CBD has become a very much mainstream phenomenon in recent years. Now you can purchase CBD-infused edibles, skin-care products, and a whole range of food supplements or even buy marijuana seeds and grow yourself a ‘legal’ CBD-rich hemp variety.
It’s only natural that more and more people think about CBD’s interactions with another all-pervasive part of our culture – alcohol. So how do CBD and alcohol mix?
CBD and Alcohol Together: Is it a Good Idea?
Let’s clear one thing from the start: CBD oil doesn’t have alcohol in it. Neither do most other CBD products. Although any cannabinoid extracted from hemp or marijuana is alcohol-soluble, they can as easily be solved in all kinds of fats. So most manufacturers use coconut or olive oil and similar products as a much healthier alternative to alcohol.
Nevertheless, many companies sell beer, wine, and hard liquor infused with CBD. Also many people who take CBD as medicine for various symptoms and conditions or as a wellness product want to know if they are safe to enjoy a casual drink or two. So let’s have a closer look at CBD/alcohol combination.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in hemp and cannabis. It’s exempt from the strict regulations that most countries have in place for the plant itself and its derivatives. The reason is that CBD is considered non-psychoactive. It doesn’t, in fact, produce the high associated with marijuana use.
However, you can’t say that you don’t feel its effects at all. It’s a known fact that CBD can modify the influence of THC, the psychoactive constituent of marijuana, making the experience more ‘mellow’. At least, this is what some marijuana smokers self-report. If you take CBD by itself, it may relieve anxiety and calm your nerves.
Interestingly, alcohol can do much of the same: it promotes the feeling of relaxation and well-being. Besides, it makes you lose many inhibitions and promotes the desire to take risks. Combine this with the anti-anxiety properties of CBD, and you get yourself a mix where both enhance each other.
At least, in theory. Effects of CBD are so small that it’s not considered mind-altering, and it probably needs a controlled scientific study to really detect any CBD-alcohol interactions.
CBD Lowers Blood Alcohol Level
One small study in which 6 healthy volunteers received either CBD alone, or CBD mixed with alcohol, or only alcohol, or placebo, measured possible impairments and found that the CBD/alcohol combination resulted in significantly lower blood alcohol levels compared to alcohol taken alone. This pronounced effect on physiology should probably lead to the reduction of undesirable effects of alcohol.
The criticism of this study (which dates back several decades) is that it involved so few subjects and used very high doses of CBD — 200 mg. This is several times more than people take today as their standard dosage.
The takeaway from all this is that if you chew some CBD gummies before or after alcohol, or smoke dried flowers of a CBD-rich cannabis variety (like the one offered by FastBuds or other producers of autoflowering weed seeds), you probably won’t feel a difference. In the worst-case scenario, you might feel more sedated and sleepy than from those few drinks alone.
CBD And Alcohol Hangover
There’s abundant anecdotal evidence that people smoke weed when they suffer from alcohol hangover and feel better as a result. This symptom-relieving effect comes definitely from THC. Still, you can try and use CBD for the same purpose, but science provides no answers so far.
Is CBD Good For Your Liver
Excessive use of alcohol is known for its detrimental effect on the liver where it metabolizes and causes the first round of damage before going to the rest of the organism and wreaking havoc there. So can you use CBD to protect your liver?
One study has shown that cannabidiol restores liver function in mice. Another very controversial research has demonstrated that if you force-feed mice with huge amounts of CBD—0.25% of their body weight—it may produce toxicity, probably of cholesterol nature.
This shouldn’t worry you too much unless you plan to swallow something like 150-200 grams of cannabidiol in one setting and repeat this feat for several days in a row. However, if you have reasons to worry for the health of your liver, keep this controversy in mind and look forward to more conclusive data.
We can’t give you any medical advice, but the data available so far shows CBD to be a rather innocuous substance that has no significant side effects and may have various health benefits. The CBD-alcohol interaction is largely unstudied, but—whether positive or negative—can’t have a significant effect.