With the growing popularity of CBD, it seems that companies are adding this unique compound to every product imaginable these days. While you might have heard about edibles, vape juices and tinctures infused with CBD oil, now it seems that CBD products seep into the beverage sector as well. Many bars and restaurants are spilling over with CBD cocktail offerings, while breweries are selling various options of CBD-infused beer. But what are the effects of combining CBD oil with alcohol, and is this combination actually safe?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound delivered from Cannabis species. Since it is known as a non-addictive and non-psychoactive component, intake of CBD oil won’t cause a ‘high’ or severe side effects.
To provide various health benefits, CBD is believed to indirectly influence special receptors as part of the complex endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is responsible for crucial functions of the body, including mood, pain, stress, inflammation, memory, sleep and many others. Using CBD can be useful for improving the natural functioning of the ECS and achieving a state of homeostasis, which usually results in decreased anxiety and pain, improved mood, concentration and energy, better quality sleep, among other useful effects.
What Happens When You Mix CBD Oil & Alcohol?
Given how new CBD oil is to most, some may have concerns when combining CBD oil and alcohol. Luckily, there are a handful of respected journals that have looked into such circumstances. However, there are some potential advantages and disadvantages of mixing CBD and alcohol.
Even if you don’t combine CBD oil with alcohol in your drink, they can mix if you consume these substances within four to eight hours of each other. Therefore, drinking at dinner and then taking CBD before bed may have a more dramatic effect than it would without the alcohol. Here is why.
CBD & Alcohol Can Enhance Each Other’s Effects
Alcohol is known for its stimulant and sedating properties in humans and ability to diminish inhibitions and promote feelings of relaxation. CBD oil is commonly used due to similar effects on the body as it can help to reduce anxiety and stress and calm your mind.
However, a combination of alcoholic beverages and CBD oil can amplify these effects, potentially providing more stronger and long-lasting effects and causing symptoms like increased sleepiness and various sedative effects like drowsiness and relaxation.
Also, combining alcohol with CBD might cause mood and behaviour changes, particularly in motor skills and the perception of time. In one small study, ten healthy participants were given 200 mg of CBD along with 1 gram of alcohol per kg body weight. After one week of treatments, alcohol plus CBD has been shoed to cause the significant motor and psychomotor dysfunctions and overestimations of time production, compared to placebo. Nevertheless, this study used much higher doses of CBD than most users typically take.
CBD Might Help With Hangovers
Mixing CBD oil and alcohol can help to reduce the unpleasant effects of a hangover. Cannabidiol has been shown to effectively relieve headaches and nausea, and its use during a hangover can alleviate the negative effects of alcohol. While the use of CBD oil will not completely eliminate a hangover, as only time and proper rest can do that, but CBD’s usefulness in reducing it can be an added benefit.
The primary purpose of various CBD-infused cocktails is to enable consumers to enjoy the euphoria and relaxation experienced by drinking alcohol, without accompanying several hangover symptoms, such as headache, nausea or gastrointestinal tract distress typically associated with alcohol consumption.
CBD Can Reduce The Negative Effects Of Alcohol
Chronic alcohol use can cause a range of negative health effects, both immediate and long-term. CBD can potentially decrease these negative effects by using it on its own or mixing it with alcoholic beverages.
Studies in mice suggest that CBD can help to treat alcohol-induced liver disease, prompting researchers to push for human trials. In one study, the use of CBD dramatically reduced oxidative stress, inflammation and fat accumulation in the liver. These potential benefits make hemp-derived CBD oil a promising treatment for alcoholic liver disease, for which other effective solutions are quite limited, yet more research is needed to support this evidence.
CBD May Decrease Blood Alcohol Levels
Blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) is the per cent of alcohol present in your bloodstream. A higher BAC usually correlates with a greater loss of cognitive function and motor control. One study found that when participants took 200 mg of CBD together with alcohol, they had significantly lower blood alcohol levels in comparison to when they consumed alcohol with a placebo.
CBD Might Be Useful In Case Of Alcohol Addiction
If CBD can help to address hangover symptoms, could it also help to relieve harsh alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Again, more research is required to be sure, but CBD might be able to mitigate the dangers of alcohol withdrawal by reducing several symptoms and maintaining internal balance.
A study on the effects of cannabidiol on alcohol-addicted rats has found that cannabidiol reduced relapse, decreased alcohol intake and motivation to consume alcohol.
In addition, CBD and ECS may play an essential role in the development of disorders associated with substance abuse and alcohol tolerance. Research has shown that the body’s ECS is responsible for regulating reward signalling in the brain. CBD has been shown to suppress the brain’s perception of addictive substances like alcohol. It is possible that this inhibitory function might occur before, during or after drinking alcohol, so using CBD can significantly reduce the risk of alcohol dependence.
The Bottom Line
Nowadays, CBD-infused beverages have become a popular trend among CBD users. Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to say precisely whether the combination of CBD oil and alcohol is safe. But considering the list of the pros and cons of combining both substances, as long as the product is manufactured by a reliable CBD company and you are consuming it in moderation, then there is nothing to worry about.
For those people that are mixing cannabidiol and alcohol on their own, a reasonable dosage can help to avoid potential side effects. What’s more, knowing the authenticity and purity of your CBD oil or infused product can also help to prevent further side effects.