Lifestyle and Well-Being

CBD and alcohol

Can you drink alcohol and still take CBD? Can CBD help with hangovers? Studies assert CBD can reduce diseases related to AUD. Let us discuss.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year when the instructions to shelter at home were announced, and the world began its shut down – several things became apparent immediately. Some of the lighter were:

  1. We discovered that liquor stores are indeed considered essential businesses, and many people were quick to fill their home-bar, or were led to create one, with public bars being closed to reduce the spread. 
  2. Drinking while advised to stay indoors can be a fun mix, especially if movie nights are a thing in your home.

But with best health in mind, and in finding balance in not so healthy indulgences, and the desire to consume responsibly, moderation is key. A glass of wine a day, keeps the doctor away – at least studies have shown that one glass of red wine a day is good for your heart! Red wine is high in resveratrol and antioxidants which are crucial to maintain a healthy working heart.

But what about mixing CBD and alcohol in general? Can I have a drink and still take my CBD or can it maybe even help with a hangover? Let’s get right into it!

Alcohol and CBD in general

Experienced CBD users know about the strong influence of CBD on our body – this has already been proven in many studies. Both CBD and alcohol can cause a feeling of relaxation in the body. By taking CBD and alcohol at the same time these effects could be amplified to the extent that users feel extremely tired or even sedated. That being said, CBD is, as always, a very personal experience and results may vary from person to person.

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There is little to no clinical evidence yet on the effects of taking CBD and consuming alcohol at the same time. However, especially in the US, CBD infused alcoholic drinks are on the rise and have become more and more popular. This might be an indication that the combination of CBD and alcohol isn’t too concerning after all.

Caution is still advised: What exactly happens when you mix CBD and alcohol is still not fully researched, both alcohol and CBD are very strong regulators. When you mix these two substances effects might be amplified to an extent that is not safe anymore.

Hangovers and Reduction of Inflammation

Hangovers are the commonly known state of despair after having had alcoholic drinks. Whether triggered by a single drink, or for those lucky few, altogether avoided post-heavy drinking, any amount of alcohol consumed (depending on the person) can lead to a hangover. 

The Mayo Clinic confirms that hangovers are an inflammatory response from the immune system after consuming a certain amount of alcohol.

With the benefits being consistent for reduction of inflammation aiding in protection of our vital organs, as well as CBD’s potential to restore homeostasis (the body’s own balance) in the system, there are few reasons not to try. 

CBD has shown potential to alleviate nausea, pain and inflammation throughout the body by interacting with the body’s own endocannabinoid system. This could lead to the assumption that CBD is potentially helpful when suffering from a hangover as symptoms fall under all these categories. 

Adding a few drops into your morning coffee after a long night alongside with a lot of water throughout the day could work wonders!

Can CBD help reduce drinking?

Regardless of one’s drinking habits, if you are living with issues around healthy and moderate alcohol consumption, the benefits of consuming Cannabidiol (CBD) have the capacity to improve neurocognitive and hepatic related (Fatty Liver Disease) outcomes. 

This means that despite whether you are seeking to work on preventative health, or hoping to turn alcohol indulgences to a minimal concern, a clinical study from 2019 points towards further research required for taking CBD therapeutically with the intention being to decrease the negative impact of alcohol. 

In preclinical studies, the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) showed promise for the struggle with overconsumption. The advised number of drinks for women highly contradicts my own consumption. For women, 1 alcoholic beverage per day is advised, and for men just two. Excessive drinking is considered to be 4 or more drinks per day, or 8 or more in a week for women, and for men 5 or more per day with 15 in a week by the USDA. Needless to say, I’ve gotten better news in life before revisiting this concept.

This pre-clinical study using CBD as a way to decrease alcohol consumption, the results of the study led to a lower overall consumption, and compulsion to consume alcohol. When dealing with addiction, CBD may be an effective, natural plant based option, due to its capacity to limit and reduce the qualities associated with addiction. In my own usage, I have noticed the relief I feel overall with CBD, post a night of drinks.

Brain Damage from Alcohol Consumption

According to the CDC, binge consumption of alcohol has been both expensive and dangerous to those who overly partake. As alcohol is known to be a highly addictive substance, the further findings on binge consumption are uniform.

Findings in pre-clinical testing revealed that CBD has the capacity to work against damaging and adverse consequences while also exerting a neuroprotective effect on the hippocampus. With the risk of hepatic neurocognitive outcomes directly linked to hepatosis in the liver (fatty liver disease) CBD may prove worthy of further examination. Hepatic Encephalopathy occurs when the liver cannot adequately remove toxins from the blood. Too many toxins in the bloodstream leads to brain damage.

Pre-clinical trials with animals allowed for study within the impulsivity, relapse, motivation and anxiety around AUD, and the role that CBD plays in limiting consumption. The effects of CBD not only look good, but they feel even better.

Potential positive effects

  • Prevention of diseases: Findings in pre-clinical testing revealed that CBD has the capacity to work against damaging and adverse consequences while also exerting a neuroprotective effect on the hippocampus. With the risk of hepatic neurocognitive outcomes directly linked to hepatosis in the liver (fatty liver disease) CBD may prove worthy of further examination. Hepatic Encephalopathy occurs when the liver cannot adequately remove toxins from the blood. Too many toxins in the bloodstream leads to brain damage.
  • Lower blood alcohol levels: Taking a certain amount of CBD when drinking alcohol may result in a lower level of blood alcohol. This was shown in a double-blind, crossover, randomized study. However, as could be wrongly assumed, this does not change the limited motor and psychomotor performances.

CBD and AUD (alcohol use disorder): alcohol consumption can lead to significant cell and organ damage, e.g. steatosis and fibrosis. Studies that have been conducted on animals showed that CBD can reduce diseases related to AUD.

Bottom Line

On the one hand, we can summarize that CBD and alcohol might amplify each other’s effect tremendously, which could even lead to a strong sedation. On the other hand, studies show that CBD can also have a very positive effect on the body when consuming alcohol. It remains to be seen to what extent the research will lead to new findings in the next years on this topic.

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