Alcohol and CBD: Is It Safe to Combine Them?

by | Mar 15, 2023 | Latest News | 0 comments

Many people have started taking CBD as a natural alternative to treat pain and anxiety. Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is gaining major attention in the 2020s. CBD is an active chemical derived from the hemp or cannabis plant. With many beneficial traits on its own, CBD is suggested to reduce anxiety and inflammation and treat chronic pain and muscle aches. It can also help induce sleep and feelings of relaxation. CBD is a non-psychoactive supplement that can be ingested orally in the form of a capsule, gummy, or tincture, applied directly to the skin as a topical treatment, and even inhaled as a dry flower.  But what about combining alcohol and CBD?

If CBD is so great and beneficial, why should we avoid mixing it with alcohol? Let’s separate some of the myths from the facts about mixing CBD with alcohol.  And learn more about how cannabidiol help people with alcohol cessation. 

Possible Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and CBD

Alcohol is known as a downer and can encourage feelings of relaxation, reduce inhibitions, and encourage sleep due to sedation properties. Similarly, CBD can also promote feelings of relaxation and anti-anxiety and encourage sleep. When the two are combined, the side effects from both substances can become enhanced in an uncomfortable way.

Mixing alcohol and CBD may cause you to experience increased sleepiness, sedation, drowsiness, and nausea. Because of these heightened side effects, users of both CBD and alcohol may notice changes in their behaviors and mood. CBD on its own does not have any negative impact on motor functions, but when combined with alcohol, it can cause significant impairments. 

Cannabidiol’s effects on a person vary greatly due to its being metabolized differently by everyone. A lot of the current data available regarding the combination of CBD and alcohol are only analyzing very high doses of CBD mixed with alcohol. There is very limited data showing the effects of a standard daily dose of CBD mixed with alcohol. 

It is best to consult your primary care physician if you are considering mixing alcohol and low to normal doses of CBD. 

DocCBD Alcohol and CBD Supplements


How Long To Wait Before Consuming Alcohol After CBD

The data regarding how long you should wait to consume alcohol after consuming CBD is extremely limited. There are currently no scientific reports concluding how long you should wait. While we know that inhaled CBD can affect your endocannabinoid system and receptors for a couple of hours at a time, CBD that is taken orally can affect your receptors for 6 hours or more. 

If you are making the decision to combine alcohol and CBD, it is best to start low and slow. Start with a very low dose of both alcohol and CBD in a controlled environment where you will not have to leave or participate in any potentially dangerous activities. If you begin to feel drowsy, nauseous, lightheaded, or sleepy, you may consider switching to water or a non-alcoholic beverage for the night. If at any time you or anyone you are with begins to lose consciousness due to combining CBD and alcohol, please call 911 and seek medical treatment. 

While there are no known cases of any person ever overdosing on CBD, at least 3 million people die every year as a result of unsafe use of alcohol according to the World Health Organization. 

Are There Any Positives To Mixing The Two?

Actually yes, there are a few potential upsides to mixing CBD with alcohol. While additional research must be conducted to offer clear results, studies suggest that CBD can protect against certain damage caused by consuming alcohol. Alcohol is known to cause damage to the liver and pancreas and increases the risks of both inflammation and chronic diseases. 

A study was conducted in which mice were injected with CBD, and it helped protect them from alcohol-induced fatty liver disease. By increasing autophagy, the process in which new cell production is encouraged leading to tissue regeneration, it was concluded that CBD may be beneficial to the mice. Additionally, a study conducted in 2014 showed that brain damage caused by extreme alcohol consumption in rats showed decreased brain cell damage by up to 49% when CBD gel is applied. 

Alcohol and CBD Health


CBD Won’t Prevent Alcohol Absorption

A clinical trial available on the National Library of Medicine’s website discusses the effects that 200 mg of CBD had on a controlled group of 10 healthy adults. The abstract of the trial states that the combination of alcohol and 200 mg CBD affected the blood alcohol levels resulting in significantly lower BALs than those who only consumed alcohol alone. These results were only achieved with 200 mg of CBD – different doses of CBD and the placebo doses did not have the same effect on the blood alcohol levels. It is crucial to note that despite the blood alcohol levels being lower in the adults who consumed 200 mg, they were still just as impaired as the adults that did not consume the dose of CBD. 

Additional data must be collected to show the positive effects of combining CBD and alcohol in humans. Though research is needed, we are aware of the positive effects that CBD has on inflammation. By affecting the endocannabinoid receptors, CBD has been repeatedly shown to reduce inflammation in humans and animals. 

Can I Use CBD To Quit Alcohol?

While studies are limited at this time, research does suggest that a dependent alcohol user may benefit from CBD. A 2019 study posted by the National Library of Medicine concludes that “CBD reduces alcohol-related steatosis and fibrosis in the liver by reducing lipid accumulation, stimulating autophagy, modulating inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and by inducing death of activated hepatic stellate cells.” Additionally, CBD has been proven to reduce brain damage caused by alcohol. 

Based on the study above, CBD can be consumed to reduce the consumption of alcohol by those specifically with alcohol use disorder (AUD), but additional updated research is certainly needed.

Talk to Your Doctor

Data regarding the combination of cannabidiol and alcohol are very limited. While the effects do not appear to be life-threatening, additional research must be conducted in order for physicians to deem the 2 substances safe together. Additionally, research needs to be conducted to show the potential positive effects that CBD may have on those who are alcohol-dependent.

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