Cannabidiol, or better known as CBD, is a popular substance used for many medical and wellness regimens. CBD is a natural substance found in different cannabis plants. Most sources are harvested either through hemp or CBD-rich cannabis strains. With the growing popularity of CBD due to its health benefits, more and more CBD-infused products are being sold in natural health shops. There is a glaring issue when it comes to CBD and mixing it with other substances such as alcohol. Do CBD and alcohol mix well together, or do they counter each others’ effects?
What is CBD?
CBD is a compound known as the cannabinoid that is found mostly in cannabis plants. Unlike other cannabinoids such as THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. This means that it does not alter your current mindset and does not cause the high that marijuana is often connected with. CBD is usually extracted from the plants and mixed with other substances such as oils to make different products. These products are sold as supplements that have different health benefits.
CBD holds a lot of therapeutic value and scientific promise. While it is still undergoing countless studies, recent results show that CBD offers more to humans healthwise. It is known to help with pain management, reduce anxiety levels, improve skin elasticity, retain skin moisture, boost the immune system, stops seizures, and many other beneficial effects.
Effects of Alcohol
A glass of alcohol a day can have detrimental effects on the body and overall health. While it may seem that a glass of alcohol is not enough to produce intoxication, the effects of alcohol can take its toll in the body. Its impact starts from the moment you first take a sip, and its effects can last up to several hours.
Drinking too much alcohol causes a lot of issues in the body. This can have an effect on your liver and pancreas, wherein the organs begin to activate digestive enzymes abnormally. This often leads to pancreatitis and has some of the most devastating effects on the human body.
Alcohol also poses a great threat to the liver as it slowly scars the liver tissues. Prolonged use of alcohol can cause damage, and the liver becomes overburdened with cleansing the body from toxins.
Apart from that, you can also run into different issues in the brain, motor function, altered perception, slurred speech, and may even develop alcohol dependency, which can lead to addiction.
What Happens When You Mix CBD and Alcohol
One would have to ask how would a beneficial substance, such as CBD, interact with alcohol? And is it safe to mix CBD and alcohol and see how it would affect humans?
While alcohol is known to limit motor function and reduce inhibition, it also causes relaxation for the most part. CBD also has a very similar effect on the human body. CBD promises a relaxed and chilled experience, and alcohol does the same, but when they are mixed, it can amplify the effects of both substances.
If you are a happy and lighthearted drinker, mixing CBD would mean that you are more likely to be even more lighthearted during these situations. This combination depends on the type of drunk you are; hence there is still danger to mixing both. Those who are violent drunks should heavily avoid CBD intake to prevent the exacerbation of such violent tendencies.
When it comes to addiction, CBD also plays a role in reducing the symptoms of addiction and withdrawal. In a study wherein alcohol-addicted rodents were used, it was discovered that CBD helped reduce the motivation to consume alcohol, thus preventing relapse. This prompted another study with 24 smokers that used a CBD inhaler for a week and discovered 40% reduced cigarette use. This goes to show that CBD can reduce the addictive tendencies of humans, but further studies needed to be pursued to fully rest the case.
Another study has found that CBD lowers the blood alcohol levels as well. A group of people were given alcohol together with a CBD capsule and discovered that they have lower levels than those who drank alcohol alone. The caveat is that both groups experienced similar effects of being drunk. Both groups still had impairments in both motor and cognition skills.
A study in rodents confirmed that topical CBD lessened the alcohol-induced neurodegeneration when still ingesting alcohol. It is thought that the rodents that had CBD 30 minutes before alcohol consumption resulted in having less oxidative damage in their liver than those that did not have CBD. This study also resulted in CBD increasing autophagy in liver cells, which increases tissue regeneration, which the liver is known for.
This means that while CBD may affect the alcohol level, the noticeable effects of alcohol consumption, such as slurred speech and impaired motor functions are still very much present. This also makes sense that mixing CBD and alcohol could amplify the effects of each other, meaning it can produce a high level of sedation as both substances promote relaxation and sedation.
While there is no concrete data to support these studies, research is still ongoing to learn more about the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol.
The Interest in CBD-infused Products
Even though research is still ongoing to fully support these claims, more and more people are becoming interested in CBD-infused products such as CBD-infused beer and other beverages. Not only are they delicious, but these products also promote the effects of both substances. This could present a great market for those who want to create their CBD-infused beers and beverages.
It is a challenging endeavor for many researchers to prove that CBD and alcohol mix well together. There are still many unknown factors, but the truth is, the effects of CBD and alcohol vary from person to person and could also differ in terms of dose and potency. If you decide to drink alcohol and consume CBD, it is much better to start low to lower the risks of any untoward side effects.