May 29, 2021

CBD + Alcohol: Here’s What We Know

Whether you’re unwinding at the end of the day or joining the party, CBD oil and alcohol have a chance of making an appearance.

Both substances can help you relax. But what happens when they’re mixed together?

And what about the dreaded hangover? Could CBD’s benefits help with that?

Although the relationship between CBD and booze hasn’t been researched in-depth, several studies suggest some pros and cons. There could even be therapeutic benefits for those navigating withdrawal and alcohol use disorder.

Let’s bust out the bar tools and explore the mixology of alcohol and CBD.

What Science Says About Mixing CBD & Alcohol

Currently, the FDA doesn’t allow CBD in wine, beer, or spirit products. That doesn’t mean you’ll never be offered a drink that contains CBD, though, or decide to test out your bartending skills at home.

Before you raise that CBD-infused Moscow Mule to your lips, you might wanna familiarize yourself with some scientific evidence.

Alcohol is an intoxicant. In small doses, it can cause that fuzzy, relaxed feeling that could help you be more sociable. In large doses, alcohol is a sedative — a sedative-hypnotic drug, to be exact — meaning it depresses your central nervous system.

So, what’s this mean for you? Without getting too sciency (after all, there’s a frosty copper mug waiting):

  • Though not as intense as alcohol, CBD can have a sedative effect. It works with your endocannabinoid system, which influences your central nervous system. What happens when the two enter your body at the same time can vary depending on many factors.
  • Because of how CBD works in the body, it may amplify the effects of other substances including alcohol. It may also have little to no effect.
  • One small study found that when combined with alcohol, the CBD didn’t have a measurable effect. The same study also found that CBD lowered blood alcohol levels. The subjects who took CBD with alcohol behaved as if they were just as intoxicated despite having less alcohol in their bloodstream. Weird, huh?

While research up to this point isn’t a deep dive, it does suggest that your nervous system’s tolerance for alcohol could decrease when CBD’s involved. Whereas a few drinks might be your norm, CBD cocktails could be a one-and-done situation.

That makes taking it slow when mixing alcohol and CBD a good idea. The same is true for mixing CBD with caffeine, medical treatment plans, and anything else — basically, it’s a good rule of thumb all the time.

Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol While Taking CBD Oil?

There isn’t definitive scientific research about the long-term effects of CBD and alcohol. There isn’t definitive evidence that it’s not safe, either.

The effects of alcohol are widely known, though. Considering that over-consumption of alcohol is linked to severe and chronic diseases, it may be best to limit your CBD-booze bevies to one a day or for special occasions.

Besides, you can always add some flavored water-soluble CBD tincture to an NA bev for a tasty and relaxing mocktail.

How To Tell If Combining CBD & Alcohol Is Right For You

Everyone has an individual tolerance to CBD, and an individual tolerance to alcohol.

  • If you have a good relationship with both, you might try a half-strength cocktail with a half-dose of CBD and gauge how you feel.
  • If you have a health condition, take medication, or both, ask your doctor before taking CBD or drinking alcohol.

Pro tip: Mix your drinks yourself if possible, so you know exactly how much CBD and alcohol they contain.

If you have a good thing going with your CBD routine, you might be wondering if alcohol should be a part of your life at all.

Is it safe to have a happy hour cocktail if you took your CBD softgel in the morning? What about having a cocktail with dinner before your CBD with melatonin at bedtime?

Everyone metabolizes CBD differently, and other factors can affect how long it stays in your system. That means you could be mixing CBD with alcohol without intending to. If you’re taking CBD consistently, keep in mind that you may not need as many glasses as your pre-CBD days to catch a buzz.

Ultimately, only you and your doc can determine if alcoholic CBD drinks are right for you. If you do decide to imbibe, be mindful of your intake and follow the usual best practices for drinking responsibly.

Can CBD Oil Cure A Hangover?

Sure, the night out with drinks and dancing is fun. Until the next morning.

Essentially, hangovers occur from dehydration and your body trying to process a toxic substance (alcohol).

Hangovers can range from mild (I want to take a nap, but I made it to work on time. Yay, me.) to severe (It’ll be a miracle if I get off the bathroom floor today.).

The super-duper good news? Based on CBD’s observed effects on the body and mind, it could help with these hangover symptoms:

Nausea & Vomiting

Alcohol can do a number on your gut and be taxing to your system, making you feel queasy or downright nauseous.

THC (the primary cannabinoid in marijuana) has long been used to resolve nausea. On its own, CBD’s shown to have an anti-nausea effect. Broad-spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other cannabis compounds, which may have a synergistic effect.

Long story short: With broad-spectrum CBD, you’re more likely to get tummy-soothing benefits with the high.

Headaches

Alcohol can trigger an inflammatory response causing aches and pains, including headaches. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties and relationship with the nervous system make it a natural option for relieving headaches and migraines.

Since dehydration is a common cause of headaches, be sure to drink up when taking your CBD. Better yet, add a water-soluble CBD tincture to your H20 for fast absorption (aka faster relief) while you hydrate.

Sleep

Ever find yourself awake at 3 am after going to bed tipsy at midnight?

Alcohol interferes with your body’s sleep chemicals. They come on fast and strong, which is why you may not even remember your head hitting the pillow. Then they wear off fast, waking you up before you’ve had enough rest.

Sleep hormones are regulated by the endocannabinoid system. CBD’s able to interact with this system and may support healthy sleep cycles. Many people report an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep with CBD. For maximum sleep support, try a CBD product with melatonin, a natural sleep hormone.

CBD For Alcohol Withdrawal

Research focusing on CBD for alcohol dependence and withdrawal symptoms is in its infancy, but there are signs that it may be helpful in these scenarios. Here’s what we know so far.

  • People with alcohol dependency disorder tend to have fewer endocannabinoids — cannabinoids naturally produced by the body. Lack of endocannabinoids can worsen the physical and mental effects of withdrawal symptoms. CBD and other cannabinoids are recognized by the body and could serve as a replacement.
  • A study conducted on animals found that CBD reduced the desire to drink alcohol, preventing relapse.
  • Plant compounds called terpenoids, which are also present in CBD may help curb the desire to drink alcohol and develop habitual behavior.

More research is needed to understand the therapeutic applications of CBD for addiction and withdrawal of any substance, alcohol included.

The Last Sip

Mixing CBD with alcohol could make you tipsy faster, so it’s best to sip slowly and in moderation if it’s a new combo for you. Be sure to follow your doc’s advice about taking CBD or drinking alcohol.

With a myriad of good-for-your-bod properties, CBD might help curb your hangover symptoms. There may also be therapeutic uses for CBD for withdrawal and dependency on the horizon.

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