I used to think the only way to handle a hangover was lots of water and time but earlier this year the coffee shop next to my office started selling CBD hemp oil. One morning when I’d been a little too, ahem, enthusiastic at happy hour the evening before I decided to give one a try and see if it helped with my hangover. I quickly found that these were a great solution to pep me up the morning after a bit of over-indulging. I found that I didn’t get the combo headache & nausea that I usually do, and my mood improved quickly.
These days I keep a bottle of full-spectrum hemp oil as my go-to hangover cure any time I drink a little too much. Even if it was just one glass of wine too many the night before, it’s amazing how a little bit of CBD improves my day.
I started to wonder – do other people use CBD for hangovers? And what exactly was it about full-spectrum CBD hemp oil that might be helping me out?
What Causes a Hangover??
My first step was to understand what exactly causes the symptoms of a hangover, as in what systems are being affected in the body. We all know hangovers are the direct result of overconsuming alcohol, however, the severity and variety of symptoms depend a lot on who you are, what you drink, and how much sleep you get.
This is partly due to how your body relates to alcohol and the kind of existing stressors in your life. Two people can consume the same quantity of alcohol and have wildly different effects the next day, however, whether you get a hangover from two drinks, or ten, there are some common reactions your body has to excessive consumption of alcohol: inflammation, headaches, nausea, and disrupted sleep. Symptoms that may be improved by some very specific qualities contained in cannabinoids.
Your Endocannabinoid System Is Out Of Whack
One theory for the cause of hangover symptoms is that excessive alcohol consumption actually puts a strain on your endocannabinoid system, causing its natural functions to fall short. Remember, the ECS is instrumental in modulating pain, inflammation, appetite, and sleep cycles as well as serotonin and dopamine.
When this system isn’t functioning well your body’s ability to regulate pain, appetite, and sleep as well as your mood are diminished. Sound familiar? If this is the case, taking CBD, particularly full-spectrum hemp or CBD oil, could help replenish your ECS and return it to its normal functionality.
Cannabinoids for Pain Relief
After I started taking CBD first thing in the morning, I noticed that my headaches mostly dissipated. Turns out, these headaches could be caused by dehydration or they could be migraines triggered by the alcohol itself.
So why do I have less of a headache when I take CBD? While there is yet to be definitive answers as to why cannabinoids help with headaches, studies have shown that migraines may be directly related to the ECS, and symptoms seem to be mitigated by introducing cannabinoids into the body. Furthermore, cannabinoids may be able to affect serotonin levels which researchers believe plays a big part in pain regulation.
Mitigating Anxiety & Improving Mood
Speaking of serotonin, a common symptom of hangovers is anxiety and irritability. This is a big part of why I take CBD, especially if I’m at work or have a big day planned. I can usually count on having some level of increased anxiety and general grumpiness (especially if I didn’t get enough sleep!) and CBD helps me get my mood back on track. CBD may reduce social anxiety, and even change how our brains react to anxiety. In fact, cannabinoids could even prove to be a viable treatment for anxiety disorders including PTSD!
CBD May Help With Symptoms Of Nausea
The endocannabinoid system plays a major role in the function of our digestive systems and can be manipulated to prevent (or induce) vomiting. Dysfunction in the ECS continues to be studied for its possible role in sufferers of migraines, IBS and other similar treatment-resistant syndromes as well as its role in nausea induced by chemotherapy.
These cannabinoids may provide relief for these specific symptoms. Taking a dose of full-spectrum CBD has the potential to help repair and replenish your system, which may in turn ease symptoms of nausea. I’m lucky in that I rarely have severe nausea, but I definitely find that a dose of CBD soothes the mild nausea that I frequently experience.
Treat Your Body’s Inflammatory Response
Chronic inflammation is associated with heavy drinking, and even occasional excessive drinking puts a strain on your whole body, starting by overworking your liver. All of this inflammation can lead to a general feeling of malaise, particularly in combination with other hangover symptoms. While more research is necessary to confirm CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, initial studies suggest that it can provide relief for inflammation and neuropathic pain in humans, and provide relief for inflammation in animals.
It Could Help You Get A Better Night’s Sleep
While you can’t go back and stop yourself from downing that last happy hour cocktail, the sooner you get caught back up on sleep, the better. Dosing up on a little CBD before bed can help relax your body and make it easier to fall asleep. If you’re feeling extra adventurous (or expect to have more than one or two drinks) you could even try taking a bit of CBD before the night starts. CBD may mitigate the effects of alcohol on your body, particularly its impact on your liver and brain.
How Much CBD to Take for a hangover
Like any substance, the amount of full-spectrum hemp oil you’ll want to take to help with your hangover depends on your body and may take some testing. I find that 20 to 25 milligrams usually does the trick for me, any less and I don’t notice much of an improvement in symptoms, but sometimes I’ll take more if I’m feeling particularly rough. My suggestion? Start with a moderate amount and work your way to your perfect dose!
So Can CBD Help With Hangovers?
The reality is that there is no set cure for hangovers – other than preventing them in the first place! However, CBD does seem to help the symptoms of hangovers and may get your body back on track more quickly than it would without any help, which has certainly been my experience.
Whether it’s CBD’s natural anti-inflammatory properties, its relation to the ECS, or the fact that it usually helps me get caught up on sleep again quickly, I’ve certainly found that it makes a big difference for me. Whatever the reason, the benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil are certainly worth exploring and there’s no downside to giving it a try the next time your friends persuade you to try out a new bar down the street.