than weed. The downside of drinking including hangovers, a perhaps change in behavior traits while under the influence, health issues and cost.  Cannabis has become more social accepted with over 85% of people agreeing on some form of legalization. It is also generally wrapped in a few myths including laziness and lack of motivation.


Photo by Candice Picard via Unsplash 

Knowledge, sharing and talking is key to growing a bond. Unlike alcohol andmarijuana, it is important to understand the distinction of something for a medical reason (i.e. anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia) versus recreational.  Science is clear cannabis has medical benefits, alcohol is not.  Having a drink to unwind is much more data murky.

Respect their opinions

While it’d be great to share consume together and go out for a delicious and hilarious meal, if the person you’re dating doesn’t, you can’t force them.  A non judgemential open conversation followed by a general decision should provide a clear path. You get more points for respecting their space and decisions than by trying to prove that you’re right.  And if done correctly, you can consume comfortably.

Be respectful of space

Like tobacco, smoking tobacco can provide a whiff of what is going on.  Some people have smell issues and others just do not want their space to smell. Like smokers, be it cigarettes or the occasionally cigar, together come up with a plan of where you consume.

RELATED: The Fascinating Role Marijuana Plays In Sex

Stand your ground

At the same time, it’s equally important to stand your ground and not hide who you are because the person you’re dating thinks differently. This advice is not only limited to marijuana, since it’s important to hold on to your individuality whenever you’re entering a new relationship. Find some middle ground and moments where you can enjoy your habit without disturbing your partner’s day to day life.


Compromise can appear in many ways, by either consuming on days when you’re apart, trying out non-intoxicating strains or indulging on special occasions and having your partner understand why you’re doing it. If the smoke is the issue, there are plenty of other less invasive options to choose from. The most important part here is to communicate.

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