If you’ve ever had one too many, you don’t need us to tell you about the effects that alcohol has on your body. Around 1 AM, that eight Mojito might look like a good idea but, deep down, you know you’re going to regret it in the morning, even if you’re in top form that evening. The volatility of alcohol interactions is why medical professionals urge not to drink it when you’re using pharmaceuticals. But, what about CBD and alcohol? Are there any adverse interactions between the two that you need to know about? Read on to find out more about mixing alcohol with CBD. As a bonus, we’ll also explore the connection between CBD and hangovers. Is there finally something out there that might help your pounding head the morning after a wicked party. Let’s find out!
If you’re happily vaping on your CBD oil right now, and are planning on hitting a few brewskies later in the evening, you will be happy to know that you can do so without fearing major interactions between the two. Mixing CBD and alcohol drinking might not be totally desirable but, according to the studies we found, nothing major will occur if you do.
A professor of biochemistry and neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center, James Giordano does, however, advise caution when mixing the two. According to him, both CBD and alcohol can exacerbate the effects of one another, making you more intoxicated or sedated faster, depending on what you go overboard with.
“Like anything else, as doses increase of either or both, you get yourself more into a problem,” says professor Giordano in an interview for Vice. “The more you drink, the more CBD you’re taking, you get a potentiated effect that’s greater than the effect of either alone. The level of intoxication is going to be greater: greater loss of control, inhibition, motor coordination, and that becomes problematic.”
It’s only natural for doctors and researchers to advise caution when mixing CBD and alcohol. The interaction between the two, while not being too damaging, hasn’t been explored in depth so far.
Technically, alcohol is a depressant drug, one that we would likely call a ‘downer’. This means that it lowers neurotransmission levels, reducing arousal and stimulation in the process. Nobody is really up for a game of softball after downing a couple of beers, right? They just don’t have the energy in them for that. CBD is pretty similar. In lower doses, it can act as an ‘upper’ – increasing neurotransmission levels. But, after a certain point, it’s going to start having a sedative effect on a person.
That said, the few CBD/alcohol studies that we were able to dig out don’t tell us anything extraordinary about then interaction. For example, a small study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 1979 took a look at 10 volunteers who were given a placebo (orange juice and sugar), CBD and orange juice, alcohol, and CBD and alcohol. Those volunteers were then tested – researchers looked at their psychomotor skills, motor performance, and blood alcohol levels.
Obviously, those given placebo and CBD without alcohol didn’t show any impairments. However, the participants who were given alcohol and the alcohol-CBD combination showed significant impairments in all the tests. There were very few differences between taking just alcohol and alcohol with CBD. The researchers did note that the blood test showed lower blood alcohol levels for participants who took CBD as well. Regardless of that, their motor skills and performance was still poor. In essence, they were still pretty drunk but nothing more (or less) than that.
Can CBD Help Cure Alcohol Addiction?
It’s pretty obvious that CBD and alcohol mix without extensive consequences. Although more studies are needed, it’s a stretch to assume that they will unearth anything that we don’t already suspect, and that thousands of people who take CBD and drink alcohol don’t already know.
For example, a 2013 study published in the Journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behaviour tested the effects of CBD on rodents in a model that simulated binge drinking. Specifically, the thing that was tested was the effect of CBD on neurodegeneration caused by alcohol. Rats that were administered CBD before alcohol exhibited a 50% decrease in neurodegeneration than those that were not.
Furthermore, additional studies confirmed that CBD can have beneficial effects on alcohol-induced liver damage, the so called fatty liver disease. One specific study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine found that CBD can substantially curb the negative effects of this condition.
That’s all from a physiological point of view. From a psychological point, CBD can do much to prevent alcoholism as an addiction. Some of the conventional routes used to treat alcoholism include abstinence, behavioral therapies, the use of certain medications to counteract the side effects of abstinence, and hospitalisation. Over the years, however, scientists have discovered that our own endocannabinoid system can be triggered such a way that it helps people overcome addictions.
Since the endocannabinoid system plays a key role in mediating our neurotransmitters and how they communicate, learning how to manipulate it effectively by introducing CBD and THC into the mix can help millions of people worldwide who are currently struggling with alcoholism. Today, a growing body of research is showing that CBD and other cannabinoid therapies may help regulate chemical imbalances brought on by regular abuse of alcohol and other intoxicants. In doing so, they can help reduce the risk factors associated with addiction, and possibly reduce the risk of a patient forming an addiction or relapsing in the future.
Wait, Can CBD Help With Hangovers, Too?
Now we’re getting to the interesting part, right?
Well, before we can dive into that, it’s important to learn what hangovers are and why they happen. First of all, a hangover is a collection of symptoms brought on by excessive consumption of alcohol. These symptoms range from headache and nausea to sensitivity to light, dizziness, and fatigue. Hangovers happen because of two things – dehydration and toxicity (never forget, alcohol is actually a poison). When those two things are working in tandem, a splitting headache is a pretty sure bet!
Well, all of the symptoms of a hangover can be treated with CBD pretty effectively. Because of its wide range of therapeutic benefits, CBD not only acts on the physical symptoms but it can also lessen the psychological low that most of us end up with after a wild night out.
CBD’s most significant contribution to fighting hangovers is its antiemetic effect – which is just a fancy way of saying that it acts as a nausea suppressant. Through its interaction with our endocannabinoid system, CBD can reduce the overall sensation of nausea, thus preventing alcohol-induced vomiting in the early hours of the morning. And, since it also has a calming effect on the gut and stomach, CBD will prevent the general sense of queasiness brought on by drinking too much.
CBD’s second-most-important contribution is its ability to relieve headache and migraine. Cannabidiol has been clinically proven to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This in turn causes a lessening of headache and migraine-related pain. It is important to remember to consume water in order to fully rid yourself of hangover-related migraine symptoms. While CBD may numb the pain, it cannot solve the root of the problem, dehydration. Actually, since it also binds water, CBD can actually worsen a hangover if you’re not staying hydrated while taking it so always remember to drink 5 to 6 large glasses of water throughout the day if you have been drinking the previous night.
CBD & Alcohol – Both In Moderation
As things stand now, we would like to suggest caution when mixing alcohol and CBD. While there doesn’t seem to be much of an interaction between the two, we’d like to see more research go into it before we make a final determination. And, as they say, too much of a good thing, right? You don’t want to go overboard with either CBD or alcohol, the latter especially.
And, while mixing CBD with a few bottles of beer might not do much harm, it’s much smarter to take CBD the morning after, as a potential cure for the many symptoms of a hangover. Thanks to its numerous health benefits, CBD might just be the ticket when it comes to getting rid of a nasty headache!
If you have any questions about CBD and alcohol, or our exclusive CBD vape system called the CalmVape, don’t hesitate to contact us via email or Facebook. We’d be happy to chat with you, and let you in on all the benefits you can expect once you start vaping CBD on a regular basis!