CBD and Alcohol 101: What Happens When You Mix?
The world of supplements and recovery aids continues to evolve – as more and more people discover the many benefits of CBD and integrate it into their daily lives, understanding how CBD and alcohol interact with one another becomes crucially important.
Introduction to CBD
Before we look at how CBD and alcohol interact with each other and any potential safety issues, it’s important to understand a little bit more about CBD and how it works.
Since its legalization at the end of 2018, Cannabidiol (CBD) became one of the most promising new supplement categories. It is one of at least 120 identified plant compounds, known as cannabinoids, which exist in the hemp plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not get you “high” like THC.
In short, CBD works directly with the body’s systems to bolster its responses to a variety of factors like stress, pain, inflammation, fatigue, and overall well being. The most promising potential benefits of CBD include:
- a sense of calm for focus
- relief from everyday stress
- help in recovery from exercise-induced inflammation
- support for healthy sleep cycles
- improved athletic performance
CBD and Alcohol: How Do They Mix?
Unfortunately, there’s very little concrete information about CBD and alcohol interaction and how this affects the body. At a base level, alcohol consumption can result in relaxation, sedation, and lowered inhibitions, all of which are thought to be increased when taken in conjunction with CBD.
Since CBD has been shown to promote relaxation and calmness, it’s believed that when they interact with one another, the effects of both can be amplified. Some upcoming studies have also suggested that CBD can help with many of the negative effects of alcohol (such as hangover recovery, brain damage, and even alcohol addiction).
Does CBD make you more drunk?
Although there is minimal research, some findings suggest that alcohol and CBD can increase the effects of one another, so CBD could potentially increase the effects of alcohol on your body in larger doses.
CBD affects everyone differently and, while it is broadly accepted as safe and well-tolerated by most, it’s important to start with lower dosages to make sure you understand how the two are going to interact with you individually, and to avoid any adverse effects. This is especially true if you consume alcohol regularly.
As with any type of supplement or medication, it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with your doctor or medical professional about how the two might affect you.
Can you mix CBD and alcohol?
As CBD has gained in popularity for its many benefits, integrating CBD oil into food and drink in unique ways has become a big part of many athlete’s morning and evening routines.
Mixing a dose of CBD tincture into your morning coffee or protein shake is certainly a great way to kickstart your day, but many are also choosing to take advantage of the recovery benefits by mixing in a dose into their evening beverage of choice.
Provided you observe proper dosage guidelines and know how the combination of CBD and alcohol affects you individually, it can be added to your favorite cocktail, beer, or wine without issue. Many people love their glass of CBD and wine at the end of a long day – some bars are even beginning to offer CBD-infused alcohol drinks.
Can CBD help with hangovers?
Again, while the results are somewhat inconclusive at this point, there is some research to support that CBD can actually help with some of the negative effects of alcohol. Does CBD prevent hangovers? While it might not prevent them entirely, the relaxation and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD can be helpful when you’re battling the effects of a hangover.
Additionally, CBD has been shown to support more restful sleep and recovery, both of which can also help with the effects of overconsumption and lessen your recovery time. In terms of research, one study using rats showed that applying CBD gel to the skin decreased brain-cell damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption by up to 49%.
Further research from Free Radical Biology & Medicine showed that rodents that ingested CBD 30 minutes before ingesting alcohol were less likely to experience alcohol-induced oxidative damage in the liver than those that didn’t have the CBD.
CBD and Alcoholism
Some recent research has suggested that CBD can aid those with drinking problems and help protect the brain against alcohol damage (perhaps even reverse it, some studies have suggested).
In animal models, a few studies have found that CBD reduces alcohol intake. Another found that mice who regularly took CBD were less likely to relapse after being weaned off alcohol (even while stressed).
On top of that, it may even offer protection to certain areas to the brain that are prone to damage from alcohol. One study testing the brains of rats showed that those who binged on alcohol and were given CBD lost fewer brain cells than the rats who weren’t given CBD. Another experiment suggested that CBD could help restore cognitive and neurological functions of rats with acute liver failure.
That said, these findings are limited to a few studies done on animals – larger scale research needs to be done in order to come to certain conclusions.
Overall, taking CBD with alcohol seems to have excellent potential based on the research out there.
Before you consume, it’s important to have a good gauge on what your recommended dosage looks like. While our recommended starts at 12mg – 20mg twice daily, there is no standard dosage. It varies from person to person. Your ideal dosage will be based on weight, metabolism, type of product you’re using, and body type. Be patient and don’t be afraid to experiment with the right amount for you.
As they say, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to educating yourself on the ever-expanding realm of CBD products and how they can work for you as an athlete. As with any supplement or nutrition product you’re considering adding to your regular routine, understanding how CBD and alcohol coexist is a crucial part of maintaining your overall health.