CBD and alcohol are a combination that is finding its way around the nation in the form of infused cocktails and beer. And with the rise of CBD use in general, it’s likely that it will find its way into your glass sooner or later. As cannabis use becomes more accepted and legal, there are many bridges we are crossing as consumers that didn’t exist previously. One of those being the infusion of CBD and alcohol.
You can find CBD coffee, skincare, bath bombs, treats, and so much more. The benefits of CBD are spanning the previous fears and barriers that cannabis has experienced in recent US history. This trend of CBD infused everything is a nod to the creative and crafty.
If you’re not on the CBD train quite yet and aren’t sure what this all means, here’s a quick rundown:
CBD (cannabidiol) is an active chemical compound found in the marijuana plant and industrial hemp plant called a cannabinoid. It is one of the most dominant of over 100 known cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a diverse class of chemical compounds that occur naturally in the body (endocannabinoids) and in several plants including cannabis.
All cannabinoids behave differently, but CBD is quite unique in that it doesn’t bond directly with the cannabinoid receptors. This is when the body is encouraged to produce endocannabinoids. This natural production of endocannabinoids is much better for the body as the production is native.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is composed of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids naturally produced in the body), enzymes that synthesize and degrade the cannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors (primarily CB1 and CB2) found in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The main purpose of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis in the body. The ECS has been known to influence things like sleep, mood, and pain.
CBD doesn’t get you high like THC and it can generally be taken in larger doses with less of an effect.
Studies are still being done to determine the full profile of what CBD is beneficial for, and many are advocating for it strongly with incredible stories of healing from using CBD.
CBD and Alcohol
Many believe that CBD and alcohol are a match made in heaven. Both CBD and alcohol are known for their relaxing effects by reducing inhibitions and promoting a sense of happiness. When combined, this is amplified and many report feelings of bliss and “floating on a cloud.”
Many people have a negative experience when alcohol is mixed with smoking THC. This is a common occurrence that induces nausea, vomiting, the spins, and a wretched hangover the next day. Luckily, THC and CBD are very different and won’t garner the same results. If this is all giving you bad flashbacks to college days spent on the bathroom floor, don’t worry. CBD and alcohol don’t have the same effect.
Studies and first-hand accounts are showing that the mixture of CBD and alcohol can have many positive effects. A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology found CBD in alcohol to “facilitate drinking reduction,” the paper’s authors write, but research also shows the compound “may provide idiosyncratic protection to the liver and brain, which could reduce the development and impact of alcohol-related liver disease and alcohol-related brain injury.”
More research from Free Radical Biology & Medicine showed that rodents that ingested CBD 30 minutes before ingesting alcohol were less likely to experience alcohol-induced oxidative damage in the liver than those that didn’t have the CBD. While they’re just animal studies, experts think they’re quite telling.
Even if you’re not drinking the two together in a cocktail, CBD and alcohol can interact if you take them within four to eight hours of each other, says James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. So if you take CBD at lunch at work and then go to happy hour, you’ll still feel the effects as if you drank a CBD cocktail.
CBD can make some people very sedated and relaxed. Alcohol has the same effect for many, especially after a few drinks, making the combination potentially negative if you’re in a public space like a bar or a restaurant.
And if you’re consuming multiple cocktails with CBD in them, that will also mean that you’re consuming a likely large about of CBD. More alcohol plus high doses of CBD can be a slippery slope if you’re not a seasoned consumer.
If you’re curious about making CBD cocktails at home, this article has great recipes to try before you procure a CBD cocktail at a bar.
CBD and Addiction
An article published in Healthline stated: One study in 24 smokers found that using a CBD inhaler for one week reduced cigarette use by 40%. These results may suggest that CBD could help curb addictive behaviors.
The Bottom Line
If you’re going to mix alcohol and CBD, use your best judgment, go slow, listen to your body, and quit while you’re ahead. The effects of CBD can be quite minimal and you may not notice anything for up to an hour. Micro-dosing is a common and safe way to experience the benefits and effects of CBD in a minor way. Until you know your threshold for CBD and alcohol together, this is the best option.
Much of the research presented here and available online has been done on rats. Until more research is done on humans, there will be an air of uncertainty around mixing CBD and alcohol. Use discretion and moderation. Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal on the federal level but still considered illegal in some states. You can order CBD tinctures online from reputable companies and try it in the comfort of your own home.
If bars around the country are infusing cocktails with CBD, it’s likely you’ll come across the opportunity to try the combo. You can also do your own research and make your own CBD cocktails at home.