CBD and Alcohol: What happens when you mix these components?

CBD and alcohol - a combination that makes you raise an eyebrow. Not much is known about the effect of these two components on each other, but the research results are thought provoking.

What should you know about CBD and alcohol consumption, why is it not recommended and what benefits can CBD have in the fight against alcoholism? We answer these questions and more!

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    Note: This and other articles on Hempo's blog are for informational purposes only. According to the directive of the European Commission, cannabidiol is classified as a 'novel food', therefore CBD products should not be used as a food supplement in Lithuania.

    What is CBD and how does it work?

    CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many active compounds (cannabinoids) found in the hemp plant. Cannabidiol is different from, but often mistaken for, another popular cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC has psychoactive properties: it causes euphoria and affects the psyche.

    People who use CBD oil will not experience these effects, but may enjoy other benefits. The main good properties of CBD can be:

    • Nourishes dry skin;
    • Strengthens the structure of nails and hair follicles;
    • Reduces skin greasiness and acne breakouts;
    • Reduces body (muscles, head, joints, etc.)) pains;
    • Can improve appetite, therefore effective for various eating disorders;
    • Increases attention concentration, can increase working capacity, productivity;
    • Has antioxidant properties;
    • Helps regulate the immune system, strengthens the body's response to viruses and other harmful organisms;
    • Improves the condition of cancer patients;
    • Improves the functioning of the nervous system, reduces anxiety;
    • Helps fight insomnia and other sleep disorders;
    • Prevents epileptic attacks;
    • Reduces inflammation, helps the body fight infections.

    CBD oil and alcohol

    CBD does not cause physical dependence, it does not intoxicate. It is safe for use by patients with various diseases, athletes and many other people, as well as pets.

    CBD improves the functioning of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is an important network found in the human and animal body. It regulates many processes in our body (for example, appetite, blood pressure, pain perception, muscle activity, reproductive functions, body temperature, mood, memory, immune system, etc.). ECS helps maintain the body's balance between these important biological processes, so the good health of this system is extremely important for each of us.

    ECS produces compounds that are similar in composition and properties to CBD. These compounds secreted by the body are called endocannabinoids. Sometimes too little endocannabinoids are secreted. In this case, an imbalance occurs in the body, the activity of various processes is disrupted, the mood, memory, sleep quality, etc. deteriorate.

    Fortunately, this unpleasant situation can be improved by using high quality CBD products.

    CBD, once in the body, binds to the ECS system and "stimulates" it to produce more natural endocannabinoids. Since the proper amount of these substances circulates in the blood again, the balance of the body is adjusted and well-being improves noticeably.

    What to expect when mixing CBD and alcohol?

    It's usually a no-brainer to mix CBD and alcohol. But what would happen if we break this unwritten rule? In fact, there is a good reason why experts advise against it. As we mentioned, cannabidiol is closely related to the endocannabinoid system and can stimulate the production of natural endocannabinoids.

    Unfortunately, mixing CBD with alcohol, or drinking alcohol after recently using CBD oil, will likely ruin your efforts to improve your condition and increase the release of endocannabinoids in your body. Why is this?

    Mixing CBD with alcohol reduces or even eliminates the health benefits of cannabidiol by disrupting the activity of the ECS. This can result in a deficiency of endocannabinoids, thus causing the opposite reaction than expected.

    Another hypothesis is that CBD and alcohol may enhance each other's effects. And this is not a positive thing. Because alcohol and CBD have a relaxing effect, mixing the two can make it extra strong and long-lasting. Thus, intoxication from alcohol, nausea and other unpleasant symptoms can be not only stronger, but also prolonged. Even if you don't take the two products together, CBD and alcohol can interact, even if taken 4-8 hours apart from each other.

    True, you can find conflicting information. A scientific study which was conducted in 2019 analyzed the effectiveness of CBD in reducing anxiety and improving sleep patterns. 75 people participated in it. Research participants who took cannabidiol for 30 days (in doses of 200 mg) noticed positive changes: the feeling of anxiety decreased, it became easier to fall asleep, and the quality of sleep improved.

    After the aforementioned period, the conditions of the study changed: the participants had to consume CBD with a small amount of alcohol: 1 ml of alcohol was added to one kilogram of body weight, which was consumed with each dose of 200 mg of CBD. Then indicators such as sleep quality, anxiety reduction improved even more.

    This study was conducted with a small sample size and a higher dose of CBD than most people normally consume, so the findings should not be blindly relied upon.

    CBD and Alcohol: A Chance to Overcome Addiction?

    Alcohol addiction has a negative impact not only on a person's physical but also on his mental state, and can ruin his life and that of his loved ones. There are many methods of treating alcoholism, and the latest studies conducted in the United States show that cannabidiol (CBD) can help reduce alcohol consumption and its consequences: prevent liver and other organ diseases, reduce depression, improve the state of the nervous system.

    How does it work? Some studies show that CBD can reduce the physical need to drink alcohol and protect against liver and brain damage that results from excessive alcohol consumption.

    Scientists also assume that cannabidiol can reduce impulsive, stress-related or other emotional alcohol consumption, and ease the period of abstinence. So, there is a possibility that CBD can reduce the craving for alcohol. Although many of the above-mentioned studies are still in the early stages, the obtained results give hope that cannabidiol will also be used in the treatment of addictions.

    CBD and Alcohol: Summary

    CBD oil is gaining popularity for a variety of reasons. It is not considered a psychoactive product, so it is safe for most people.

    Alcohol is a depressant that has a depressing effect. People often drink it to promote feelings of relaxation and to reduce stress and tension. However, any short-term benefits of alcohol are outweighed by a long list of side effects. Alcohol abuse can harm physical and mental health, cause serious damage to the liver, brain and other internal organs, cause chronic diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, oncological diseases and more.

    CBD research into whether this cannabinoid can help treat alcohol addiction is still in its early stages. However, the observed first results give optimism to scientists and doctors. It is reasonable to expect that CBD products will be included in the treatment of alcoholism and perhaps even other addictions in the future.

    Although there is little research on the interaction between CBD and alcohol, one thing is clear: frequent alcohol consumption is generally not recommended, and there are other, safer ways to relieve stress.

    Dažnai užduodami klausimai

    Ar saugu maišyti CBD su alkoholiu?

    CBD ir alkoholio derėtų nemaišyti, kadangi alkoholis gali neutralizuoti teigiamą CBD poveikį. Tyrimai rodo, jog maišant CBD ir alkoholį, CBD taip pat gali potencialiai modifikuoti alkoholio poveikį, tačiau ši sąveika yra sudėtinga ir iki galo neištirta.

    Kaip veikia CBD vartojant alkoholį?

    CBD gali turėti poveikį alkoholio sukeltiems padariniams. Kai kurie tyrimai rodo, kad CBD gali sumažinti alkoholio kiekį kraujyje ir apsaugoti smegenų ląsteles nuo alkoholio sukeltos žalos.

    Ar CBD gali padėti gydant priklausomybę nuo alkoholio?

    Nors CBD buvo tiriamas kaip potencialus pagalbos būdas alkoholizmui gydyti, jo poveikio mažinant alkoholio poreikį tyrimai šiuo metu dar yra ankstyvoje stadijoje.

    Ar CBD turi šalutinių poveikių, kai jis vartojamas kartu su alkoholiu?

    CBD ir alkoholio derinys gali sustiprinti abiejų medžiagų atpalaiduojantį poveikį, o tai gali sukelti didesnį apsvaigimą, pykinimą ir kitus nemalonius simptomus. CBD ir alkoholis taip pat gali turėti poveikį pažintinėms ir motorinėms funkcijoms.

    Ar CBD gali padėti mažinant alkoholio sukeltas pagirias?

    Moksliniai tyrimai įrodė, kad CBD gali padėti sumažinti kai kuriuos alkoholio sukeltų pagirių simptomus, tokius kaip galvos skausmas ir pykinimas.