Mixing Cocaine And Marijuana: Risks And Effects

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021

Many people combine cocaine and marijuana in order to mitigate some of the undesired effects of cocaine or to create a more intense high. But this can be a dangerous combination, leading to long-term health risks.

Dangers Of Mixing Cocaine And Marijuana

Cocaine and marijuana are a common combination for recreational drug use.

Marijuana, or “weed,” is a psychoactive drug that has depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogenic properties. Cocaine is also a stimulant drug often injected, snorted, or smoked.

Both of these substances are highly addictive and involve greater risk for addiction when combined.

Both cocaine and marijuana have powerful effects, and when combined, these effects can be heightened and lead to a range of undesired outcomes.

Find out more about the dangers of combining multiple drugs

Why Do People Mix Cocaine And Marijuana?

A study from BioMed Central Public Health revealed that many people combine the two drugs because the effects of one drug may work to counteract the effects of the other.

Desired effects of combining cocaine and marijuana include:

  • reduced undesirable effects
  • improved sleep
  • better appetite
  • reduced craving for crack cocaine

The study sampled 27 people aged 19 to 49 who use crack cocaine and marijuana. Many of those studied claimed to take the two drugs together in a cigarette mixing marijuana and crack cocaine.

Others smoked marijuana separately either before or after the use of cocaine, depending on their desired outcome.

Additionally, one study found that when taken together, people who use cocaine and marijuana report feeling a more intense high.


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Are There Risks With Mixing Cocaine With Marijuana?

Though this is a popular drug combination, there are multiple negative risks associated with taking cocaine and marijuana together.

The effects of mixing these drugs can involve long-term damage, and in some cases have fatal outcomes.

Increased Risk Of Cocaine Overdose

Because cocaine is a psychoactive stimulant drug, it often comes with effects that make a person feel “wired,” erratic, restless, and anxious.

A person might smoke weed in combination with cocaine (either mixed or smoked before/after cocaine use) in order to alleviate these feelings and bring the body down to a sense of calm.

But this can be very dangerous. While marijuana might mask some of the undesired effects of cocaine, the same amount of cocaine is still in the person’s system.

This can cause someone to either continue to use too much cocaine or not realize how much cocaine is in their system, leading to an overdose.

Find out more about cocaine overdose

Cardiovascular Complications From Both Drugs

Both cocaine and marijuana can have harmful effects on the body’s cardiovascular system. If they’re combined, these risks can only increase.

Multiple studies published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that when taken together, cocaine and marijuana cause the heart rate to rise higher than by either drug alone.

When a single one-gram (g) marijuana cigarette was smoked and cocaine was administered intravenously 13 minutes later, blood pressure increased and plateaued at nearly 50 bpm.

Extreme changes in blood pressure and heart rate can result in a heart attack.

Both substances have also been linked to a heart condition called tachycardia, which refers to a high resting heart rate of more than 100 bpm.

Tachycardia can cause complications such as:

  • heart palpitations
  • shortness of breath
  • blood flow reduction
  • reduction of oxygen, which can lead to heart attack

Suppression Of Respiratory Functions

Cocaine is a stimulant, and marijuana has both stimulant and depressant properties.

This produces a mixed response in the body, creating problems especially in the central nervous system (CNS).

Mixing these substances can diminish brain activity resulting in:

  • unconsciousness
  • loss of breathing reflexes

Finding Treatment For Cocaine And Marijuana Addiction

Cocaine and marijuana are highly addictive drugs that have taken a hold on communities in multiple countries across the world. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone.

It’s not too late to seek treatment for an addiction to cocaine, marijuana, or both substances. When you call our helpline, you’ll find answers to any treatment-related questions you may have.

If you or a loved one are ready to take action and move toward recovery, call us today and learn about your options in addiction treatment.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021


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