CBD and Alcohol: What You Need to Know
You better learn the ABCs of CBD! 26% of Americans used CBD in 2022. As time passes, the substance will become more popular, with people trying combinations of it with other substances.
Combinations of CBD with other things can be a two-edged sword. Before you mix CBD with alcohol, you need to understand how each substance can affect your body and what the two can do together. Here is your comprehensive guide on CBD and alcohol.
What Exactly Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound that you can find in hemp. It is one of the most potent chemicals in hemp, though it does not recreate a psychoactive effect or high. THC is the chemical in hemp that causes the high and is illegal at the federal level. However, CBD is legal, provided you consume it without substantial THC.
You can take CBD by itself, in a form called CBD isolate. Manufacturers can put CBD in oil, edibles, or tablets. You can also take full-spectrum CBD, which is CBD combined with other chemicals in hemp. However, these products tend to have less purity, and they can create a high that may harm your health.
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How Does CBD Work?
Your endocannabinoid system regulates bodily functions like appetite, blood pressure, and energy levels. It is a part of your central nervous system, and you have endocannabinoid receptors throughout your body, including in your brain.
CBD works by bonding with these receptors. Once inside your nervous system, CBD can send signals to calm you down and relieve pain. It can also encourage your nerves to send chemical messages like serotonin, which can improve your mood.
What Is CBD Used For?
A 2019 Gallup poll reveals that 40% of people who take CBD use it for pain management. The pain may occur anywhere in the body, including joints and muscles. In addition, 20% of people use it for anxiety, as CBD can relax and stimulate the mind. 11% of users take it to induce sleep or relieve insomnia.
Less common uses include headaches, muscle spasms, and depression. In addition, 4% of people use it for recreational reasons. The FDA has approved a prescription oil with CBD in it that treats seizure disorders.
The Effects of Mixing CBD and Alcohol on the Body
The effects of mixing CBD with alcohol are complicated. Keep in mind that scientists are continuing to research the impact of combining the two, so follow the news for the latest health information.
The Possible Benefits of Mixing CBD and Alcohol
You may be surprised to discover the benefits of mixing the two. Here are a few of them.
Prevention of Cell Damage and Disease
A 2022 study found that alcohol can damage cell tissues and DNA, speeding up aging and harming organs. However, CBD is an antioxidant that can repair damaged cells, including ones in the brain. As such, CBD may prevent cell damage or reverse damage after it has occurred.
Scientists have conducted no tests on humans. But scientists have run a few tests on rats with promising results; a 2013 study found that CBD can reverse brain cell damage in rats that have consumed large amounts of alcohol.
Related: Why CBD Patches Have Been a Game Changer
May Reduce Blood Alcohol Levels
Your blood alcohol concentration measures how much alcohol you have in your blood. Scientists have yet to conduct intensive studies on CBD and blood alcohol levels. However, studies from the 1970s suggest that large amounts of CBD can reduce the amount of alcohol in certain people’s blood. Scientists must conduct more research to determine dosage levels and confirm the initial findings.
Could Help With Alcohol Addiction
As a stress-relieving substance, CBD can help someone with an alcohol addiction. Some people use alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety. By relieving stress, CBD may diminish a person’s willingness to drink alcohol.
It can also help someone who has already stopped drinking. CBD can ease symptoms of withdrawal like headaches, trouble focusing, and difficulty sleeping. Scientists need to conduct more research to determine the exact effects of CBD on alcohol addiction.
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The Potential Risks of Mixing CBD and Alcohol
Though mixing CBD and alcohol can benefit, it has some downsides. Consider the pros and cons before you start to combine the two.
Alcohol and CBD are sedative substances that can induce drowsiness and sleep, even in small amounts. As a result, you may find it hard to concentrate or think properly after consuming either of them. You may not have enough energy to finish a task, even something simple. Do not consume alcohol or CBD before driving.
Can Magnify the Effects of Each Other
Though CBD can counteract some effects of alcohol, it may also magnify other effects. Alcohol can make someone feel relaxed and reduce their inhibitions. CBD has similar effects, so combining the two can intensify the results. As a result, you may take risks you wouldn’t usually take, or you may state something you should have kept to yourself.
The Purity of Your CBD Can Play a Critical Role in How It Interacts With Alcohol
You may come across dozens of CBD products in a store. However, you shouldn’t treat all of those products the same. Many CBD products have THC, the psychoactive compound in hemp, in them.
Many CBD companies run tests on their products, claiming that the tests show no THC in their edibles or tinctures. However, these tests may not be accurate. The companies may also lie about what is in their products, even on the labels.
A 2022 study of more than 100 CBD products found that 37 of the products contain THC. The majority of these products had labels that said “THC free” or did not reference THC anywhere. Many of the products without THC were mislabeled; most of them contained less CBD than advertised.
THC can interact with alcohol, heightening its effects and harming your brain. The impact of THC makes it essential for you to find products with only trace amounts of THC in them. Look for ones that have been third-party tested by professional scientists, not scientists on a company’s payroll.
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The Jury Is Out on How Using CBD and Alcohol Affects the Body
Scientists still have a lot of research they need to do before they can determine the effects of using CBD and alcohol together. Both substances have similar effects, though CBD is better for people with anxiety disorders and chronic pain.
For now, you should be careful when using CBD and alcohol together. Space your consumption of both substances out, and keep your dosage levels small. In addition, check that your CBD products have as little THC as possible, and select CBD isolates over full-spectrum products.