Can You Drink Alcohol On CBD?
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has grown in popularity in the world of health and wellness. There is now a selection of CBD-infused products such as protein bars, lip balms, and body creams.
The trend has even permeated the alcoholic beverage market with CBD-infused beers and shots popping up. Despite this, the safety of combining the two has been questioned.
Can you drink alcohol on CBD? At this stage, little human research exists on the mixing of the two but animal studies do offer a window into the potential benefits and indeed harm of combining both CBD and alcohol together.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a compound that naturally occurs in cannabis. It is unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the hallucinogenic compound most commonly associated with marijuana use.
CBD oil is taken from the cannabis plant and mixed with an oil like coconut, olive, or palm oil. Recently, CBD has become increasingly popular and can now be found in many different products. These include sprays, capsules, shots, and food products.
There is research to suggest that CBD may have several health benefits. These proposed benefits include pain alleviation, reduced anxiety, and ameliorating skin health.
Is CBD Legal?
There are two types of cannabis recognized by the federal government – hemp and marijuana. Hemp is a less processed form of cannabis that contains higher levels of CBD. Marijuana has higher levels of THC and is being bred specifically to have more. It also has lower levels of CBD with levels lower than 0.2% on average.
CBD is legal at a federal level in the US if it is hemp-based and has a THC of under 0.3 but is outlawed in certain states. CBD products derived from marijuana are illegal on a federal level but are legal in select states.
It is important to check state laws whenever you travel to make sure you are on the right side of the law. Nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved and are sometimes incorrectly labeled as a result.
CBD coming from marijuana plants is illegal in the US under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that they classify it as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
Mixing CBD and Alcohol
Two of alcohol’s most prominent effects are reducing inhibitions and increasing relaxation. CBD, too, can have similar effects. Research suggests that anxiety can be lowered and nervousness can be reduced.
It is suggested that taking alcohol and CBD together may amplify this effect to a level where feelings of drowsiness and sedation are felt. In addition, some claim that mixing the two can result in mood swings and behavioral changes. At this stage, not a lot is known for certain about mixing the two substances.
There is some research to suggest that mixing CBD and alcohol could have some positive effects. The consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol can cause cell damage and disease. This increases the chances of inflammation and chronic diseases. However, a series of animal studies have indicated that CBD might be able to protect against cell damage from excessive alcohol consumption.
Whether CBD has the same effect on humans is unknown for the time being and more studies in this area will need to be conducted before there is conclusive evidence.
Another possible benefit of taking CBD alongside alcohol is a reduction in blood alcohol levels (BAC). A high BAC has a correlation with a lowered cognitive function and is associated with DUIs. At the time of writing, there is little research into the effects of CBD on the blood’s alcohol levels.
Some studies have found differing conclusions on the effects and once again have been conducted on animals.
There is evidence to suggest that CBD intake may be therapeutic for alcohol dependency. Once again, animal studies have indicated that CDB may have a positive impact on those who drink alcohol. Several symptoms of alcohol dependency were reduced by the intake of CBD.
One study focused on alcohol-dependent rats found that CBD reduced consumption, stopped relapse, and lowered motivation to ingest alcohol.
As with the other possible benefits of taking CBD in conjunction with alcohol, research on humans is very limited, and as such more needs to be done before conclusive evidence is present.
Having said this, the signs are positive on the whole. Animal studies have shown reductions in liver damage and brain-cell damage, as well as decreased blood alcohol levels and lower chances of relapse and dependency.
Nevertheless, as of yet, there is not enough concrete evidence to confidently claim that CBD has a positive effect when mixed with alcohol. Effects may vary between individuals and will not necessarily affect everyone in the same way.
What’s more, the current research is geared towards a high consumption of alcohol rather than more casual drinking and CBD intake.
If you are considering mixing CBD and alcohol it is advised to limit the mounts to minimise the risk of unwanted effects. It is also a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider if you have any uncertainties or questions.
The Bottom Line
CBD and alcohol together might increase both their effects and cause sleepiness and even sedation.
Many studies have suggested that CBD can help protect against many of the negative effects of alcohol including addition, high blood alcohol concentration, and cell damage. However, these studies have primarily been animal studies so there is still limited evidence to support the effects of CBD in humans.
Without further human studies, the current information is insufficient to draw any conclusive findings.