CBD and Alcohol
If CBD oil is good and alcohol is fun, then it would make sense that the two together would be amazing, right? Well, maybe not. Here is why:
Alcohol is famous for its ability to reduce inhibitions and how much it can help you to relax.
CBD can have similar effects on your body. We have seen and heard all the news about how it can reduce your anxiety and calm your nerves. It creates a wonderful sense of relaxation.
Now, here is the question: Is it safe to take alcohol and CBD together? And, does it help or hurt an alcoholic?
While taking alcohol and CBD together could sound like a great idea, it could exaggerate these effects, potentially causing symptoms like increased sleepiness and sedation. Some also claim that mixing CBD and alcohol can intensify each other’s effects, resulting in changes in mood and behavior- much more so than just taking one or the other. Unfortunately, there is very little research on the health effects of taking CBD with alcohol. There are not enough studies to be able to say for certain, but here are just a few thoughts from the medical community.
CBD may help prevent damage from alcohol
Not much is known about the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol. However, promising research shows that CBD may protect against some of alcohol’s negative effects. Here are a few ways CBD may impact the effects of alcohol.
May prevent cell damage and disease
We all know that excessive alcohol consumption can cause damage to cells, increasing the risk of inflammation and chronic diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, fatty liver disease, and certain types of cancer.
Now, since the research is just beginning, there have been a few studies that have observed that CBD may protect against cell damage caused by alcohol consumption. For example, one study in rats ( I am against animal testing for sure!) showed that applying CBD gel to the skin decreased brain-cell damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption by up to 49% (You can read about that here. ). It’s unclear whether CBD has any of these same effects in humans. More studies are needed to know whether CBD can prevent alcohol-induced cell damage in humans.
CBD may reduce blood alcohol levels
Can it make you less “drunk”? Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol in your blood. A higher BAC generally correlates with a greater loss of motor control and cognitive function- in other words, you are drunk.
There is little research on CBD’s effects on blood alcohol levels.
However, one study in 10 people found that when participants took CBD with alcohol, they had significantly lower blood alcohol levels than when they consumed alcohol without it. This by no means says that this is a fact, just an observation and something that needs more study.
Keep in mind that this study was conducted quite a while ago and used a very large dose of CBD — nearly 5–10 times higher than what is recommended for most people. It’s unclear whether normal doses of CBD would have this effect. Therefore, more research is needed to determine how CBD may affect blood alcohol in humans.
CBD may be therapeutic for alcohol addiction
Some researchers believe that CBD could help treat alcoholism? This could be a game changer!
Perhaps the most notable link between CBD and alcohol is the potential for the compound to help those with an addiction to alcohol. This is the case whether a person has developed full-blown alcoholism, or they just tend to overdrink but haven’t yet made it to the point of having an addiction. Essentially, CBD can help a person have a healthier relationship with alcohol.
The truth is, mixing hemp or CBD oil and alcohol can actually prove helpful for some people in an indirect manner. What’s more, using CBD oil can help a person curb their craving for alcohol, making it an effective treatment for alcoholism for some people. Some people need the feel of being intoxicated. Without it, they suffer from horrible withdrawal symptoms.
One of the biggest challenges alcoholics face is their withdraw symptoms when they stop drinking. They not only give up the rush that alcohol produces in their body but their body will respond in negative ways. For instance, many people who are heavy drinkers and stop find they develop a tremor. Alcoholics going through withdrawal also tend to experience a general sense of nervousness, insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, nausea, and irritability.
CBD has been shown to ease these symptoms in a variety of situations and could be an effective tool for helping a person kick their addiction to alcohol long-term. Since CBD is known for helping with nausea, insomnia and anxiety, it makes sense that it could help with withdrawal symptoms. Not to mention the cost considerations for treating alcoholism. Many people would benefit from spending time in a long-term care facility to help them deal with their addiction but these places are often very expensive. CBD is an affordable option for people who want to break their addiction to alcohol but don’t have the money to invest in an inpatient program. Compare 30 days in treatment at about $2500 versus a bottle of CBD for about $150. Big difference.
CBD helps people who are struggling with alcohol and makes it easier to overcome their addiction by doing what the body can no longer do by itself because of the damage from long-term over-drinking. It also substitutes for the feelings produced by drinking. CBD acts as a natural “replenishment” of the body’s depleted supply of endocannabinoids, which is eradicated over the course of abuse of alcohol. It can also reduce cravings for alcohol as a person goes through detox. CBD can be helpful for getting a person through withdraw and then for helping them avoid the temptation to drink once they’ve kicked their drinking habit.
Unfortunately, the stigma that still surrounds CBD has kept it out of the hands of many people suffering from alcoholism. Too many people assume that using CBD to treat alcoholism is just trading “one drug for another.” Others falsely believe that CBD is even more dangerous than alcohol or that it will produce “high” effects and not allow a person to recover from alcoholism in their normal functioning state. This could not be further from the truth.
The truth is CBD is not psychoactive and it cannot make you “high”. There are a number of misunderstandings and myths out there about CBD and too many people link it to marijuana and THC because it is derived from a similar source. CBD does not get you high or stoned. It does not interfere poorly with your body’s natural ability to perform and, as a matter of fact, many people find it has a positive effect on their performance. People who are not struggling with alcoholism use CBD to help them focus, feel more relaxed, and to meet the demands of everyday life in their optimal condition.
If you are struggling to overcome alcoholism or you’re wondering if CBD can help you approach alcohol consumption in a healthier manner, it might be time to give it a try.
CBD may help with quitting smoking
So, this is somewhat related to this post. Can it help with smoking cessation? Well, research in humans is limited. Nevertheless, one study in 24 smokers found that using a CBD inhaler for one week reduced cigarette use by 40%. These results suggest CBD could help curb addictive bheaviors. My thoughts are that using the inhaler has replaced the need to have a cigarette in your hand and mouth. The other thought is that it gives you the same feelings that you smoke for; relaxation, stress relief and calming down.
The final word
Should you take CBD and alcohol together?
There is currently not enough research to determine the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol. Several studies in both humans and animals have found that CBD may reduce some of alcohol’s side effects. And that it may INCREASE other effects. However, there’s limited research on whether taking CBD and alcohol together causes adverse health effects.
What’s more, the effects of CBD vary by individual, so it’s difficult to determine whether mixing CBD and alcohol would affect all people in a similar way. Additionally, most of the current research focuses on the effects of consuming very high amounts of alcohol with CBD, rather than the effects of consuming a few drinks here and there with CBD. For this reason, it’s not advisable to take CBD and alcohol together, especially if you’re unsure how either will affect you.
If you decide to mix CBD and alcohol, stick to low amounts of both to minimize the risk of adverse side effects. Make sure to consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
The bottom line
CBD and alcohol may amplify each other’s effects, and taking both together in high doses may cause sleepiness and sedation.
However, many human and animal studies show that CBD protects against alcohol-induced cell damage and reduces blood alcohol concentration and addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Still, the truth is, there just isn’t enough research examining the effects of moderate doses in humans.
Until more research is available, it remains unclear whether CBD and alcohol can be combined safely. The best path to take would be the one with caution. If you choose to mix the two, do so slowly and make sure that you are not alone, just in case.
Personally, I was quite the heavy drinker in the past. Not an alcoholic, but it was rare for me to pass up a drink. Now, for other medical reasons, I take CBD oil. Since starting my CBD treatment, I have had not had the urge to drink at all. I feel more relaxed, calm and optimistic than I ever did while drinking. It’s a choice only you can make.
Have you used CBD oil and alcohol at the same time? Used it to quit drinking? Please post in the comments below. I am always looking for real life experience.