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If you see CBD products popping up everywhere lately, that is because you are.

Because of the cannabinoids’ newfound popularity and versatility, you have probably even seen them added to foods and drinks. But new users may be wondering: can I mix CBD and alcohol?

The short answer is yes; however, preliminary studies show that mixing CBD and alcohol can amplify each other’s sedative effects. 

CBD has already demonstrated its worth through different studies in the health and wellness industry.

Some companies are even promoting their CBD as a hangover cure. But CBD is not a thoroughly researched subject – yet.

There is still a significant need to conduct an extensive study to fully understand the impacts of CBD when it is mixed with alcohol.

What are the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol?

The first thing to remember about mixing alcohol and CBD is that CBD does not have the intoxicating properties of THC.

However, CBD and alcohol have sedative properties that act on the Central Nervous System.

So when CBD with alcohol are mixed, there is a potential that they compound each other’s effects and have a much stronger relaxing impact on the body.

Additionally, both CBD and alcohol can cause blood vessels to dilate. This means combining the two substances can lead to a drop in blood pressure.

If this effect is too strong and the pressure drops too low, your heart may have difficulty pushing enough blood and oxygen to your brain, making you feel dizzy or lightheaded. 

So are there any upsides to taking CBD with alcohol?

A study conducted in the late 70s by the journal Psychopharmacology involved ten subjects given either a placebo, CBD and orange juice, CBD and alcohol, or just alcohol.

The researchers then assessed the impact of the various combinations on the subjects’ motor skills, psychomotor skills, and blood alcohol levels.

While the study found that those given alcohol and the alcohol-CBD combination showed “few differences” between the two alcohol conditions, they also found that the participants taking alcohol and CBD together had significantly lower blood alcohol levels.

Other research further suggests that CBD could help protect against the toxic side effects of alcohol.

For example, in a 2014 study published in the Journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine, mixing CBD and alcohol prevented the development of steatosis in mice.

Steatosis refers to the abnormal fatty development in the body’s cellular structure. The term describes Fatty Liver Disease, a common health issue for alcoholics. 

In other words, this study concluded that CBD displayed liver-protective qualities during alcoholic binge drinking.

The researchers theorized that it might have been due to CBD’s antioxidant properties and ability to increase autophagy (a natural process by which a cell destroys defunct parts of itself).

THC and Alcohol

Because many CBD products often contain varying amounts of THC, it is perhaps worth briefly exploring how THC and alcohol interact. 

Cannabis and alcohol are some of the most common drug combinations amongst users, yet the interaction of these two compounds is also poorly understood.

In 2015, a study showed for the first time that the simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis produces significantly higher blood concentrations of cannabis’s main psychoactive compound, THC.

However, since CBD products only contain trace amounts of psychoactive THC, this should not cause concern.

Can CBD Help with Hangovers? 

If you want to know how CBD can help with your hangover, then it is in your best interest to understand how a hangover happens. 

When you consume alcohol, it is absorbed by your body and broken down into several different components: acetaldehyde.

The name acetaldehyde comes from two more familiar, highly toxic compounds: acetone and formaldehyde.

This toxic compound, dehydration, and a lack of electrolytes can lead to a debilitating hangover.

People have been using cannabis as a hangover treatment for many years. But now, researchers are beginning to learn how CBD might be able to help us overcome the dreaded hangover. 

Because alcohol is a diuretic, it can lead to fluid loss, making you feel dehydrated and tired.

It can also lead to inflammation in your body, which accounts for the discomfort, aches, and pains associated with inflammation of all sorts caused by a hangover.

Researchers and study subjects report that CBD works well as an anti-inflammatory compound. 

In addition, CBD does not adversely interact with alcohol, unlike more traditional anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen, which can cause an increase in liver toxicity.

Cannabis has been used as an antiemetic to help prevent nausea and vomiting for many years.

CBD proves to have many of the same benefits. So while it may be in your best interest to consume cannabis in its complete form to reap the benefits of various cannabinoids, people who are opposed to marijuana’s intoxicating effects can find relief by simply using CBD.

CBD For Hangovers | CBD Benefits That Help You Battle Hangovers 

Conclusion 

There is not enough research to determine the effects of mixing alcohol and CBD. 

CBD and alcohol may amplify one another’s effects when taken together, so be careful about how much of both you are consuming. When you consume both in large amounts together, you may feel sleepy or heavily sedated, so it is essential to pay attention to your drink count in such cases. 

Furthermore, evidence suggests that CBD’s neuroprotective and antioxidant properties may make CBD a viable option for nursing a hangover. Of course, again, everyone’s body is different and will react differently to alcohol and CBD. But it does appear possible for CBD to treat some of the most notorious hangover symptoms. 

It has not been confirmed whether mixing CBD and alcohol is advisable, even though the evidence suggests that it could be harmless—even beneficial. However, it is always best to speak with your doctor before combining medications or alternative therapies with alcohol.

Sources

What Happens If You Mix CBD and Alcohol?

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-and-alcohol#:~:text=Taking%20alcohol%20and%20CBD%20together%20could%20amplify%20these%20effects%2C%20potentially%20causing%20symptoms%20like%20increased%20sleepiness%20and%20sedation.

Interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/120541/

Cannabidiol protects liver from binge alcohol-induced steatosis by mechanisms including inhibition of oxidative stress and increase in autophagy

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0891584913015670

Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in blood

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150527112728.htm

Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/#:~:text=Therefore%2C%20it%20has%20been%20suggested,of%20immune%20cells%20%5B66%5D.

The Chemistry of a Hangover

https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health/curing-hangover#:~:text=The%20culprits%20are%20acetaldehyde%20and,the%20symptoms%20of%20a%20hangover.

Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165951/

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