CBD Oil And Alcohol: Is It A Good Idea To Mix Them?

Should I Mix CBD Oil And Alcohol?

CBD oil has taken the health and wellness industry by storm. From being virtually unknown and under-researched a decade ago to now being used in everything; from soaps, creams, coffees, tea, among others. Now, taking CBD oil and alcohol is a thing.

Today, you can enter a bar and order your favorite cocktail infused with CBD oil, or if you are into DIYs, you can make one yourself. But can you drink alcohol with CBD oil?

Short answer, Yes. However, this area is still not yet well researched. But with cannabidiol legalized federally and in most states, research is likely to evolve to cover this area. 

In the meantime, you can try it out without fear of severe side effects.

For the complete answer, we look at what research studies and anecdotal evidence say about this combination and whether CBD oil can be used to treat alcoholism.

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CBD Oil and Alcohol: A Good or Bad Idea?

Weed and alcohol may not be the best combination if you are looking for a fun evening. Some of you may have already learned that the hard way. But what about CBD, the ‘magic’ compound with no psychoactive effects?

How bad (or good) can it get?

CBD products have been popping up in large numbers at shops, dispensaries, and health stores. As mentioned, alcohol manufacturers and craft brewers have already joined this wave by infusing CBD in beers, liquor, and other alcoholic drinks.

However, as with any other new trend, there have been questions about the safety of mixing CBD oil and alcohol. 

In a way, CBD has numerous benefits that may offset alcohol’s negative effects in the body, making the mixture seem like a good idea.

On the other hand, CBD, despite its massive popularity, is still not well researched, let alone how it may react with alcohol and other drugs. This means if you decide to try it out, you may experience unforeseen effects.

In this article, we review the effects of using the two. 

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Can You Drink Alcohol with CBD Oil?

Alcohol and CBD may have the same effects on your body. This suggests that the effects, both positive and negative, may be amplified when taken together. On the brighter side, CBD has less serious side effects even when taken in a higher dosage.

For this to happen, you do not even have to be taking them together in a drink. 

In an article by Vice, James Giordano, a professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center, says CBD oil and alcohol can still interact even if you take them 4 to 8 hours apart.

This means if you take a drink in the evening and CBD before going to bed, you may experience stronger effects; sleepiness, and sedation than you would taking alcohol or CBD alone. 

This may be a good idea, especially if you are having a hard time falling asleep. Not so much if you were trying to concentrate on something.

If you are taking CBD for medical reasons, you should consult your doctor before taking it with alcohol. 

Like with most medications, alcohol may affect how CBD works and may interfere with your treatment plan. 

Also, if you are looking to use CBD to treat alcoholism, you will need to consult a specialist.

CBD oil is well tolerated by the body. However, if you have decided to use it with alcohol, moderation is your best bet. 

Ensure you are aware of how they both affect you when used separately before using them together. You might also want to start with lower amounts of both CBD oil and alcohol.

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How CBD oil interacts with Alcohol; The Good and the Bad

The Good

Alcohol and Cannabis are Depressants.

While people have many reasons for using alcohol, it is mostly used to reduce anxiety, stress, promote feelings of wellbeing and relaxation in the body. People have been known to use alcohol to ‘calm or numb their nerves.’

While CBD is not mind-altering, it may have similar effects on your body. Research suggests that it may reduce anxiety, fight depression, improve sleep, and promote overall wellbeing—all without the adverse side effects associated with alcohol use.

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They May Amplify Each Other’s Effects

Taking CBD and alcohol may amplify each other’s effects. 

Both lower your inhibitions and help you relax. When taken together, these effects may be more intense and long-lasting. 

For some people, this means being very sleepy, while some will be very sedated.

According to Prof. Giordano, the combination’s effect will also depend on what kind of a drunk you are. 

If you are a happy drunk, it may make you a happier drunk. If you are a rowdy drunk, well, you can predict the outcomes. 

Both bad and good effects may be amplified. 

A 1979 study on the interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans found that alcohol and CBD, like alcohol alone, caused significant motor and psychomotor impairments and time overestimations. 

However, these effects were not observed on subjects who took CBD only.

We note that this study was conducted a long time ago. It also used a high amount of CBD (200 mg) than most people use daily. 

The study did not compare the intensity of the motor and mental performance impairment caused by the treatments.

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Can CBD Mitigate the Effects of Alcohol?

Here are some ways in which CBD may mitigate the effects of alcohol

  • CBD May Reduce Blood Alcohol Levels

The 1979 Study also found that the subjects who took alcohol mixed with CBD oil had significantly lower blood alcohol levels than when they took alcohol with a placebo. 

The blood alcohol levels have a direct impact on how intoxicated you are.

However, that is not a green light to drink more alcohol. 

As stated above, the study used much more CBD than people typically use. It is therefore not known whether normal CBD dosage would have the same effects.

Additionally, some preclinical studies have reported conflicting findings. This study found that CBD failed to modify blood ethanol concentration in mice. More research in humans is therefore needed.

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  • It May Help with Hangovers

While CBD may not reduce alcohol intoxication or motor and mental impairment immediately, it may help in treating the dreaded hangovers. 

CBD has been known to reduce nausea, headaches, and pain, all symptoms of a hangover.

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  • CBD May Protect Liver Cells from Damage Caused by Alcohol 

Excessive consumption of alcohol may cause damage to liver cells. This puts you at risk of inflammation and chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis. 

However, several studies in animals suggest that CBD may help protect against this cell damage.

This 2014 study found that mice that were given CBD 30 minutes before alcohol had less oxidative stress on the liver than those that were only given alcohol. 

Oxidative stress is the major cause of liver steatosis by alcohol.

Another study found that CBD may attenuate binge alcohol-induced neurodegeneration in rodents. However, these studies are based on animals. We are yet to see if the effects would be the same in humans. 

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Can CBD Oil Help with Alcoholism?

Some people believe that you can use CBD Oil to treat alcoholism. 

That is because some preclinical studies have suggested its potential in treating symptoms of withdrawals and addiction. 

This 2018 study concluded that cannabidiol helped in reducing alcohol intake and prevented relapse in alcohol-addicted rats. 

A 2016 review found that a substance that acts on the CB2 cannabinoid receptors, such as CBD, may be useful in treating alcohol dependence. 

Some studies, such as this one done on cigarette smokers, suggest that it may help stop addictions. More studies on CBD and alcoholism in humans are however required.

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Take Away: CBD Oil and Alcohol

CBD is already everywhere, and it is only getting more popular. 

Due to its numerous health and wellness benefits and less or no side effects, it makes sense that it is being infused in more and more products, including alcoholic drinks.

It has proven that it’s just not another trend that will die out tomorrow. 

When used with alcohol, CBD may amplify some of its effects and mitigate some of the negative ones. However, more research on CBD oil and alcoholism is still required in humans.

While it may not have serious side effects when taken before, with or after a drink, it is important that you consult your doctor, especially if you are using CBD for medical purposes.

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