CBD and alcohol: Everything to know
What happens if you combine CBD and alcohol? The hemp-derived oil is widely sold for its health and wellness benefits and is found in everything from gummies to cocktails. But, is it safe to mix CBD oil and alcohol? Is CBD healthier than alcohol? And, can CBD oil help alcoholism? This blog will review scientific studies on mixing the two compounds as well as research into CBD for alcoholism and other addictions.
We will also uncover some surprising facts, including how CBD oil may lower blood alcohol levels and even protect against damage caused by drinking too much. All cannabinoids interact with the human endocannabinoid system and have potential benefits for our mental and physical health. Read on as we explore not only CBD and alcohol but also studies on hemp-derived THCV oil (tetrahydrocannabivarin) for nicotine and other addictions, CBC oil (cannabichromene) for mood enhancement, and CBN oil (cannabinol) for potential non-pharmacological sedation.
What is CBD and what are CBD effects?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. Rather, CBD oil may relieve occasional pain, inflammation, and anxiety. CBD oil may also promote better sleep and a sense of calm. There are dozens of other cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis. While THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is psychoactive, others including THCV are not. In fact, THCV acts like a stimulant, increasing energy and suppressing appetite. Learn all about each cannabinoid and hemp terminology with our CBD glossary.
Can you mix CBD and alcohol?
Given that CBD promotes relaxation and alcohol is a depressant, there is speculation that combining the two could amplify their effects and result in increased drowsiness. However, there do not appear to be any scientific studies proving such effects of alcohol and CBD.
In fact, a small study followed the effects of giving participants 200mg CBD with one gram of alcohol for every 2.2 pounds of their body weight. The study found that when participants were given CBD alone that it did not impair their motor performance or alter their sense of time. However, when they were given alcohol alone or alcohol with CBD that both their motor skills and sense of time were significantly impaired. There were no discernable differences between participants taking alcohol alone or alcohol with CBD. The only difference was that the blood alcohol levels of those mixing alcohol and CBD was lower than those taking alcohol alone.
This was just one small study and more research would be useful in determining if there could be any negative impacts of combining CBD oil and alcohol. However, please note that participants received an extremely large amount of CBD for this experiment. The amount given was dozens of times higher than normally recommended. For now, this appears to be good news for those who enjoy CBD cocktails or enjoying CBD gummies and drinks together.
Is CBD healthier than alcohol?
Research into CBD is still limited. But, it is widely believed to offer many health and wellness benefits. CBD also comes with very little risk of any negative side effects.
Conversely, we know that excessive alcohol use can damage cells. This increases the risk of inflammation and liver diseases, pancreatitis, certain cancers and other chronic illnesses. Find more information in the National Library of Medicine.
Can CBD protect against alcohol’s effects?
Animal studies show that CBD may protect against cell damaged caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
In this study, a topical CBD application decreased alcohol-induced brain damage by 49%.
Meanwhile, in this study, mice injected with CBD were more protected against alcohol-induced fatty liver disease. The CBD appears to have promoted the turnover of new cells and the regeneration of tissue.
As mentioned above, in this small study, participants given CBD with alcohol showed lower blood alcohol levels than those given alcohol alone.
Can CBD oil help alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease. It is characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using. Many people turn to CBD for addiction recovery.
Taking CBD for alcoholism has shown potential in preliminary studies. CBD may help reduce cravings and relapse in those with alcoholism, according to the following research.
This 2019 study found that CBD reduced the overall level of alcohol drinking in animal models of alcohol use disorder. CBD reduced alcohol intake, desire for alcohol, relapse, anxiety and impulsivity.
This 2015 review of 14 scientific studies (9 on animals and 5 on humans) suggests that CBD oil may help reduce addictions to cocaine, opioids, stimulants, tobacco, and cannabis.
Meanwhile, this 2021 study looked at 120 people who used cannabis and alcohol. It found that those taking CBD for 5 days drank on fewer occasions. They also drank less alcohol when they did drink.
What about THCV, CBC, and CBN?
The hemp plant contains many more cannabinoids than just CBD and THC. Each one has unique properties and offers special benefits.
THCV is a stimulating cannabinoid that reduces hunger. In this way, it is similar to smoking cigarettes, however it is non-addictive. Also, THCV does not pose health risks like cigarettes do. In fact, this study found that THCV may help reduce nicotine addiction and may be helpful for addictions to other substances. Learn more about THCV for addiction or buy THCV.
Separately, CBC raises levels of the brain’s “bliss” molecule anandamide. This can help people improve their mood and feel good naturally. In this way, like CBD and alcohol, CBC may help people feel more social and happy without alcohol or with less alcohol.
Lastly, CBN oils and gummies are great for sleep. For those who drink alcohol to feel more relaxed and calmer, CBN may be a great alternative. Steep Hill laboratories once even compared the effects of CBN to those of valium. Learn more about CBN oil for sleep.
In this article we have looked at the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol and CBD for alcoholism. The scientific studies to date appear to show that taking alcohol and CBD together should be safe in moderation. CBD may help people drink less. Other cannabinoids, including THCV, CBC and CBN may also be helpful. However, many were animal studies and may not have the same results on humans. It would be useful for there to be human trials. This way we could better understand the effects and potential benefits.