Can You Take CBD with Alcohol? - Glow Bar London

September 28, 2022 5 min read

Can You Take CBD with Alcohol?

Since no detailed investigations have been conducted on the effects of CBD and alcohol, it is not advisable to take them together. However, CBD may exert some of its therapeutic benefits when consumed alongside alcohol, such as reduction of withdrawal symptoms. Herein you will learn the basics of CBD, how CBD and alcohol affect the body, the results of mixing CBD and alcohol, the possible effects of taking CBD with alcohol, and whether it's safe to take CBD with alcohol.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the chemical compounds existing naturally in the cannabis plant, majorly the hemp plant. This compound has taken the health world by storm and is among one of the most popular products sold as supplements. It is available in almost everything you can think of, from gummies, oils, capsules, tinctures, and bath soaks to lip balms. In short, there is everything for everyone. Unsurprisingly alcohol manufacturers have hopped onto the bandwagon since nowadays it is possible to find CBD-infused alcoholic beverages. However, most individuals are typically concerned about the safety of combining alcohol and CBD. This article reviews the potential effects of combing cannabidiol and alcohol.

Basics of CBD

By now, CBD is a household name due to its popularity. Atalay et al. (2020) commented that it naturally exists in the cannabis plant. However, most individuals mistake it with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another prevalent compound responsible for the 'high' effect experienced after using cannabis. According to Kicman et al. (2020), CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects like its counterpart, THC. Pamplona et al. (2018) suggested that various research studies have pointed out the promising results of CBD in treating multiple health conditions, such as improving skin health and alleviating anxiety and stress.

How CBD and Alcohol Affect the Body

Both alcohol and CBD impact the body in contrasting ways. However, they have almost similar results, such as causing sleepiness. Alcohol has a higher bioavailability meaning it is absorbed quickly in the bloodstream, and its effects kick in within ten minutes. Since it affects the brain, it may lead to impaired coordination, mood, and behavior alteration. Depending on its dosage, it may alter an individual's speech, memory, and judgment. Since it affects balance, it may increase the risk of falling, leading to injuries.

On the other hand, CBD does not cause any mind-altering effects like alcohol. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has multiple receptors in the body, mainly in the central nervous system (CNS). In turn, CBD leads to numerous therapeutic benefits such as;

  • Central nervous system calming.
  • Alleviating anxiety and symptoms of other mental disorders.
  • Reducing pain and inflammation.

Boggs et al. (2018) stated that, when consumed in unimaginable amounts, it may lead to several adverse effects, including but not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Nausea

What Is the Result of Mixing Alcohol and CBD?

To date, not much has been found about the likely results of combining alcohol and CBD due to limited research. Several variables affect the possible effects of both substances, such as the THC levels in the CBD products and how much of each you ingest. THC has the probability of interacting with alcohol depending on its level. However, more research is required to confirm how they may both interact with each other.

Federal law dictates CBD products should not contain more than 0.3 percent THC. However, since most CBD products are not yet FDA approved, most manufacturers list false THC levels on their labels. To be safe, the FDA advises only to purchase CBD products from a company that has proof of third-party lab test results and a Certificate of Analysis since it confirms the THC levels in the product. It is best to purchase a product with the minimum THC amount to avert any possible interaction with alcohol and any psychoactive effects.

Both CBD and alcohol promote relaxation feelings. Both may amplify the said effects, potentially leading to enhanced sleepiness or sedation. Some research studies claim that CBD and alcohol work synergically to enhance their effects, leading to behavioral changes. Additionally, it may lead to significant impairments, such as motor performance, and alter one's time perception. When consuming CBD solely, these effects rarely occur.  

Possible Benefits of Taking CBD Alongside Alcohol

Though not much is known about the outcome of mixing CBD and alcohol, the current research confirms promising results on how CBD may protect against various adverse effects of alcohol.

Below are some ways CBD may affect alcohol consumption:

Forestalls Cell Damage

Alcohol overconsumption most likely leads to cell damage leading to an increased risk of inflammation and other chronic ailments such as liver disease and cancer. Various animal studies suggest that CBD may protect against the cell damage caused by alcohol ingestion. It makes this possible since it can increase autophagy (a process that causes tissue regeneration and leads to new cell turnover). With that said, more comprehensive research is required to back up these claims.

Alleviates Blood Alcohol Amount

BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, is a test that shows the levels of alcohol in the blood. Higher BAC is linked to loss of cognitive function and motor control. Though little information is known on how CBD affects BAC, one study showed that taking around two hundred milligrams of CBD with alcohol significantly reduces blood alcohol amounts than when alcohol was consumed with a placebo. It's unknown whether the same effects will be seen when regular CBD doses are consumed with alcohol. Due to the availability of other conflicting studies on mice, more research is needed to know how CBD impacts blood alcohol levels.

CBD May Help with Alcohol Addiction

Various researchers believe CBD can be used in treating alcohol abuse. This is backed up by various studies on mice that proved that CBD might help alleviate multiple drug addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Another study pointed out that CBD may help decrease alcohol consumption, prevent relapse and reduce alcohol cravings.

Should CBD and Alcohol Be Consumed Together?

Currently, no information thoroughly explains the effects of combining alcohol and CBD. However, little research shows that CBD may reduce some adverse effects of alcohol. Additionally, CBD effects vary per individual, making it more difficult to know whether combining CBD and alcohol can have similar impacts on every person. Furthermore, the studies solely focus on the results of taking higher alcohol amounts with CBD rather than the results of taking lower doses of alcohol with CBD. Since little is known about the effects of moderate alcohol consumption with CBD, it is advisable not to ingest them together. If you decide to take them together, only consume low amounts of each to minimize any side effects. Above all, consult a doctor for further medical clarification.

Summary

Though CBD and alcohol affect the body differently, they cause similar effects, such as feelings of relaxation. Therefore, when taken together, they may boost each other's results, leading to increased drowsiness. According to various researchers, CBD may help prevent cell damage caused by alcohol and reduce addiction symptoms. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol since the research available only focuses on higher amounts of CBD and alcohol. Minimum studies examine what may happen if they are both taken in moderate amounts. Concerning safety, it is still unclear until more human research is conducted.

References

Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2020). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1), 21.

Boggs, D. L., Surti, T., Gupta, A., Gupta, S., Niu, M., Pittman, B., ... & Ranganathan, M. (2018). The effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on cognition and symptoms in outpatients with

Kicman, A., & Toczek, M. (2020). The effects of cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating compound of cannabis, on the cardiovascular system in health and disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(18), 6740.

Pamplona, F. A., Da Silva, L. R., & Coan, A. C. (2018). The potential clinical benefits of CBD-rich cannabis extracts over purified CBD in treatment-resistant epilepsy are observational data meta-analysis. Frontiers in neurology, 759.

Chronic schizophrenia a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology, 235(7), 1923-1932.