Many questions arise taking CBD together with other substances. This article explains how alcohol interacts with CBD, the potential side effects, and whether it is safe to take the two substances together.
CBD is the most popular cannabis plant compound with the potential to relieve anxiety and pain and improve sleep and other benefits. It can be derived from both the cannabis sativa plant and hemp, the two varieties of cannabis plants. Hemp with a 0.2% THC level is legal in the UK. Products made from hemp are also legal. Cannabis sativa contains high levels of THC. Most countries have not legalized the use of cannabis sativa plants. Also, few studies have examined the effects of taking alcohol with CBD.
Alcohol And CBD
CBD is extracted from hemp and used to make various products, including CBD oils, edibles, creams, lotions, gels, sprays and capsules. CBD oil is made after CBD extracted from hemp is mixed with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed, coconut, palm, and olive oils. The method of CBD consumption is determined by the form of CBD chosen.
CBD and alcohol affect the body differently though after taking these substances, you may experience similar effects, such as sedation and sleepiness. When you take alcohol, it enters your bloodstream and makes an effect in about 10 minutes. Alcohol affects your brain functions, affecting your ability to think and changing your mood and behaviour. If you take too much alcohol, you may lose balance raising the chances of falling and getting injured. Alcohol does not intoxicate, but it interacts with the endocannabinoid system causing the following effects in the body:
Reduce chronic pain
Calming the central nervous system
Apart from these benefits, Bajaj & Singh (2018) stated that alcohol can cause side effects such as;
What Happens When You Mix Alcohol And CBD?
Since there is scarce information concerning the possible interaction between alcohol and CBD, the effect of mixing the two substances is not clear. Though it depends on your intake, THC may interact with alcohol. However, little research shows how THC in CBD products can interact with alcohol. It is believed that CBD products that contain high levels of THC can interact with alcohol. In the UK, the selling of CBD products is unregulated. Therefore, knowing the amount of THC in CBD products is hard unless you rely on third-party laboratory tests. It is good to buy CBD products from reputable companies. To avoid the possible interaction between THC and alcohol, it is better to buy CBD products with low amounts of THC.
CBD May Reduce Blood Alcohol Levels
The blood alcohol level is the alcohol amount in your blood. The high blood alcohol level is associated with loss of cognitive functions and motor control. Little research has been done on the effect of CBD on blood alcohol levels. According to Park et al. (2019), CBD can lower blood alcohol levels, while other research provides conflicting information. Therefore, there is a need for more research on the effect of CBD on blood alcohol levels in the human body.
Potential Side Effects of Using CBD Together with Alcohol
Most doctors advise patients to avoid using CBD products together with alcohol because the effect may be too high in the body causing side effects. Factors including the amount of alcohol consumed, CBD dosage, and the amount of THC in the product may cause side effects that include drowsiness, vomiting and impaired coordination. Furthermore, taking the substances together can increase the effect of alcohol on the body, making the user too drunk. If you take CBD and alcohol separately at different times, this kind of combination has not caused any negative effect on the body.
CBD As a Potential Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Studies on the potential of CBD in reducing alcohol cravings have been conducted onrodents but not humans. One study used rats bred from high alcohol preference and consumption. The rats were given a dose of CBD that seemed to lower the level of alcohol. Some people take alcohol as a way to reduce insomnia, pain and anxiety. Chye et al. (2019) stated that CBD could be a good alternative to relieving these conditions, especially for people facing alcohol addiction. According to Nelson et al. (2020), CBD can help to relieve side effects of alcohol consumption, such as a headache that may be caused by dehydration and vitamin B and magnesium deficiencies. CBD cannot treat the real cause of headaches caused by the consumption of alcohol. It is better to seek medical attention, especially when the headache persists.
CBD And Alcohol Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
Both CBD and alcohol can cause blood vessels to widen, reducing the pressure. Taking these substances in large doses can lower blood pressure, making it hard for the heart to pump enough blood and oxygen to other body parts, including the brain. This can make the user feel dizzy or faint.
Is it Safe to Take CBD Together with Alcohol?
It is still unclear whether it is safe to take CBD together with alcohol. When it comes to safety, moderation is key. Mixing the two substances may cause side effects that can lead to accidents if you are driving, using machinery or cutting tools. The effects of CBD vary depending on the individual. It is hard to know whether the effect of taking CBD together with alcohol can affect users in the same manner. Most research focuses on the effect of mixing CBD with too much alcohol but not small amounts of each substance. It is, therefore, hard to conclude what can happen when small amounts of these substances are taken together.
Taking CBD and alcohol together may amplify each other's effects, while taking high doses of the two substances may cause side effects. CBD can potentially reduce alcohol addiction. The interaction may differ for each individual as some people may experience side effects while others may experience positive ones. Few studies show the effects of taking CBD and alcohol together. This makes it hard to know whether taking the two substances is safe. If you plan to take CBD with alcohol, taking small doses can help minimize the chances of experiencing side effects.
Bajaj, L., & Singh, R. (2018). Alcohol hangover-its effects on the human body. J. Addict. Clin. Res, 2, 14-16.
Chye, Y., Christensen, E., Solowij, N., & Yücel, M. (2019). The endocannabinoid system and cannabidiol promise the treatment of substance use disorder. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 63.
Nelson, K. M., Bisson, J., Singh, G., Graham, J. G., Chen, S. N., Friesen, J. B., ... & Pauli, G. F. (2020). The essential medicinal chemistry of cannabidiol (CBD). Journal of medicinal chemistry, 63(21), 12137-12155.
Park, S. H., Staples, S. K., Gostin, E. L., Smith, J. P., Vigil, J. J., Seifried, D., ... & Heuvel, B. D. V. (2019). Contrasting roles of cannabidiol as an insecticide and rescuing agent for ethanol–induced death in the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-10.