CBD With Alcohol Effects: What We Know So Far About Mixing CBD With Alcohol
Posted on September 15th, 2020
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It has gained tremendous popularity in recent years and has been used in oils, tinctures, salves, lotions, drinks, and more. There are even companies that have infused CBD with alcoholic beverages. But what are the effects of mixing CBD with alcohol or ingesting the two simultaneously? Is it a beneficial mixture, a dangerous one, or an inconsequential pairing?
CBD and Alcohol May Amplify Each Others’ Effects
It is no secret that alcohol can lower inhibitions and can cause you to feel more relaxed. CBD has been said to have a similar effect. It can calm you down, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. In one study involving 72 people, participants took CBD daily for a month and the majority noticed a reduction in anxiety. Their quality of sleep also improved.
Since CBD and alcohol have some similar calming effects, they may be amplified if CBD and alcohol are taken simultaneously. This could have the potential to cause drowsiness. As with anything mixed with a depressant such as alcohol, changes in a person’s mood are possible.
In some cases, consuming both CBD and alcohol may lead to decreased motor performance. Perception of time could become altered as well. This occurred in one study in which subjects received a certain amount of CBD along with alcohol. However, the participants did not experience those effects when CBD was the only substance taken.
CBD and Hangovers
While CBD might not provide immediate relief from a hangover, it could be useful in managing some hangover symptoms. These include nausea, headaches, and vomiting. The antioxidants and neuroprotective properties of CBD may explain why it’s an effective hangover remedy for some.
Another common use for CBD is as a sleep aid. Having a hangover can make it difficult to sleep, and rest is one of the best ways to cure a hangover. Taking cannabidiol can relax a user, making it easier to get quality sleep, and thus recover more quickly.
It should be noted that there is no evidence that suggests that CBD will actually prevent drunkenness.
CBD Might Protect Against Long Term Effects of Alcohol
Although there’s not much proof that combining CBD and alcohol will offer you instant benefits, there is research that suggests it may protect against the effects of prolonged alcohol use.
Cell Damage and Disease
Consuming too much alcohol can cause a number of diseases. These include liver disease, pancreatitis, and various types of cancers. Not only that but drinking alcohol in excess can cause general inflammation in many areas of the body.
There are studies that have been conducted on animals that were given CBD. These studies suggest that CBD might be able to protect against cell damage that is caused by drinking alcohol. In one study, rats were given CBD gel and the results showed that brain-cell damage was decreased by nearly 50%. This makes it plausible that liver cells could be similarly protected from the damaging effects of alcohol.
As of now, it’s not clear if CBD affects humans in the same way. Nonetheless, the research done on animals is promising. If you wish to potentially prevent cell damage and diseases caused by alcohol consumption, using CBD products might be a good idea.
Blood Alcohol Levels
The higher your blood alcohol levels are, the less control you’ll have over your motor skills and cognitive skills. One study involving ten people revealed that their blood alcohol content (BAC) levels were lower when they consumed CBD with alcohol, compared to when they took a placebo with alcohol. Additional research does need to be conducted, but so far it appears that BAC levels might become lower when you consume CBD and alcohol in moderate amounts.
CBD might be able to help with alcohol addiction. In animal studies, CBD has been shown to reduce symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal and alcohol addiction. In one study involving alcohol-addicted rats, CBD offered some crucial benefits. The rats’ motivation to consume alcohol seemed to decrease. This led to an overall decrease in alcohol consumption and prevented them from relapsing.
It’s important to note that alcohol withdrawal is very serious and in some cases, it can be life-threatening. Although CBD may help with various symptoms of alcohol addiction, it is still a good idea to seek medical help when trying to quit alcohol, and when dealing with withdrawal symptoms. A medical professional can advise you on how to quit, deal with withdrawal symptoms and whether or not using CBD is a good idea.
Generally speaking, CBD might help curb addiction of all types. In fact, another study involving two dozen smokers found that CBD use reduced the number of cigarettes the participants were smoking by over 35%. Smoking is highly addictive, so it’s possible that CBD could help with alcohol addiction as well.
CBD and Alcohol: Should You Take Them Together?
At the time of this writing, more research is needed on the effects of mixing alcohol and CBD. Although some animal and human tests have been conducted, they are still few and far between. Existing studies have found that CBD might reduce the short term and long term side effects of alcohol consumption.
Negative effects of mixing CBD and alcohol have not been observed in any substantial numbers. That being said, CBD affects people differently, as is the case with many organic compounds. This means there is no universal answer to whether it’s wise to mix CBD and alcohol or not.
A lot of the research out there has involved studying the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol but in very high amounts. There aren’t many studies that have taken a look at combining smaller doses of CBD with a couple of drinks here and there. Generally speaking, if you’re not sure how mixing CBD and alcohol will affect you, you should experiment cautiously. To reduce the chances of experiencing adverse side effects, it is best to only consume small amounts of CBD and alcohol at first.
Alcoholic Drinks Infused With CBD
Many companies that produce alcoholic drinks have started infusing CBD with their products. For example, one company infuses red wine that advertises the anti-anxiety properties of CBD. And the number of bars across the country serving CBD-infused cocktails is also continuously increasing. In the United States, the government has expressed concerns over such products and practices. At one point, Congress wanted the FDA to create marketing guidelines on infused drinks, food, and CBD supplements in general. The FDA’s current belief is that there’s not enough evidence that CBD can be used to effectively treat medical conditions.
CBD With Alcohol Effects: Does It Cause a High?
CBD mixed with alcohol will not get you high like smoking marijuana will. THC, which is the psychotropic component in marijuana that is responsible for getting users “high,” is a completely different chemical compound than CBD. In fact, it is possible that you won’t feel anything other than what you would normally feel when you consume alcohol.
Every human body has an endocannabinoid system, like a nervous system or limbic system. This is what CBD interacts with; namely the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Various genetic mutations to these receptors are partly responsible for people’s differing reactions to CBD. Taking into account people’s equally varying reactions to alcohol, it’s not surprising why the research on this topic has yet to find definitive conclusions.
The well-documented safety of CBD suggests that combining it with alcohol likely won’t have any drastic negative effects. But the known dangers of alcohol make it difficult to claim that combining anything with it is an objectively good idea. That said, if you’re not going to stop drinking alcohol, then adding a potential anti-inflammatory, stress-reducing compound like CBD to it could be a way to lessen the overall damage that alcohol inflicts.