If you’re tempted by a tipple at the weekends, you might wonder if alcohol has the potential to interact with CBD.
Do CBD oil and alcohol go together?
Should we shy away from mixing the two?
Or can I mix my tincture with my gin and tonic?
We know that CBD can interact with some medications and change the rate at which they are metabolised by the body. So, it stands to reason that alcohol may trigger something similar, if mixed with CBD.
In this article, we will explore:
- Can you mix CBD and alcohol?
- Can CBD help with hangovers?
- What are the benefits and risks of taking CBD oil with alcohol?
Let’s get started.
In this guide:
What is CBD Oil?
The scientific name for CBD is cannabidiol. This is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant.
The close association with cannabis leads many to assume that CBD can cause psychoactive effects.
However, there is a big difference between CBD and THC.
CBD is will not make you feel “high”. Instead, it is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound that causes the feeling of being high.
CBD is commonly mixed with a carrier oil, such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil or palm oil.
This allows it to be taken sublingually (under the tongue), where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Can you mix CBD oil and alcohol?
To understand whether CBD and alcohol can be combined safely, let’s look at the two separately and consider how they affect the body.
How does CBD affect the body?
Similar to a vitamin supplement, CBD can boost wellness, but it isn’t a medical cure or treatment.
The cannabinoid works by interacting with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a complex network of cells and receptors.
A myriad of health problems can be triggered if our endocannabinoid system isn’t functioning properly, as the ECS is crucial to maintaining homeostasis in our body.
Right… But what’s that?
Homeostasis is the body’s way of naturally rebalancing when things are unsettled. It’s what keeps us alive and healthy.
For instance, when we get too hot, we sweat. This is an example of homeostasis – a natural bodily function that cools us down when we overheat.
How does alcohol affect the body?
While CBD rebalances us, alcohol unsettles us.
Alcohol use induces adverse effects on the body by negatively impacting mood and coordination. It can also damage the liver and lead to headaches caused by dehydration.
Over-consumption of alcohol can cause an imbalance in the central nervous system and lead to significant negative health implications.
Clinical studies also show that long-term alcohol use may increase the risk of depression.
So do CBD and alcohol balance one another out?
Combining alcohol and CBD may have benefits for our general well-being, as CBD may counteract the negative effects associated with alcohol.
Studies haven’t indicated any severe side effects associated with mixing CBD oil and alcohol, but the combination may trigger complications that we’re not yet aware of.
While the evidence is in its infancy, we’d advise you to always proceed with caution.
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What happens if you mix CBD oil and alcohol?
Combining CBD and alcohol may cause drowsiness and impaired coordination. It may also potentially increase the alcohol’s effects, causing you to feel drunk more quickly.
One clinical study showed that participants who mixed CBD with alcohol saw an impairment in motor performance and delayed reactions.
Alcohol consumption often results in slower reactions, which was also demonstrated in the study. Yet, the results suggest that the reaction times were slower than usual when mixed with CBD.
Benefits of mixing CBD with alcohol
There aren’t any clinical ‘ benefits’ of mixing CBD and alcohol, but if you’re drinking to relax, you might find you drink less if you’re also taking CBD.
Taking CBD before or after you drink alcohol may also help counteract the side effects you experience the next day.
If you use CBD for anxiety, you might find it helpful for hangover-induced anxiety too.
Side effects of mixing CBD with alcohol
Unfortunately, this is another unknown – we currently don’t have enough clinical evidence to determine whether there are side effects associated with mixing CBD and alcohol.
If you regularly take CBD and decide you would like to drink alcohol, pay close attention to how it makes you feel. You might find you need less alcohol than usual to feel the same effects.
Whether you drink alcohol with CBD or drink it alone, it’s always best to alternate between alcoholic drinks and soft drinks to ensure you stay hydrated.
Can CBD replace alcohol?
As discussed, alcohol consumption and binge drinking can cause various health conditions, from neurological issues to liver disease.
In contrast, CBD offers positive benefits for rebalancing the body, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
So, if you’re just looking for the relaxing benefits, CBD won’t get you drunk… But it can be a healthy replacement for alcohol.
What about CBD cocktails?
There is a growing market for CBD-infused drinks: you can find everything from beer to cocktails sold pre-mixed with CBD infusions.
But the market is still young, and we don’t yet fully understand if the two really do complement each other.
To make CBD drinks 100% safe, it’s always best to stick with non-alcoholic beverages.
If you do wish to try CBD-infused alcohol drinks – or even create your own – insure only to consume moderate amounts of CBD oil and alcohol simultaneously.
Final thoughts on CBD and alcohol
Without more substantial evidence, it’s best to take precautions to inhibit any health risks.
We just don’t know the full picture yet. Combining the two substances may amplify the risks of alcohol, or it may balance the side effects.
If you want to use CBD to support your overall health, it could be worth cutting down on alcohol consumption and replacing booze with your favourite CBD products.