EFFECTS OF MIXING CBD & ALCOHOL
As cannabis oils and products rapidly leak into the world of beverages, cannabidiol (CBD) is naturally showing up everywhere on restaurant and bar menus. But, I’m sure you’re wondering, does CBD and alcohol mix? Is cbd alcohol actually safe?
CBD & ALCOHOL
If you regularly take CBD oils and products, you may be curious to know if it’s safe to mix with alcohol. While some may say yes, others may say it’s too early to know, as CBD may not be as well-understood as it seems.
If you’re relaxing after a 12-hour day at work, heading out for a night on the town with friends, or looking to unwind in the near future, a drink or two may be an option. If you plan on taking CBD with your ice cold alcoholic beverage, you may need to think twice about how they may interact as well as how it may make you feel.
WHAT IS CBD AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE LIVER?
CBD is the medical abbreviation for cannabidiol. It can be derived from the hemp or marijuana plant, as it is just one of 100+ phytocannabinoids present. CBD has become a common topic of conversation for those in the holistic and natural worlds of medicine. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning, it won’t get you “high” or produce mind-altering effects.
So how does it work within our systems? CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Each of us has an ECS that works to keep our body in a homeostatic state, alongside other main organ systems. Within our ECS, there are cannabinoid receptors that communicate with other receptors that interact with our brain.
The main cannabinoid receptors in our ECS are cannabinoid-receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid-receptor 2 (CB2). These cannabinoids bind differently with different cannabinoids (i.e. THC and CBD). CBD, for instance, binds indirectly with these receptors, thus, why users may not get a “high”. Whereas THC, on the other hand, binds directly with the cannabinoid receptors, producing mind-altering effects for users.
HOW DOES ALCOHOL INTERACT WITH CBD IN THE BODY?
To understand the combined effect of CBD and alcohol, we must first talk about alcohol and CBD separately. First and foremost, let’s talk alcohol.
When someone drinks alcohol, it interacts with their central nervous system, affecting not only their mood and behavior, but also their physical coordination and speech. As most could attest to, the more alcohol you consume, the more altered these bodily effects can get.
Unlike alcohol, CBD has a less blunt approach to our bodies. It interacts with our ECS, like we mentioned above, no “high” to be accompanied. CBD has been described to have little to no side effects, non-intoxicating, non-addictive, and generally considered safe.
So what happens when a liquid depressant meets a natural cannabinoid? Keep reading below!
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CBD AND ALCOHOL?
The relationship between cannabidiol and alcohol hasn’t yet been thoroughly studied in the medical and research worlds, not to mention what the effects may entail.
Published in 1979, researchers found a few distinct differences between subjects consuming alcohol and CBD oil. Subjects who took both alcohol and CBD together had much more significant motor and psychomotor impairments. However, the combination group showed lower blood alcohol levels compared to those only consuming alcohol.
CBD may affect a person’s blood alcohol level yes, but it may not show in the same physical developments as alcohol usage would.
As high doses of CBD may cause sedation and alcohol being a depressant, it’s likely that, together, they may produce a higher level of sedation.
SHOULD I MIX CBD AND ALCOHOL?
It’s not very straightforward as to saying exactly how mixing CBD and alcohol will make you feel. Nonetheless, this hasn’t stopped cannabidiol from marking its footprint in alcoholic beverages, where it’s on the rise in North America markets.
Adding CBD to cocktails and mixed drinks can significantly enhance the drinking experience by offering a calming effect and introducing a unique, earthy taste that complements other flavors. This innovative approach merges the potential wellness benefits of CBD with the art of mixology, aligning with the growing trend of health-conscious drinking options. However, it is crucial to use CBD powders judiciously in these beverages, starting with small amounts to ensure a proper balance of flavor and effect, thus creating a harmonious blend with the other ingredients in the drink.
With anything in life, moderation is key. Since extensive research has not really been done on mixing alcohol and CBD together, it’s best to start in moderation. As you increase your doses, you also increase your chances of more issues to potentially arise.
When mixing the two components together, this can lower your inhibitions and really relax you. When mixing, your effects could last longer and be more intense, since you’re having twice the concoction.
Based on the limited scientific data, there’s no exact way of knowing whether a glass or two of wine, with CBD, could potentially lead to any side effects. We need more science, we need more answers, we need more experiments.
CAN I ADD IT DIRECTLY TO ALCOHOL? HOW? USING OIL?
CBD alcohol is a brand new thing, there isn’t much experience or research backing a recipe approach for mixing.
Depending on which ingredients you want to include as a mixologist, you have different CBD options (+ types).
If you’re new to the world of CBD, CBD Tinctures may be an easy way to add CBD to your alcoholic beverage. CBD drops come with a glass dropper, which has measurements labeled for your precision. You can always try a few drops in your drink and see how you like it! Low and slow is always a good starting approach.
More recently, CBD waters have been a major hit in the world of alcoholic beverage mixtures. CBD Waters are already in liquid form, thus, making it less work to create a specific dose and recipe. For instance, our CBD Waters each contain 10 mg of broad-spectrum CBD. If you’re nervous to try mixing with alcohol, start with a couple tablespoons and work your way up.
Let’s say you’re used to blending, mixing, or adding one simple thing into your alcoholic mixtures, we’ve got you! CBD Powders are a great additive to your beverage, as it mixes smoothly with other liquids. The container comes with a scooper, in which you can decide how much CBD powder to add.
Again, CBD and alcohol aren’t really explored territory, yet. So proceed with caution.
IS THERE A SAFE DOSE OF CBD AND ALCOHOL?
It’s complicated. Mixing CBD and alcohol doesn’t really have a guideline for safe dosages for mixing. If you take CBD frequently, you may feel more comfortable with trying to add it to your glass of wine or beer next time. But, you really don’t know how it will react with your system, especially when mixing it with alcohol. Combining the two should be safe, but it may alter how you think, feel, act, and behave.
We recommend 1) consulting with your physician about a CBD regime and 2) asking him or her about your curiosity for mixing alcohol with your CBD. Sounds crazy, but talking with a healthcare professional may be able to guide you on a path that is personalized for you.
Like we mentioned above, start low and slow. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Add a drop or two of CBD in your drink or add a teaspoon of CBD water, see how you feel. You can always increase from there later on or down the road. There’s no rush to finding your perfect dosage.
WILL I GET A CBD AND ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL?
CBD may be able to help with the dangers of alcohol withdrawal. Again, more research is necessary to define concrete lines.
A 2014 mice study examined the effects of CBD on the liver associated with alcohol. Researchers were able to conclude that CBD may be able to reduce liver toxicity associated with alcohol in mice. CBD may act as a protectant for the livers in mice from fatty liver disease.
In 2016, researchers investigated the use of CBD in treating alcohol withdrawal and addiction. They didn’t necessarily find that CBD lessens alcohol dependence, but researchers did find that CBD acts on the CB2 receptor, which may help in treating alcohol dependence.
Alcohol withdrawal and addiction can be very dangerous, even life-altering if handled incorrectly. It is critical that you seek medical attention before stopping alcohol use, even when taking CBD oil to help manage your symptoms.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT TO DRINK AFTER TAKING CBD?
Again, there isn’t a cookie-cutter answer here friends. Tread lightly, especially if it’s your first time trying to mix CBD and alcohol.
Published in 2014, Yang and colleagues examined the effects of CBD and alcohol in rodents. The rodents that were given cannabidiol 30 minutes prior to being given alcohol displayed significantly less oxidative stress on the liver compared to those who had been given alcohol alone. This study suggests that CBD may help protect rodent liver from acute alcohol-induced effects through multiple mechanisms.
More research is needed to know exactly when, and or if, you should take CBD and alcohol simultaneously or within range of each other.
HOW LONG DOES CBD STAY IN SYSTEM VS ALCOHOL?
CBD may stay in your system for 2 - 5 days. Alcohol, on the other hand, may stay in your system for up to 24 hours. It also depends on what type of analysis you’ll be getting to assess for levels of these substances (i.e. saliva, urine, blood, hair, etc.).
Again, how long these substances stay in your system depends on numerous factors including:
- Body size
- Frequency of use
- Administration method
Interested in learning more about how long CBD stays in your system? Click here.
CAN CBD HELP HANGOVERS?
With the rapid growth of CBD products popping up everywhere in the US, it’s no wonder people are curious about this natural herb’s abilities. Can CBD oil really help with my hangover?
CBD oil is not likely to help alleviate any immediate alcohol intoxication or impairments of motor or psychomotor skills and behaviors. However, CBD oil may be able to help with several hangover symptoms, including nausea and headaches.
Because CBD has neuroprotective and antioxidant properties, it may be a viable option for helping nurse you back to health after a long night of drinking. Do note though, everyone is different, every body is different, you may react differently to both CBD and alcohol.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CBD PRODUCTS?
Nanocraft offers other CBD products including:
- CBD Oil Pills
- CBD Lotions
- CBD Powders
- CBD Drops
Regardless of what your goals and intentions are with CBD products, our wide array of products are sure to align with your desired CBD type.
We have CBD for athletes, whether you’re a professional, amateur, recreational or a newbie athlete, here, at Nanocraft, designed for the athlete in all of us.
If you’re wanting a quick absorption, our CBD Drops are a great option. Sublingual application allows for the CBD to be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream via your tastebuds.
If you want to alleviate pain or reduce inflammation in certain areas, our CBD Topicals are a great choice, with 200 - 500 mg of hemp-derived CBD in each stick. Just a swipe or two will get you closer to feeling relaxed and relieved fast.
Wanting a more incognito method to take your CBD? CBD Oil Pills and CBD Powders are a great alternative for your daily dose. CBD capsules are easy to incorporate right into your daily vitamin routine, with one capsule being 25 mg of CBD. CBD powders are a perfect workout boost drink to power you through your exercise.
* DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.
Kirsten Thornhill, MS Nanocraft Sciences Content Writer | Physiologist | Researcher Kirsten Thornhill was born and raised in a small farm town in Stanislaus County, California. Kirsten graduated with a Master of Science degree in exercise physiology from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. She is very passionate about human physiology and the metabolic and nutritional adaptations that occur during exercise in active individuals and athletes. Kirsten has specialized in maximal oxygen consumption testing in athletes and teaching laboratory, clinical, practical, and research applications of exercise testing to college students. She enjoys educating and informing people about the importance of lifetime movement, plant-based eating, and health research and development. Her passion for natural, lifestyle medicine enables her to strive when promoting health and education.
Consroe, P., Carlini, E. A., Zwicker, A. P., Lacerda, L. A. (1979). Interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 66(1), 45-50.
Kleczkowska, P., Smaga, I., Filip, M., et al. (2016). Cannabinoid ligands and alcohol addiction: A promising therapeutic tool or humbug? Neurotoxicity Research, 29, 173-196.
Yang, L., Rozenfeld, R., Devi, L. A., Zhang, Z., Cederbaum, A. (2014). Cannabidiol protects liver from binge-alcohol induced steatosis by mechanisms including inhibition of oxidative stress and increase in autophagy. Free Radic Biol Med, 68, 260-267.