CBD has become a mainstay in many households due to its numerous health and therapeutic benefits. However, there's still much we don't know about it, like what it can or can't be mixed with. So it's easy to worry about your safety when using this popular cannabinoid.
make your CBD experience a little less worrisome, we'll explore the
interactions of CBD and alcohol to gauge the safety and possible side
effects of mixing the two substances.
What Is CBD?
CBD is the second most prevalent and the second most active cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. But unlike its counterpart, Delta 9 THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties and doesn't elicit intoxicating effects when consumed.
Most of the CBD available on the market is derived from hemp plants and may contain up to 0.3% THC. CBD products come in many forms, including oils, tinctures, sprays, capsules, and shots.
The effects you get after taking CBD depend on the type of product you use. For instance, topical CBD products applied to the skin only act on the area of application since they don't get to your bloodstream.
Conversely, oral CBD products like CBD oil and tinctures have whole-body effects since they get into your bloodstream and interact with your body's endocannabinoid system.
CBD has numerous benefits, including the following:
● Relaxation effects
● Improved Sleep
● Skin Care
● Stress Reduction
● Enhanced Mood
● Improved Focus and Concentration
● Promotes a Sense of Well-being
● Potential Aid for Muscle Recovery
● May Assist with General Relaxation and Comfort
CBD and Alcohol in the Body
Taking CBD and alcohol, especially in large amounts, can make you feel sleepy and sedated, but that's where their similarities end. CBD and alcohol are as different as any two distinct substances could be. As such, they affect different areas in your body and produce different effects.
Alcohol, for instance, has fast-acting effects that usually kick in about 10 minutes after ingestion. It works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces brain activity and promotes relaxation. It also stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin, which activate the brain's reward system, leading to feelings of pleasure.
Put together, these effects may impair your brain functions, limiting your ability to think clearly while also altering your mood and behavior. Excessive alcohol consumption can also affect your speech, judgment, and balance and significantly increase the risk of accidents.
on the other hand, is a non-intoxicating compound. It works by
interacting with your body's endocannabinoid system, particularly the
CB1 and CB2 receptors, which help regulate mood and other bodily
functions. And like alcohol, CBD also enhances the inhibitory effects
of GABA, which may result in increased relaxation and sedative
What Happens When You Mix CBD and Alcohol?
There's very limited research available on the interactions between the two substances. Furthermore, the intensity of their interactions depends on several factors, including how much you take and the percentage of Delta 9 THC in the CBD product.
That said, based on user reports and limited scientific evidence available, it's possible to gauge several possible effects of mixing CBD with alcohol. Some of the possible outcomes include the following:
They May Amplify Each Other's Effects
CBD and alcohol can have similar effects on the body. For instance, alcohol is known to promote feelings of relaxation. Similarly, CBD can calm your nerves and reduce anxiety.
Therefore, taking them together could amplify their effects, leading to more pronounced effects like increased sleepiness and sedation. It could also lead to significant changes in mood and behavior.
For instance, in a study looking at the effects of combining alcohol with CBD, researchers gave participants 200 mg of CBD and 1 gram of alcohol for every 2.2 pounds of their body weight. The researchers observed that combining the two substances caused significant changes in the participants' motor performance and perception of time.
That said, note that there are several limitations to the study, including the fact that it uses a much higher amount of CBD than most people consume. The study is also quite outdated, raising questions about the validity of the results.
CBD May Help Protect Against the Side Effects of Alcohol
There is a looming hypothesis that CBD may help reduce blood alcohol levels and alleviate alcohol's side effects. A study evaluating the interactions of CBD with alcohol included 10 participants who took 200 mg of CBD with alcohol.
Researchers found that the participants had much lower blood alcohol levels than the ones who took alcohol with a placebo.
However, several animal studies have been performed since, and all of them report that CBD has no impact on blood alcohol levels. Additionally, the amount of CBD given to the participants was five to six times higher than the recommended dosage.
Therefore, more research has to be conducted on the effects of taking CBD with alcohol before we can draw any meaningful conclusions.
Possible Benefits of Mixing Alcohol with CBD
Despite the underwhelming availability of evidence supporting the benefits of taking CBD with alcohol, anecdotal evidence suggests that there may be a few benefits of mixing the two substances. Some of the most notable benefits of mixing CBD with alcohol include the following:
It Can Help You Unwind
Both CBD and alcohol have relaxing and inhibitory effects. When taken together, they can complement each other's effects, leading to a more wholesome experience. This is especially suitable for people who struggle to socialize in large groups.
It Can Help You Sleep Better
CBD’s relaxing effects are one of its biggest selling points for people who have a hard time falling asleep. Alcohol also has the same effect when taken in moderation. Combined, alcohol and CBD have strong relaxation effects that may help you sleep better.
What Possible Side Effects Can You Get From Mixing CBD With Alcohol?
Despite the numerous benefits of CBD, it can have a few side effects when mixed with alcohol. Some of the most notable side effects of mixing CBD with alcohol include the following:
Alcohol and CBD both have sedation effects. These become more pronounced when taken together, leading to increased drowsiness and sedation.
Enhanced Cognitive Impairment
Drinking alcohol in high amounts is known to cause cognitive impairment. And although CBD doesn't have the same effect, taking the two substances together puts you at a higher risk of getting more pronounced cognitive impairment.
Elevated Levels of Dizziness and Drowsiness
Both CBD and alcohol cause drowsiness from increased sedation. When taken together, these effects may be intensified, making it harder to perform tasks that require increased alertness, like driving and operating heavy machinery.
So, Should You Take CBD and Alcohol Together?
There's still limited research on the effects of taking CBD and alcohol together. The studies conducted on both humans and animals suggest that CBD may help alleviate some of the side effects of alcohol.
However, these studies were conducted using extremely high doses of CBD. Therefore, they cannot serve as a basis for drawing conclusions on the matter, especially considering the fact that people usually take CBD in low doses. CBD also affects people differently.
While there may be a few purported benefits of mixing the two substances, it's worth noting that their interactions may lead to new side effects like the ones mentioned above.
Therefore, it is advisable to take both substances in small amounts to prevent any adverse side effects. You should also avoid operating heavy machinery and driving under the influence of CBD and alcohol.
The Bottom Line
The question of whether mixing CBD and alcohol is safe has been a burning topic in the CBD community for decades. The previous ban on CBD and associated human studies have significantly limited the number of studies on the effects of both substances when mixed together.
considering their individual effects, it's safe to conclude that CBD
may enhance the effects of alcohol to some degree. This includes
beneficial factors like increased relaxation and possible side
effects like impaired coordination and judgment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long after taking CBD should I wait before taking alcohol?
There are limited studies on the interactions of CBD and alcohol when taken together. And even the studies available don't provide enough evidence to draw a scientific consensus on the best time to drink alcohol after taking CBD.
However, note that CBD stays a couple of hours in your system when inhaled and up to six hours when taken orally. Taking alcohol at any time within six hours after taking CBD will elicit reactions between the two substances, leading to more pronounced effects.
Can CBD lower your inhibitions like alcohol?
CBD has relaxation effects that may lower your inhibitions when interacting with people. However, it is important to note that CBD is a non-psychoactive substance. Therefore, even though it may lower your inhibitions, it won't be enough to alter your state of mind.
Are CBD-infused alcoholic beverages safe?
For the most part, yes. However, CBD-infused alcoholic beverages can cause a wide range of side effects, including dry mouth, drowsiness, impaired coordination, and even vomiting.
Does CBD help with alcohol addiction?
CBD is said to help reduce alcohol use disorder and alleviate some of the side effects associated with alcohol abuse. However, since there is inadequate research supporting these claims, you shouldn't entirely rely on CBD to treat alcohol addiction.