Many of us start taking CBD as part of our daily health and wellbeing routine. But does that mean we also have to become teetotal? Or can you drink alcohol when taking CBD oil?
While both are derived from natural ingredients, beer and wine have been consumed for hundreds and thousands of years in various forms. As a result, the negative effects of excessive drinking have been well documented, along with some potential health benefits if you're consuming moderate amounts.
CBD has also been consumed throughout history as one of the substances which occurs naturally in cannabis plants. But it's only in recent decades that cannabidiol (CBD) has been identified, isolated and extracted from hemp and cannabis plants. Which means you can now enjoy the potential benefits without the risk of intoxication.
The effects of both alcohol and CBD vary from person to person, but the quick answer is that you should be fine to enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine, (in moderation!) when taking CBD.
CBD and alcohol
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 compounds found naturally in cannabis and hemp plants. Since being discovered and isolated, research indicates that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body to help regulate your mental and physical state.
CBD isn't psychoactive, so you don't feel high or stoned when taking it. But by helping to boost the transmitters and receptors in your nervous system, research has looked at how it can potentially help moderate pain, stress, and other conditions.
By contrast, alcohol is definitely psychoactive and intoxicating. And while it increases levels of dopamine and endogenous opioids in your brain to give a pleasant sensation, it also suppresses and impairs various brain functions. Which is why you feel drunk after having one too many. As a depressant, combining alcohol with CBD could lead to an increase in drowsiness, or more extreme changes in your behaviour.
And while CBD isn't addictive (and seems to potentially help tackle existing addictions), alcohol in your body also produced acetaldehyde, which is the reason you might feel hungover the next day. Withdrawal from longterm alchohol abuse can be particularly unpleasant or even fatal.
Can CBD and alcohol interact?
New research into the effects and benefits of CBD is being published all the time. But studies looking at the combination of alcohol and CBD are still very limited, so it's difficult to say exactly what can happen by combining the two.
Both substances could interact if they're taken within four to eight hours or each other. This could mean you feel even more relaxed than taking either CBD or alcohol alone. But some studies in animals have suggested that taking CBD can help protect the liver from damage in binge drinking and lowers blood alcohol levels (although people still felt just as drunk).
More data and studies are needed, but the initial findings suggest that if you're having the occasional glass of beer or wine while taking CBD, it could mitigate the downsides of moderate alcohol consumption.
What about alcoholic drinks containing CBD?
As CBD has become increasingly popular, many products have added it as an ingredient. And this includes CBD infused beer and cocktails.
We know that CBD is safe for adults to consume as a food supplement, and alcohol is legal and OK for most people to enjoy in moderation. But as mentioned above, there's very little information on what happens when the two are combined in a drink.
Our recommendation would be to stick to taking CBD oil or capsules as part of your wellbeing routine. Partly as the risk of any negative interactions will be lessened if the time between ingesting CBD and alcohol is spaced out. And mainly because we'd rather enjoy the taste of a good beer or fine wine without any unnecessary ingredients!
It also means you can ensure you're taking quality CBD products, and not confusing your dosage.
Are CBD and alcohol safe?
Ultimately, the question is whether it's safe to drink alcohol when you're taking CBD. And there's no absolutely definitive answer, but the most likely indication is that there's no physical or mental issues caused by mixing the two in moderation.
If you have one too many, then the effects of both CBD and alcohol on your mood and mental state might be amplified somewhat. Which may make you more relaxed or drowsy than normal. But the amounts and effects will vary between individuals.
The best advice is to use good quality CBD products from a reputable retailer, and enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation. That way you won't be undermining your health and wellbeing efforts, and also won't need to deal with a hangover when you wake up.