CBD and Alcohol: Do They Mix?
CBD, which is also known as cannabidiol, is derived from cannabis and hemp. Cannabis and hemp are plants, meaning they are natural and grow. They are not synthetically made. CBD products can be purchased in numerous forms, from dispensaries and even in over the counter situations. The most common methods of cannabis consumption are smoking (vaping), edibles (including tinctures), and topicals (creams, lotions, balms, salves). Each of these types of products must have a third-party laboratory test the quality. The testing is indicative of a legitimate business.
How CBD and Alcohol Interact With One Another
Most of the studies completed on CBD have been done with rodents. A study was completed to see the effects of CBD gels used for neuroprotection in the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. The purpose of the study was to provide proof for further clinical studies in this area. The results did demonstrate that it was feasible, at least in the rodents, that using CBD via transdermal delivery could benefit the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.
In yet another rodent study, the ones who ingested CBD at least 30 minutes before ingesting alcohol showed a decrease in experiencing alcohol-induced oxidative damage to the liver versus those who didn’t ingest the CBD.
Despite the second study mentioned being done with rodents, it is feasible that the effect could be seen in humans too but not proven. Alcohol decreases autophagy in the liver. This autophagy causes fat to accumulate in the liver, which results in fatty liver, hepatitis, and inflammation. The effects of CBD produces the opposite reactions. It is possible that CBD could have the potential to counteract the effects of alcohol on the body. More studies must verify this idea’s validity before any concrete statements can be made for certain.
Effects of CBD with Alcohol Side Effects
Experts will tell you that there is not much known about the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol. There have been some promising studies – done on rodents – but studies nonetheless on the subject. It is based on these studies that some assumptions can be made, even though they have not been scientifically verified on human subjects as of yet.
CBD May Prevent Cell Damage and Disease Caused by Alcohol
Regardless of species, the excessive consumption of alcohol has been proven to cause damage to the cells. This damage increases the risk of inflammatory diseases like pancreatitis and liver disease. The rodent studies showed promising results in decreasing the cell damage and disease caused by alcohol. Still, there is no way of determining if this would relate to humans without further studies.
Blood Alcohol Levels May Be Reduced With CBD
A clinical study on CBD and alcohol interaction in humans was conducted using a double-blind study to determine if the use of CBD and alcohol together had any significant advantage over alcohol consumption without CBD.
The findings were promising, showing that those who had CBD in conjunction with alcohol had significantly lower blood alcohol levels than those without the CBD. This study was conducted in the 1970s using a significantly higher CBD dose than what is recommended for most people. The conflicting studies done in rodents regarding this same subject require more human research before any determination can be made.
CBD May Provide Therapeutic Relief for Alcohol Addiction
There is limited research available regarding human subjects, but rodents addicted to alcohol showed a reduction in alcohol intake, relapse prevention, and decreased motivation to consume alcohol, but more clinical studies would be required to see any substantial value for humans. A review of the literature on the subject concluded that there was a lack of evidence without further clinical reviews.
Additionally, a study was conducted with a group of smokers using a CBD inhaler for one week, producing results that showed a 40% reduction of cigarette use. The results suggest that CBD could be used as a means to help reduce addictive behaviors. Once again, more clinical trials will need to be done before any recommendations can be made.
Hangovers May Be Reduced with a Combination of CBD and Alcohol
Given all the information on using CBD to reduce the side effects of alcohol, such as blood alcohol levels, it is only feasible that it may help with hangovers. There is one small hiccup in this theory, though. If CBD can reduce the blood alcohol level, a person will feel less affected by alcohol. This could potentially cause them to drink in excess to try and achieve the feeling they want. In turn, they would end up with more alcohol in their system in the long run. There are few studies to provide proof on either side of the topic.
Should You Take CBD and Alcohol Together?
There is no good answer to this question. There is a lack of information and research available to determine the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol. The majority of the research conducted is either outdated, or it was conducted on rodents. Humans and rodents often produce different outcomes in these types of tests. With the lack of evidence to support the safety, it isn’t a good idea to mix the two.
Following CBD and Alcohol Safety
Even with the lack of evidence that using CBD in conjunction with alcohol is a feasible combination, there will be someone who does it anyway. Most of the research on the subject points to subjects seeing how their bodies react to each of them separately before advancing further. Like other substances, CBD and alcohol have the potential to affect individuals differently. Some people have a higher tolerance for alcohol, and others may experience side effects from using CBD.
Before you think about mixing two substances, like CBD and alcohol, understand that there is not enough research out there to support your justification for doing this. Choose one, choose the other, but unless you are willing to experience potential adverse effects, don’t do both.
Like with any substance, CBD, alcohol, THC, etc. make sure you know the laws and understand what is acceptable and what is not. Always be responsible when handling alcohol or CBD until you know the effects.