All recreational marijuana consumers are advised about combining psychoactive cannabis with alcohol. But what about CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in the marijuana and hemp plants. Users take CBD to relieve several different physical and psychological ailments.
Research is limited, but there are benefits when taking CBD to alleviate the side effects of drinking.
If you take CBD while drinking alcohol, will the two substances interact? Here’s what we know about CBD and alcohol.
It’s not advisable to take CBD before a long night of drinking.
But more CBD users are jumping on this trend to diminish and prevent hangovers. In addition, the research done can identify ways CBD can potentially protect your body during a long night of drinking.
First, we should look at the ways alcohol affects our body. Many people call it a “poison” for a reason. Alcohol disrupts many areas of the body, from the brain to your liver.
When alcohol travels down to your digestive system, your stomach lining becomes inflamed. This is why many people suffer from nausea after a long night of drinking.
Alcohol also triggers a buildup of enzymes in the pancreas, which can lead to several ailments when abused over time.
Alcohol also causes frequent urination, which forces vital nutrients out of your body. It also depletes your body of water, which is why so many people suffer from a headache and dry mouth the morning after.
The liver takes some of the most damage from alcohol. Alcohol metabolizes in the liver. This causes scarring, inflammation, and even some serious liver ailments.
Alcohol triggers pleasure neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. This is why many people get happy, outgoing, confident, and silly while drunk. This euphoria is also what leads people to alcohol addiction.
Cannabinoid receptors exist in many areas of the body, but the effects depend on the cannabinoids consumed.
CBD controls our CB-2 receptors, which are spread out throughout our major bodily systems. This is why CBD has the power to protect your body from alcohol’s damage.
The only study done on this topic is CBD’s benefit to the liver. Since CBD is an antioxidant, this study concludes it can protect the liver from alcohol-generated oxidative stress-induced steatosis.
This doesn’t mean CBD can’t protect your body in other ways. While more research needs to be done, CBD shows promise at preventing nausea and vomiting, which can help prevent this common alcohol side effect.
As mentioned previously, CBD is a powerful antioxidant. This will help your body retain its hydration.
While we don’t fully understand CBD’s neurological benefits, there are studies that show CBD has an antidepressant-like effect. One of the theories is CBD binds to the serotonin 1A receptor.
In addition, this study on rodents showed the rodents given CBD gel experienced less alcohol-induced degeneration.
This enforces a pleasurable response, much like the one alcohol causes. This will help alcohol users feel happy throughout the night, not feeling the urge to drink as heavily.
In addition, this response can also decrease violent and angry tendencies that some experience when drinking alcohol.
While taking CBD before a long night of drinking sounds like a great idea, we do know that interactions can occur. The severity of these interactions is what we don’t fully understand.
Only one study has been done that surveyed the effects of CBD and alcohol in humans.
CBD helped strengthen the impairment of the participants; however, those who took CBD had a lower blood alcohol level than the participants who didn’t.
This is because alcohol and cannabis are both depressants, commonly known as “downers.” They depress the central nervous system.
In large quantities, both can have sedative effects. This is why it’s common to feel drowsy when both substances are in your system.
No one should drink and drive, but consuming CBD with alcohol will further impair your ability to operate a vehicle or machinery.
In addition, your lethargy may not make you feel as focused as you would be without either substance and could affect your motor skills.
All of these effects depend on each person. Everyone experiences alcohol differently and they also experience CBD differently.
While some may benefit from taking CBD with alcohol, others may not. This is why it’s ill-advised to take CBD with alcohol until more research proves it’s safe.
If you’re still intrigued to try CBD either before or immediately after you drink alcohol, there are some best practices to follow.
First and foremost, don’t take CBD with alcohol unless you’re experienced with using CBD.
If you’re an experienced CBD user, it’s best you keep doses low. Take a slightly lower dose than what you usually take or take less than what the manufacturer recommends.
If there’s a time to take CBD with alcohol, it’s the morning after. CBD and alcohol only interact at a window between four and eight hours.
We don’t understand a lot about CBD and alcohol. The best course of action is to not combine CBD and alcohol. If you have to, try taking CBD after you wake up from drinking.
With the CBD market growing and more research emerging, it’s best you buy the highest quality CBD products.