CBD and Alcohol: Can You Take Them Together?
The rise in popularity of CBD means an increased prevalence in mixing the cannabis compound with other substances, including alcohol. However, you might be concerned whether mixing both is a good idea.
Here’s the lowdown on what effects are produced when CBD and alcohol are mixed, whether you can take them together, and any side effects that may arise.
What Happens When I Mix Alcohol and CBD?
Cannabinol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis, can be taken in various ways. It’s commonly taken in edibles, tinctures, and oils. CBD has been established as safe and well-tolerated amongst most of the population, but questions arise when other substances, like alcohol, get involved.
The effects on your body after you mix alcohol and CBD will depend on your body composition and dosage is taken, but generally speaking, they will amplify each other’s effects. Alcohol is known to promote feelings of relaxation and decrease inhibitions (1) and CBD has similar effects, with research showing it can calm nerves and reduce anxiety (2).
The Effects of CBD and Alcohol
CBD and alcohol are classified as central nervous system relaxants as they force the nervous system and our brain to relax, making them popular as sleep aids. They are also considered vasodilators, causing blood vessels to relax and dilate (3). Because of this, taking CBD and alcohol together can cause:
- The person to quickly feel sleepy
- A deeper nights sleep
- Lowered blood pressure
CBD and the Side Effects of Alcohol
Taking CBD may also help alleviate some common side effects of alcohol, including nausea, headaches, and possibly reducing blood alcohol levels.
Sometimes, alcohol can trigger intense feelings of nausea. CBD is a strong anti-nausea agent due to its interaction with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has receptors throughout the brain and nervous system, which helps keep the body in balance. Cannabinoids like CBD can interact with CB1 receptors in the brain to cause the release of serotonin to decrease nausea. This is where the “vomiting center” is located and where nausea reflexes are controlled (4).
Another cannabinoid compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can also have potent anti-nausea effects (5). To get the best results, opt for a full-spectrum CBD oil that contains trace amounts of THC.
Headaches are common with the consumption of alcohol. While they usually arise as the alcohol wears off or during a hangover the following day, taking CBD may ease and assist the pain.
The cause of headaches can be complex, but it’s generally due to dehydration or deficiencies in essential nutrients (6). Research has shown CBD to be successful in treating various types of headaches and migraines, including cluster headaches and nerve-related pain (7).
Reducing Blood Alcohol Levels
Blood alcohol levels are a measure of the amount of alcohol in your blood. The higher this is, the more likely you will develop a loss of cognitive function and motor control (8).
While more long-term research involving human participants is still needed to confirm the relationship between CBD and blood alcohol levels, some older research showed participants who took 200mg of CBD had lower blood alcohol levels than those who took a placebo (9). This mechanism could be due to CBD supporting a faster metabolism of alcohol in the liver.
Can I Take Them Together?
Research into the relationship between CBD and alcohol is minimal. Therefore, it is still not clear if mixing the two is safe or dangerous. The interaction will likely vary for each user. As both compounds amplify each other, this might result in a more intense variation of your typical symptoms when you take alcohol or CBD separately.
If you’re going to combine alcohol and CBD, start slow and stick to a lower dose of each. This will give you enough time to figure out if mixing the two works for you or if any negative or positive effects arise as a result. It’s also likely that CBD in edible forms, like gummies or baked goods, will produce slightly different effects than CBD taken in a vape or tincture form due to their bioavailability (10).
Edible forms of CBD will take longer to kick in as they have to pass through your digestive system. However, the results are likely to be more long-lasting than if they’re taken sublingually (11).
When mixing CBD and alcohol, some side effects may occur. Generally speaking, CBD comes with minimal side effects and is well-tolerated if taken in moderation and in a safe environment. However, for some users, especially first-time users, side effects can develop. These include:
- Sedation or fatigue
- Changes in mood
- Changes in bowel habits
If you notice powerful side adverse effects, stop taking both CBD and alcohol immediately. It is also good to check in with a health professional if any side effects persist.
The Bottom Line
CBD and alcohol create multiple effects on our brain, nervous system, and overall body. More conclusive research is needed before confirming the safety of mixing CBD and alcohol.
While CBD can produce strong therapeutic effects, mixing it with alcohol amplifies the positive and negative effects of drinking.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**
Why Choose Sunny Skies For Your CBD Needs?
At Sunny Skies CBD, we are committed to:
1) making high-quality products
2) operating in an open and transparent manner
3) building an independently owned and operated family business