As cannabidiol creeps its way in everything, including bracelets and pillows, it was bound to make its way into booze. CBD and alcohol is most definitely a thing.
And it’s not just finding a little excitement. In fact, CBD infused beer and cocktails are taking the world by storm, with craft breweries and bars leading the charge in bringing this exciting new ingredient to the front.
The Cannabis Crossfade
As many of us learned in high school or college, weed and alcohol aren’t always the most graceful pairing.
The effects of alcohol mixed with the THC in marijuana creates an effect lovingly referred to as a “crossfade.” Also known the next morning as a killer, one-two punch hangover.
But CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, which is more and more being looked at for its potential effects on stress, occasional aches and pains, and rest, is a whole different story. CBD and alcohol might actually make sense.*
What Exactly Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound naturally found in the cannabis plant; think of it as the non-psychoactive cousin to THC. CBD can’t get you “high.”
Instead, when ingested or smoked, CBD gets to work on your body’s endocannabinoid system in a more subtle way. (The endocannabinoid system is in charge of regulating sleep patterns, appetite and general mood). Generally, people describe CBD as having a sedative effect; producing relaxing and calming results.
It’s important to note that our bodies already produce cannabinoids in its regulation of emotion and sleep. Ingesting CBD can stimulate cannabinoid production, producing more for the body and aiding in that regulation. In addition to triggering the release of cannabinoids, CBD is also being studied for its effect on the nervous system, specifically on how it may intercept the transmission of pain signals in the body. If that wasn’t all, studies are also looking at CBD and its effect on hormones and enzymes related to digestive health and cognitive function.
Why combine CBD and alcohol? Should you?
Simply put, if you’re enjoying a few drinks this weekend and want to know if you can still take CBD, rest assured that there are limited compounded risks.
So what will happen?
Remember that CBD may have a sedative-like effect. Some people report feeling calmer after a dose of CBD. Alcohol is also a depressant, usually helping take the edge off. When combining them, you’re likely going to see an enhanced feeling of that relaxation.
Rest assured that there are limited compounded risks.
CBD is also used to support a healthy, happy mood. Even if you’re not interested in CBD for its many holistic properties, adding a dose of CBD to your next cocktail could have some immediate benefits for a night of drinking.
And then there’s the negative effects of alcohol, like the neurodegeneration associated with alcohol. In a 2013 study in the journal of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, researchers actually found that CBD “attenuates binge alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.” In other words, it reduced the effect of that neurodegeneration. (Note, this study was limited and on a rodent model!)
Studies combing alcohol and CBD don’t stop there.
Another 2014 study published in the journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine found that “Cannabidiol protects [the] liver” from binge drinking, specifically by inhibiting oxidative stress and the increase in autophagy (destruction of damaged or redundant cells).
That could mean less stress on the body long-term, and even less intense hangovers the next day. In general, studies seem to show a growing consensus that CBD and alcohol don’t interact negatively, and if anything the CBD helps, or at worst case, there are “few differences” when combined. More studies are needed, but the science points in the right direction.
The Skinny On CBD Cocktails
Don’t mistake these studies as a green light to guzzle as many CBD cocktails as you can handle. CBD is still not approved by the FDA to be added to food or beverages, let alone alcohol.
But if you’re trying it out, as with anything, moderation is key.
If you’re taking CBD for medical reasons (or you’re taking other medications) be sure to check in with your doc before combining CBD and alcohol. This should go without saying.
*The Apothecary LLC are not doctors and we do not provide medical advice. None of the information on this site, including information in any press release or blog post, constitutes legal or medical advice by us.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.