Can you combine CBD and alcohol? And can it actually cure a hangover as anecdotes report?
CBD is at the forefront of medicinal science. With more and more countries legalizing hemp and cannabis, the potential of cannabidiol (CBD) looms larger than ever. Worldwide, many patients are already taking CBD for its anxiety and pain-relieving effects without inducing a psychoactive high or negative side effects.
However, potential drug interactions are some of the most prevalent concerns regarding CBD (cannabidiol) use. Compared to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the effects of CBD remain relatively understudied. Because of this, scientists are not entirely sure about how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
This yields a lot of uncertainty about how this compound and alcoholic beverages might interact. Still, from what researchers know so far, mixing alcohol and CBD can be detrimental to your health. So, it may be best to enjoy these two substances separately.
Can I Mix CBD Oil and Alcohol?
Currently, the consensus on CBD and alcohol is that they shouldn’t be consumed together. Although researchers still have much to learn about this cannabinoid, past studies have further validated concerns about mixing the two substances.
The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that combining CBD and alcohol can lead to injuries since they both have a sedative effect on the body and central nervous system. This characteristic is essential to CBD’s ability to calm anxiety and improve sleep since it slows brain activity.
However, when both these substances act together and double up on these effects, the symptoms may be compounded, causing severe drowsiness and slowed reaction times that may increase your accident risk.
What Happens When You Mix CBD and Alcohol? Effects of Mixing CBD with Alcohol
Scientists have been studying the relationship between CBD and alcohol for decades. Back in 1979, researchers tested six male and four female subjects in a double-blind study.
(“Double-blind” means that the research staff and participants were unaware of which individuals received placebo versus experimental treatments.)
After observing study subjects perform various tests, the scientists concluded that CBD plus alcohol significantly impaired motor functions and “psychomotor” processes, meaning the conscious brain activity that leads to movement. Additionally, those who consumed alcohol with CBD had a warped perception of time.
Interestingly, the researchers also learned that ingesting cannabidiol with alcohol reduces blood alcohol levels. Still, this doesn’t change the intoxicating effects.
More recently, a 2018 study demonstrated that CBD could help in recovery from alcoholism. Researchers tested rodents with alcohol dependencies with a CBD topical and found that it alleviated stress without any sedative effects or behavioural abnormalities. It also helped prevent impulsive behaviour.
However, this only represents how transdermal CBD influences alcohol consumption, so it doesn’t justify mixing this compound in any alcoholic beverages.
Another study demonstrated CBD’s potential for assisting alcoholism recovery in 120 adults. The scientists compared different cannabis product types, containing variations of mostly THC, CBD, or a combination of the two. The predominantly CBD products showed the most promising results.
Participants who consumed CBD drank fewer alcoholic beverages daily and on fewer days than others. Additionally, they used cannabis and drank alcohol simultaneously less often than people who consumed THC. Ultimately, this led scientists to conclude that CBD use may be correlated with lower alcoholic consumption.
These findings reveal a complex relationship between CBD and alcohol. On a biological scale, these substances can compromise your self-awareness – and therefore, your safety – when consumed together.
However, in a much broader sense, CBD seems capable of helping people reduce their alcohol use altogether. All this considered, it’s clear that scientists need more research to provide clearer guidance on mixing CBD and alcohol.
For now, it’s best to keep them separate and consult a medical professional if you’re interested in taking CBD to curb your drinking.
Can CBD Oil Help with Hangovers?
CBD doesn’t necessarily help with hangovers, but it can help various symptoms that characterize hangovers. For example, CBD provides symptomatic relief for chronic pain, nausea, and inflammation – all adverse symptoms related to alcoholic consumption.
Plus, using CBD after alcohol shouldn’t cause any negative side effects. So, you won’t have to worry about any significant risks of self-administering a small dose of CBD oil to soothe your headache and other discomforts. Also, because CBD may lower blood alcohol levels, you’ll be less likely to experience the full extent of the unpleasant, lingering effects of alcohol.
Experimental studies have also shown the 0at CBD helps relieve two alcohol-induced medical conditions:
Steatosis (fatty liver): This is the liver’s “earliest, most common response” to binge or chronic drinking. When fatty acids build up in the liver, they can become toxic, increasing its likelihood of developing a disease or degrading. Fortunately, a recent study has shown that CBD can reduce the number of fat cells that accumulate in the liver, among other effects.
Fibrosis: When you drink too much – whether it’s binge drinking or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol over an extended period – your liver may develop unusually high concentrations of scar tissue.
Also known as fibrosis, this condition develops due to the liver’s attempts in keeping up with the alcohol’s damage by repairing and replacing affected cells.
One study published in 2019 suggests that patients could use CBD to treat Alcohol Use Disorder as well as Alcohol-Related Damages on the liver.
Perhaps the most ground-breaking result in the 2021 CBD-alcohol study is that CBD can minimize brain damage from alcohol consumption. CBD may be able to combat alcohol-induced neurodegeneration and cognitive function decline.
Research has found that CBD could help keep the brain’s structural and functional integrity intact by preventing the death of nerve cells with its antioxidant qualities and ability to influence the immune system.
Scientists have barely scratched the surface of the interactions between CBD and alcohol. Although studies have yielded positive results of CBD use for reducing problematic drinking, consuming it along with alcohol could compromise your safety due to enhanced sedative effects.
CBD and Alcohol – CBD Infused Recovery?
In moderation, alcohol-induced inebriation can be an enjoyable time. However, the effects of alcohol, when taken to the extreme, can lead to alcohol addiction, physical and mental harm and even death. Excessive alcohol consumption is never a good time, but neither is relying on the interaction between two different substances.
While some studies have found that CBD may be able to help combat the effects of alcohol, it mixing CBD with alcohol should not be used as a panacea. The effects of mixing alcohol together with CBD remain unknown and more research is needed before anything conclusive can be said. However, animal studies