Cannabidiol has literally taken over the world, and is found in many health products today, including hand creams, body balms, bath products, protein bars and many other products. Alcohol manufacturers have jumped on the CBD bandwagon as well, with some producing beer or other alcoholic beverages that contain CBD. However, many people have absolutely no idea if the combination of CBD and alcohol is safe at all;
Pure cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found naturally in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, CBD has no psychoactive properties and does not cause what is often associated with marijuana use. CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant and then mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut, palm, olive or hemp oil;
How alcohol and CBD work
Alcohol is known for its ability to lower inhibitions and promote a sense of relaxation. CBD can have similar effects on your body. Research has shown that it can reduce feelings of anxiety and calm your nerves;
Taking alcohol and CBD together can amplify these effects, which can cause symptoms such as increased drowsiness and sedation. Some people may experience behavioural and mood changes;
One small study examined the effects of taking 200 mg of CBD along with 1 gram of alcohol for every kilogram of body weight. It found that combining alcohol with CBD caused significant impairment in motor performance and changes in time perception. Participants did not experience these effects when taking CBD alone. (Link to study)
However, this study is outdated and uses a much higher amount of CBD than most people typically use. Unfortunately, there is very little research on the health effects of using CBD with alcohol;
CBD and alcohol promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Combining them can amplify these effects. However, more research is needed to find out how these two factors can affect your mood and behaviour;
CBD as protection against the side effects of alcohol?
Not much is known about the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol, but promising research shows that CBD may protect against some of the negative effects of alcohol. Below, we outline two ways CBD may affect the effects of alcohol.
- Effect on cell damage– Excessive alcohol consumption can cause cell damage, which increases the risk of inflammation and chronic diseases such as pancreatitis, liver disease, and some cancers. Several animal studies have found that CBD may protect against cell damage caused by alcohol consumption. However, other studies have had conflicting results, so more research is needed to confirm or refute these studies;
- Addiction Treatment – Some researchers say CBD can help treat alcohol addiction, but there is a lack of research conducted on humans One study on rats showed a reduced motivation to consume more alcohol when taking CBD. An interesting study was also done on humans, this time on smoking addicts, taking CBD in an inhaler reduced cigarette use by 40%. However, the studies are very few and not entirely conclusive.
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Is it safe to use CBD and alcohol at the same time?
Currently, there is very little research that can give you an accurate answer, with some research showing that the results varied from person to person. Most research focuses on high alcohol and CBD consumption, but they don’t often examine the effect of CBD and moderate alcohol consumption. Bottom line, the combination of CBD and alcohol is definitely not recommended. However, if you do decide to try it, stick to small amounts of both alcohol and CBD to keep the potential risks to a minimum;