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Medically Reviewed

What Does Cross Faded Mean?

- 7 sections

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in America, with 219.2 million people aged 12 or older reporting drinking at some point in their lives.[1] While it is okay to enjoy the occasional drink, some people have a hard time controlling how much they consume. When you cannot moderate your drinking, you might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder.

People who struggle with alcohol abuse often combine it with other drugs. The most common substance for people to mix with alcohol is marijuana. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), 52.5 million people aged 12 or older reported using marijuana in 2021.[2]

“Cross-faded” is a term used to describe the effects of mixing alcohol and marijuana. Combining alcohol and weed can cause an array of adverse effects, including increased intoxication and a likelihood of risk-taking behaviors.

Understanding the Term “Cross-Faded”

“Cross-faded” is a term used to describe being intoxicated from both marijuana and alcohol. People combine alcohol and marijuana to experience increased effects of both substances. According to a case study in Seattle, Washington, 59% of the young adults who were surveyed admitted to being cross-faded at some point in their lives.[3]

Since marijuana can affect people in many different ways, the high caused by mixing it with alcohol can be unpredictable. Some people might feel dizzy and drowsy, while others may feel more social and talkative. Most individuals who get crossfaded do so to experience a more intense effect.

While most people consider getting cross-faded as a term to describe the combination of marijuana and alcohol, others might use this term for the mixture of alcohol and any other type of drug. Mixing alcohol with another substance can lead to an array of dangers, including life-threatening overdoses.

Why Do People Combine Marijuana and Alcohol?

There are many reasons why getting cross-faded has become popular among young adults and teenagers. The main and most obvious reason is to enhance their high. Combining alcohol and weed can lead to increased intoxication, lowered inhibitions, impaired cognitive functioning, and increased risk-taking behaviors.

Another reason people may combine alcohol and marijuana is because of peer pressure. When young adults or teens go to parties with their friends, they might be pressured to get cross-faded. Unfortunately, it can be extremely hard for young individuals to resist their friends, causing them to give in to peer pressure.

The last reason people get cross-faded is because they are unaware of the risks. While it may seem obvious that combining two different substances can lead to health complications, young people see their friends doing it and assume it is safe. As a result, they engage in getting cross-faded without being aware of the health complications associated with this type of intoxication.

What are the Effects of Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol?

While alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, marijuana can act as a stimulant, depressant, and even a hallucinogen. Most people believe smoking weed causes laughter, increased hunger, and drowsiness, it can actually lead to a wide array of effects that vary from person to person. In other words, there is no way to predict the exact symptoms someone will experience when mixing alcohol and cannabis.

With that being said, the common effects of getting cross-faded include:

Increased Intoxication

When you combine any substances, the effects of each drug will be increased. The same goes for mixing alcohol and weed. The drowsiness and euphoria associated with both alcohol and cannabis will become amplified, making people feel more intoxicated than they would if they only used one of the substances.

Impaired Cognitive Functioning

When you mix alcohol and marijuana, your cognitive abilities and motor skills will be affected. In other words, you will experience changes in your memory, attention, decision-making skills, and reaction times, and you might become more clumsy than normal. This can pose a significant risk when it comes to driving a car or engaging in an activity that requires focus or precision.

Increased Risks

Lastly, both alcohol and marijuana lower your inhibitions, meaning you are more likely to engage in behaviors you wouldn’t while sober. As a result, you might be more likely to drive while intoxicated, engage in risky sex, or make poor judgments.

Additionally, sometimes marijuana can make you feel like the alcohol is not affecting you as much as you’d like it to. You could begin drinking more alcohol to balance out the effects, putting you at risk of drinking too much. This may lead to alcohol poisoning or overdose, which can be life-threatening without emergency medical intervention.

Find Help for Polysubstance Abuse

Frequently getting cross-faded is a type of polysubstance abuse that can cause you to become addicted to both alcohol and marijuana. Thankfully, drug rehab centers like the Carolina Center for Recovery can provide you with the tools and support you need to overcome addiction.

To learn more about our polysubstance abuse treatment program, contact us today.


  1. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Alcohol Use in the United States, Retrieved October 2023 From
  2. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is the scope of cannabis use in the United States, Retrieved October 2023 From
  3. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): Cross-Faded: Young Adults’ Language of Being Simultaneously Drunk and High, Retrieved October 2023 From