Scotch on rocks? Vodka-infused cocktails? Whatever the beverage might be, having a drink after a long day at work can help you relax. If you use CBD and related products regularly, you must have wondered whether you can mix them with alcohol.
Well, you are not alone in this boat. Many people have similar questions when trying out CBD for the first time. CBD has become increasingly popular in the past decade or so. As scientists dedicate more research efforts towards the benefits of CBD, a larger group of people around the world have become open to this divine cannabinoid.
Increased social acceptance of CBD means that companies are coming up with new and innovative ways to consume it. Right now, you can find CBD tinctures, topicals, edibles, gummies, capsules, and much more in the market. The list goes on and on. Can you imagine that there are products for pets too? We could not either before, but CBD for pets is a real thing now!
The popularity of CBD is not just limited to the products mentioned above. People are also mixing CBD with alcoholic drinks, and you can even enjoy CBD-infused beer or cocktails at your local bar.
But here comes the trick question, or maybe two:
Can you mix CBD with alcohol?
If yes, is it safe?
The truth is you can, but there is more to it than what meets the eye. While we have limited evidence about the safety of mixing CBD oil and alcohol, scientists believe that both compounds do interact with each other. CBD is a therapeutic compound capable of reducing inflammation, pain, anxiety, and promoting an overall sense of wellness. Alcohol has a psychoactive nature, and its chronic use comes with tons of health risks.
This article outlines the concerns associated with mixing CBD and alcohol.
Let’s get started!
CBD or Cannabidiol – What is it?
Formally known as cannabidiol, CBD is the naturally-occurring cannabinoid found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is one of the two primary compounds that make up the chemical composition of the plant, the other one being THC. The marijuana version of the cannabis plant has greater concentrations of THC as compared to CBD. Hence, companies usually prefer getting their CBD from the hemp plant.
Hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than or equal to 0.3% THC are legal in the U.S. Legality is subject to state laws, so you should always check with your local authorities before trying out any CBD products.
While THC is known for its psychoactive properties and produces the feeling of being high – usually associated with marijuana-use, CBD does not cause the same intoxicating effects.
Instead, CBD comes with several therapeutic benefits for its users. As we get more evidence, CBD shows promise in relieving several chronic symptoms and conditions. These include difficult-to-treat pain, anxiety, stress, inflammation, etc.
The best part about using CBD is that you can not overdose on it, even if you tried to. The World Health Organisation has declared CBD safe to consume, with no public health concerns and potential for abuse. So, your experience with CBD is going to be pretty harmless.
Is There Any Alcohol in My CBD Oil?
Pure, unadulterated CBD oil does not contain any other compounds apart from terpenes, flavonoids, and some additional cannabinoids contained inside the plant. These compounds provide additional benefits and contribute to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. You can also remove these compounds through extraction processes that leave only CBD behind.
Therefore, if you are getting good quality CBD oil from a trustworthy brand, we are pretty sure that it will not contain any alcohol. However, CBD also comes in the form of tinctures, which are alcohol-based CBD extracts. CBD tinctures are very convenient and guarantee accurate dosage.
Some companies tend to market their CBD oil as tinctures, even though it does not contain any alcohol. We recommend reading the labels and doing the research before buying any CBD oil product to make sure you are not getting any other substances apart from CBD.
Does CBD Oil Show Up On a Drug Test?
Since CBD Oil does not make you high, many people have the misconception that they will not fail a drug test, even after taking it. While this might be true in most cases, sometimes you can get a positive drug test due to consuming CBD oil.
Why is this so? Well, not all CBD products contain 100% cannabinoid content. Most of the products available on the market right now are full-spectrum products. Full-spectrum CBD products have the complete cannabinoid profile and also contain a trace quantity of THC for greater effectiveness. While trace-quantity of THC (0.3%) is legal in the United States, the amount is enough for it to show up on a drug test. Hence, we recommend you to opt for broad-spectrum or isolate versions of CBD in case you want to avoid a bad day at work.
CBD and Alcohol – Can You Mix The Two?
Of course, you can. But the process is more complicated than you think it is. You can easily mix CBD with your favorite beverage and get away with it. However, you should be aware that the limited evidence that we have associated with the interaction of the two compounds says otherwise. CBD can interact with alcohol and contribute to its effects on the body.
An important thing to consider is that CBD is a phytocannabinoid derived from plant matter. It is a potent anti-inflammatory compound and might even promote the growth of brain cells. Relatively, alcohol is a neurotoxin, and there are enough scientific studies to show how it can be harmful, even in small doses.
The evidence that we do have about the metabolism of cannabinoids in our bodies is inadequate. So, there is no right answer to what will happen when you take CBD and alcohol together. However, mixing a compound that has so much potential in the wellness department with something that does more harm to you than good is not the best of ideas.
What Are The Effects of Mixing CBD and Alcohol?
I am pretty sure every teenager has tried pairing alcohol with weed at some point in their lives. For me, it was a recipe for disaster as the depressant properties of alcohol combined with the psychoactive nature of THC can mess up your whole recreational experience of cannabis.
But what about CBD? Since it is not a psychoactive compound, CBD can have varying effects when mixed with alcohol. The way CBD interacts with our body is mainly due to the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating several bodily functions, including sleep, mood, appetite, etc.
Our endocannabinoid system is composed of receptor cells known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids like CBD bind with these receptors to control immune responses and produce their much needed therapeutic effects. These receptors have different genetic variations for everyone. So, it is hard to say how mixing CBD and alcohol will affect you, as these effects can vary individually.
However, alcohol acts as a sedative on the body, causing impairment of motor skills and a loss of control of one’s surroundings. While CBD is not intoxicating, when taken in large amounts, it can have similar sedative effects too. If you are mixing the two compounds, you may expect a long-lasting episode of drowsiness and sedation. For some people, this might be an uncomfortable experience.
What Current Research Says About The Effects of CBD and Alcohol?
A 1978 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggested that CBD might reduce the amount of alcohol in your blood. This study involved giving equal doses of CBD and alcohol, CBD and orange juice, a placebo and orange juice, and only alcohol to a group of volunteers. People who took CBD with alcohol had lower levels of the latter in their bloodstream. However, there was no significant improvement in motor skills.
Moreover, this means that while CBD may affect the level of alcohol in your blood, it certainly does not counter the immediate effects it has on the body. The sedative effects of alcohol intensify when taken with CBD.
A similar study, based on an animal model, showed that CBD was capable of countering the neurodegenerative and oxidative liver-damaging properties concerned with alcohol. Published in the Journal of Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behaviour, the study involved administering CBD-infused gel and injections to rats. Both these elements significantly reduced the rate of neurodegeneration caused by alcohol consumption in rats.
Another 2014 study associated with oxidative stress on the liver by alcohol consumption had positive results too. Giving CBD to rodents half an hour before alcohol significantly reduced the progressive liver damage that could occur due to it. Even though this does not apply to human models, it still provides us with a better perspective regarding the benefits of CBD.
CBD Oil for Alcoholism – Does it Help?
Now that we have a clear understanding of what can happen when you mix CBD with alcohol, we will also look at how people with drinking problems can benefit from the use of CBD. Although the research behind CBD and alcohol is not enough, there is still hope for the cannabinoid in this regard. Here are a few benefits of using CBD for Alcoholism:
Decreases Potential for Alcohol Abuse
Substances like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana stimulate the reward and pleasure-seeking triggers of the brain. Constant stimulation of these areas can result in a person developing drug-seeking and addictive behaviors.
CBD reduces the activity in this region to prevent a person from cultivating any dependency on the substance and prevents addictive behaviors.
Reduces the Damage Caused by Alcohol
Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause damage to the liver and neurodegeneration in the hippocampal regions of the brain. CBD acts as a natural antioxidant, reducing the toxicity caused by alcohol in the brain cells.
CBD is also a potent anti-inflammatory substance that can reduce inflammation of the liver due to alcohol consumption.
Controls Drug-Seeking Behaviors
As the reward system of our brain becomes less active with the use of CBD, any substance that previously seemed pleasurable to consume does not have similar effects anymore. Once the brain gets used to not feeling rewarded after the consumption of that substance, it no longer reacts similarly to its presence in the body.
Relieves Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawals
People experiencing withdrawals to any substance may also experience severe episodes of anxiety and stress. While we have limited scientific evidence to support the potential of CBD in reducing alcohol withdrawals, it shows potential in decreasing the withdrawal symptoms associated with tobacco and cannabis use.
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening if not treated properly, and anyone going through a similar situation should consult with their doctor before using CBD as a treatment.
All the evidence that we do have right now is not enough to come to a definitive answer about using CBD and alcohol together. Some studies show that CBD may reduce alcohol levels in the blood and prevent the damage caused by its consumption, while others tell a different story.
Some CBD products like tinctures already contain alcohol, so we recommend choosing a different product if you are not looking to get that with your CBD.
Nevertheless, there are no major health concerns associated with mixing CBD and alcohol. Furthermore, CBD does not show any public health risks, the potential for overdose, or drug dependency. If you want to enjoy a glass of wine mixed with CBD, we can not stop you. What may happen is that you will experience the effects of alcohol more intensely, which can further enhance your drinking experience.
Discover The Goodness of CBD – The Best CBD Brands in the Market Right Now
It does not matter whether you are new to CBD or looking to restock on your tincture cabinet. We are here to link you with some of the best CBD brands in the market right now that offer high-quality products ranging from Full-spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate variants. Head over to our shop right now and get started!
FAQs about CBD Oil and Alcohol
Question: Can you mix CBD with Alcohol?
Answer: Yes it is possible to mix CBD with alcohol but you should know that CBD in large amounts can produce similar sedative effects such as alcohol. Mixing the two together can lead to these effects becoming more intense.
Question: How long after taking CBD oil can I drink alcohol?
Answer: The effects of alcohol will be greater than 4-8 hours after the consumption of CBD. You may experience loss of motor skills, control and perception of time.
Question: Is CBD safe for recovering alcoholics?
Answer: Yes, CBD is generally a safe option for a number of reasons. It does now show any potential for drug dependence or abuse. Moreover, its interaction with the reward system of our brains has shown to reduce drug-seeking behaviors in addicts.
Question: Is CBD better than Alcohol?
Answer: CBD is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. It also has neuroprotective properties and a plethora of health benefits. Alcohol is quite harmful even in small doses and prolonged use can cause neurotoxicity.
Question: Does my CBD Oil contain Alcohol?
Answer: No, pure, unadulterated CBD oil will not contain any alcohol. However, some brands market their CBD tinctures as CBD oil. Tinctures are alcohol-based CBD extracts.