Cannabidiol or CBD is popping up in all sorts of products these days, like chocolate, pillowcases, or water for your pet. It was only a matter of time before CBD made its way into the world of booze.
And it’s not just a trend the college kids are partaking in (ahem, Edward Fortyhands). CBD-infused beers and cocktails are surging onto the scene. But is it a good idea to mix CBD and alcohol?
How Do CBD and Alcohol Interact?
Let’s start off by saying there needs to be way more research done on the effects of consuming both CBD and alcohol. And you should always consult your doctor before combining alcohol and CBD (no brainer). But here’s what we do know.
Alcohol is a depressant. It interacts with our central nervous system and can alter our mood, coordination, and speech. And as anyone who’s played Edward Fortyhand can tell you, the more you consume, the more it affects you.
CBD has a more subtle approach to its influence on the body. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), mainly responsible for keeping your body’s internal balance in check. Most people use CBD to help ease pain or help them relax.
So, when you take the two together, you can have an enhanced feeling of relaxation. Even if you don’t take them at the same time, CBD and alcohol can interact within four to eight hours of each other, says James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. That means a drink with dinner and a dose of CBD before bed could make you feel the effects stronger than you would with just the CBD alone.
Are There Any Benefits to Combining CBD and Alcohol?
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found few differences between the participants given CBD and alcohol and those only given alcohol. Meaning, you can expect alcohol to basically affect you the same when taking it alongside CBD oil.
What was interesting about the study was participants who were given the mix of CBD and alcohol had lower blood alcohol levels than participants who had just been given alcohol. But there weren't any notable differences in impairment of their motor skills. Now, this doesn’t mean CBD will make you feel less drunk. As we mentioned before, you’ll likely feel the sedative-like effects at a higher level when taken together.
CBD has shown a bit of promise in reducing some of the adverse effects of alcohol. Keep in mind, this study was only tested on a rodent model, but the journal of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior published that CBD “attenuates binge alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.” Translation: it reduced the loss of structure or function of nerve cells caused by binge alcohol consumption.
Another study published in the journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine (also tested in rodents) found that “Cannabidiol can prevent acute alcohol-induced liver steatosis in mice, possibly by preventing the increase in oxidative stress.”
All this research is headed in a positive direction. There just needs to be more of it. But what about in the immediate future–like the morning after a glass or two of wine? Will any of this help a hangover?
Can CBD Help a Hangover?
While CBD can help with a lot of what ails ya, it’s not a miracle drug. However, CBD may help you treat some of a hangover’s symptoms like nausea and headaches. And its neuroprotective and antioxidant properties may make you feel a bit better than you would without it. With that being said, everybody is different and will react differently. But! It’s possible to reduce the discomfort and maybe get you off the couch a little bit faster than without it.
CBD Drink Recipes
These studies and hangover help don’t give you permission to chug away. If you’re ready to try it out, remember, moderation is key. Here are a few recipes to get you started using some of our full-spectrum CBD oil tinctures. And if you want to learn more about the world of CBD tinctures, check out our beginner’s guide.
Cinnamony Sweet Latte
- 2 oz espresso
- 1 tsp vanilla simple syrup
- 2 ounces of frothed milk
- cinnamon tincture
- caramel and cinnamon for drizzle
- Brew espresso.
- Add ice to a cup and add vanilla simple syrup.
- Pour in espresso.
- Add your desired dose of cinnamon tincture.
- Steam milk and pour it over.
- Drizzle with caramel and a dusting of cinnamon.
Mint Julep Haze
- 8 mint leaves
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- 4 ounces of ginger ale or 2 ounces of bourbon
- peppermint tincture
- Garnish: mint sprig
- Garnish: Angostura bitters (optional)
- In a rocks glass, muddle mint leaves in the simple syrup.
- Add ginger ale or bourbon.
- Add your desired dose of peppermint tincture.
- Tightly pack glass with crushed ice and stir until glass is frosted.
- Top with ice and garnish with mint sprig and a few drops of bitters (optional).
Bee’s Knees and Toes
Ingredients for the honey syrup:
- 1 cup honey
- ⅓ cup hot water
Ingredients for the cocktail:
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¾ ounce honey syrup
- 4 ounces of sparkling water or 2 ounces of gin
- citrus tincture
- Make the honey syrup: in a container, combine honey and hot water. Stir until completely mixed.
- In a shaker glass, combine fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, sparkling water or gin, desired dose of citrus tincture, and ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a glass.