CBD and Alcohol

Saturday, January 16, 2021 • 6 minute read

CBD Element believe that CBD is best taken as a supplement to support your overall health and wellbeing. Despite this, CBD-infused alcohol drinks are rising quickly in popularity across the UK. We have written this blog to help address some of the common questions surrounding alcohol and CBD.

Why mix alcohol with CBD?

CBD is a trendy and popular natural supplement. This was highlighted when Kim khardashian decided to have a CBD themed baby shower. Look, it's not our place to comment on the overall motivation for adding CBD to alcoholic beverages, but we recommend that you compare the cost of CBD-infused alcohol drinks to normal beverages, then have a look at how much CBD they actually contain. There’s no doubt that adding a ‘drop of CBD’ means that companies can charge a premium for a new, fashionable drink.

What are the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol?

There is currently not enough research to determine conclusively the effects of mixing CBD with alcohol.

One theory is that CBD and alcohol taken together amplifies each other’s effects. Both substances are known for their relaxing effects (1)(2).

One small scale study involving 10 participants looked at the effects of giving participants 200 mg of CBD alongside 1 gram of alcohol for every 1Kg of body weight. The study found that mixing alcohol and CBD can significantly impair motor performance and alter perception of time (3) . It is important to note that the study cannot be used as conclusive evidence due to the small sample size and the researchers use a greater amount of CBD than typically found in CBD alcoholic beverages.

This study also concluded that the participants who consumed CBD with alcohol had significantly lower blood alcohol levels than when they consumed alcohol with a placebo (3). On the other hand, other studies have found conflicting results. Animal studies have reported that CBD did not reduce blood alcohol concentration (4) (5). More research is needed to determine how CBD may affect blood alcohol levels in humans.

There are some promising results from animal studies that suggest that CBD may protect against cell damage caused by alcohol consumption (6)

Is CBD a good hangover cure?

No study has been carried out to answer this question. Understandably, there are more pressing research topics! However, theoretically CBD may provide a hangover remedy. A typical hangover includes a combination of a headache, nausea and the blues. These symptoms may be due to numerous reasons that include, dehydration, magnesium deficiencies, vitamin B deficiencies and imbalance of the neurotransmitters; GABA and glutamate. Evidently, CBD on its own is not going to cure that nasty feeling; water and a healthy meal are important to rehydrate and replenish lost electrolytes.

There is evidence that suggests CBD has a pain-relieving, anti-sickness and anxiety reducing effect. So in practice, CBD may help to ease a hangover by helping to rebalance your body and mind. One of our team members vows CBD can cure hangovers; before bed he has a few drops of CBD oil and when he wakes up has a CBD capsule with a big glass of water.

Final thoughts

There are no long-term studies available that explore the effects of CBD and alcohol when used together, so it’s not clear whether the combo is safe or dangerous. It’s likely the interaction is different for each individual. Some people may experience negative side-effects like sleepiness whereas others experience positive effects, such as a reduction in nausea or headaches.

CBD is first and foremost a health supplement that can have a remarkable effect on your wellbeing and overall health. We encourage that CBD is used in its tried and tested form, as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle, rather than mixed with alcohol.

References

1) Rose, A.K. and Duka, T. (2008). Effects of alcohol on inhibitory processes. Behavioural Pharmacology, [online] 19(4), pp.284–291. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18622175/.

2) Bergamaschi, M.M., Queiroz, R.H.C., Chagas et al (2011). Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients. Neuropsychopharmacology, [online] 36(6), pp.1219–1226. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/.

3) Consroe, P., Carlini, E.A., Zwicker, A.P. and Lacerda, L.A. (1979). Interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans. Psychopharmacology, 66(1), pp.45–50.Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/120541/.

4) Gonzalez-Cuevas, G., Martin-Fardon, R., Kerr, T.M., Stouffer, D.G., Parsons, L.H., Hammell, D.C., Banks, S.L., Stinchcomb, A.L. and Weiss, F. (2018). Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use: preclinical proof of principle. Neuropsychopharmacology, 43(10), pp.2036–2045. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098033/

5) Viudez-Martínez, A., García-Gutiérrez, M.S., Navarrón, C.M., Morales-Calero, M.I., Navarrete, F., Torres-Suárez, A.I. and Manzanares, J. (2018). Cannabidiol reduces ethanol consumption, motivation and relapse in mice. Addiction Biology, [online] 23(1), pp.154–164. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28194850/.

6) Yang, L., Rozenfeld, R., Wu, D., Devi, L.A., Zhang, Z. and Cederbaum, A. (2014). Cannabidiol protects liver from binge alcohol-induced steatosis by mechanisms including inhibition of oxidative stress and increase in autophagy. Free radical biology & medicine, [online] 68, pp.260–267. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112960/ [Accessed 16 Jan. 2021].