Click the link to find out what happens when you mix CBD oil and alcohol, how it might affect you, and whether it's safe to combine the two substances. Should you mix CBD oil in alcohol? Alcohol dissolves cannabinoids, but the two are definitely not a dream duo. On the other hand, studies point to CBD as the potential aid for people suffering from hangovers, withdrawals, and alcohol-induced toxicity. As CBD is becoming more prevalent, many want to gain the relaxing benefits of the product while still enjoying their time at the pub. But, can you mix the two?
Can You Take CBD Oil And Drink Alcohol?
If you regularly consume CBD oil, you may be wondering if it is safe to mix with alcohol. While the short answer appears to be yes, in truth, the topic is not as straightforward as it seems. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about taking CBD oil and alcohol together.
- Can you mix CBD oil and alcohol?
- What happens when you combine CBD oil and alcohol?
- Are CBD oil and alcohol safe?
- The growing interest in CBD-infused beers
- CBD oil and alcohol—it’s complicated
Can you mix CBD oil and alcohol?
Whether it is relaxing after a tough day or heading out with friends, for many, a few drinks is an excellent way to unwind. But, if you’re taking CBD oil at the same time, you may be concerned about the two interacting, and how that will make you feel.
To understand the combined effect of CBD oil and alcohol, we first need to look at the two substances separately.
Despite starting as a handful of yeast and sugars, alcohol acts as a powerful depressant. By interacting with the central nervous system, it affects our mood, coordination, and speech. And, as many individuals can attest, the more you consume, the more severe those effects!
CBD, on the other hand, has a much more subtle influence. Its impact centres on an interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This vast regulatory network extends from head to toe and is responsible for keeping different biological systems balanced and in check. That said, CBD has also been shown to interact with a variety of molecular targets outside the ECS.
Taking both substances at face value, you might think the balancing effects of CBD could limit the impact of alcohol. However, the reality is, we don’t know exactly how the two interact.
What happens when you combine CBD oil and alcohol?
The relationship between CBD oil and alcohol has yet to be extensively studied, but there are a handful of preclinical investigations to draw upon. The Journal of Psychopharmacology  found few differences between test subjects administered CBD and alcohol and those administered just alcohol.
Based on their findings, you can expect alcohol to affect you the same when consuming it alongside CBD oil. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough data to tell if cannabidiol can mitigate the risk of any adverse side effects from consuming alcohol.
Are CBD oil and alcohol safe?
The effects of excessive alcohol intake affect nearly every part of the body, with the detrimental health implications extensively documented. There are, of course, dozens of variables, such as the type of drink and the alcohol percentage, but you’ll know better than anyone what an unhealthy amount of alcohol is for your circumstances.
CBD oil, on the other hand, appears well tolerated in humans, according to a review by the World Health Organisation (WHO)  . It synergises well with dozens of natural ingredients, won’t produce psychotropic side effects, and, provided it’s prepared to the correct standard, CBD oil won’t contain any unwanted additives or chemicals.
With the limited information available, combining the two should be safe, but as is the case with any substance that alters how we think, feel, or act, moderation is crucial. If you have any doubts or concerns, start by talking with your doctor first.
The growing interest in CBD-infused beers
While researchers are undecided on the specific outcomes of CBD and alcohol, a slew of CBD-infused beers and cocktails have appeared in numerous markets. Brewers from all over the world are keen to understand how the two substances complement each other.
CBD-infused beers are marketed as a convenient and straightforward way to incorporate CBD without disrupting your routine. There has even been interest from leading beer conglomerate Constellation Brands, whose portfolio includes dozens of beer, whisky, and vodka brands.
The crossover between the alcohol and CBD industry is still in its infancy, but it shows there’s significant interest in the influence of CBD. When you consider that roughly two billion people  drink alcohol, it presents a market of infinite possibility.
CBD oil and alcohol—it’s complicated
From what we know so far, it’s challenging to say precisely how mixing CBD oil and alcohol will make you feel. This uncertainty, however, hasn’t stopped CBD from finding its way into numerous alcoholic beverage lines, especially beer, where it is enjoying a steady tenure in North American markets. Since research has yet to fully exploit the relationship between different doses of CBD and alcohol, you should take both substances in moderation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of CBD and how it influences the human body, our comprehensive CBD Encyclopedia is an excellent resource. If you already know what to expect, why not browse the Cibdol store for an extensive selection of CBD oils, capsules, supplements, and cosmetics.
CBD and Alcohol: What Happens When You Mix Them Together?
Taking them together may reduce the health benefits offered by CBD. While CBD is a known antioxidant and neuroprotectant, this isn’t the case for alcohol.
As a matter of fact, alcohol is a toxin with no acknowledged safe dose, as reported by the largest global study conducted in 195 countries.
Since CBD oil is available virtually everywhere, people are wondering if they can boost its relaxing properties by mixing it with other substances like alcohol for recreational use.
After all, you can have CBD-infused gummies, honey sticks, protein bars, etc. — so why not add some CBD to a good ole’ booze?
Alcohol companies have jumped on the bandwagon, infusing different alcoholic beverages with CBD, such as beer or cocktails — but does it actually make sense?
What happens when you mix CBD with alcohol?
Can you use CBD oil to help with alcohol misuse, hangovers, and other related problems?
Continue reading to find out.
CBD vs Alcohol: How They Affect Your Health
CBD and alcohol are completely different in terms of how they affect human health. Here’s a quick comparison of both substances.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in cannabis. Along with THC and other active molecules, it belongs to a group of substances known as cannabinoids.
CBD has a different chemical structure than THC, the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana plants. You won’t get high off of CBD, but you can still reap a plethora of health benefits from using it.
The most common effects of CBD include relief from stress, anxiety, pain and inflammation, and sleep deprivation. It can also strengthen the immune system and help the body regulate communication between neurotransmitters.
The CBD products that are widely advertised online come from hemp plants. Hemp is known for higher concentrations of CBD and only trace amounts of THC. Hemp-derived products comply with federal law and can be legally purchased in all 50 states.
CBD can also be extracted from marijuana. Such products will contain higher levels of THC and are legal only in the states that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use.
There have been no reports of fatal overdoses from CBD. The cannabinoid has been tested in very high dosages – up to 1,500 mg daily – without life-threatening side effects.
The effects of alcohol are on the other side of the spectrum.
Also known as ethanol, alcohol is the main intoxicant in alcoholic beverages; in other words, it’s what makes you feel drunk.
Alcohol forms as a result of the interaction between sugar and yeast in certain carbohydrate-rich foods, such as grains, potatoes, or grapes.
It is also the most abused substance in the world. It can considerably alter your state of mind, compromising motor skills, judgment, and decision-making.
People often act without limits when under the influence of alcohol. It fuels them with courage, reduces shyness, and has a depressant effect on your nervous system.
The short-term side effects of alcohol include drowsiness, slurred speech, blurred vision, impaired judgment, problems with hearing, weak coordination, and blackouts.
The long-term risks of binge drinking are much more severe. Regular alcohol poisoning may lead to addiction, cause malnutrition, nerve damage, liver disease, and permanent brain damage. These are just a few consequences of alcohol misuse (1).
Does CBD and Alcohol Mix?
When people discuss the validity of mixing CBD with alcohol, they raise one specific argument — that CBD is alcohol-soluble. Ethanol extraction is actually one of the most common ways of making herbal supplements.
However, the alcohol usually evaporates once the active compounds have been stripped from the plant material — leaving the producer with a thick liquid that contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and other hemp molecules.
You generally don’t mix CBD and alcohol together. There’s a good reason why people advise against doing so.
CBD improves the functioning of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is the major regulatory network within our bodies that helps the body maintain the balance between important biological processes — such as pain perception, mood, memory, reproduction, immune function, neuroprotection, body temperature, appetite, and more.
The ECS produces its own CBD-like compounds called endocannabinoids. An ECS that is deficient in endocannabinoids is likely to lead to further imbalances between the other systems and their organs — something that CBD supplementation is supposed to prevent.
CBD ‘encourages’ the ECS to produce more of its endocannabinoids while slowing their breakdown. Since more cannabinoids are circulating in your bloodstream, the body can efficiently return to homeostasis.
Alcohol ruins the effort you put into leveling the endocannabinoid deficiencies.
Why Mixing CBD and Alcohol Isn’t A Good Idea
Alcohol has a potent sedative effect on the user. People often drink it to promote feelings of relaxation and to reduce stress and tension.
However, the potential short-term benefits are outnumbered by a long list of dangerous side effects. Alcohol misuse may wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. It can cause severe damage to your organs in addition to the social harm caused by those who become addicted to alcohol.
Mixing CBD with alcohol diminishes its health benefits because it causes damage to the ECS. As a result, endocannabinoid deficiencies may deteriorate.
There are some studies that suggest taking a small dose of alcohol with a large dose of CBD to induce stronger sedation and reduce anxiety.
One study was conducted on 75 people to analyze the efficacy of CBD in reducing anxiety and improving sleep patterns. After 30 days, the participants had lower anxiety markers and experienced deeper sleep (2).
The research team has found that adding 1 gram of alcohol for every 2.2 pounds of total body weight to a single dose of 200 mg of CBD resulted in significant improvements in motor performance and alterations in time perception. The subjects didn’t report these effects when they took CBD alone.
However, this isn’t the best study to conclude from because it was conducted on a small sample and used a much larger dose of CBD than most people take in their routine.
There aren’t many studies on the effects of mixing CBD with alcohol, but considering their contrasting effects on our health, they shouldn’t be taken together.
Does CBD Help with Hangovers?
Judging by the benefits of CBD, many people believe that you can use CBD oil to help with at least several negative effects of alcohol misuse.
Although CBD oil doesn’t help with acute intoxication or impaired motor skills, it may help lessen the symptoms associated with hangovers, such as headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, and increased blood pressure.
CBD has strong antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, which makes it a decent option for nursing hangovers and reducing the damage caused by alcohol.
If you want to enjoy the relaxing effects of CBD, but without getting buzzed, you can mix it into virgin versions of your cocktail recipes.
CBD Oil & Alcohol Withdrawals
Is it possible that CBD helps with alcohol withdrawals in a similar way that can mitigate hangovers?
Unfortunately, there’s not much research into it, but CBD may be able to reduce the chances of alcohol withdrawal by supporting homeostasis and easing some other symptoms.
In a 2014 study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, the authors concluded that CBD can reduce alcohol-induced liver toxicity in mice. The study found that CBD prevented steatosis (fatty liver disease) caused by alcohol abuse (3).
A 2016 review of studies posted in the journal Neurotoxicity Research found little evidence to support the positive effects of CBD on alcohol withdrawals, but it did mention the role of CB2 receptors in treating alcohol addiction (4).
Dr. Melanie Bone, a medical cannabis practitioner working in Florida states that CBD may reduce the damage caused by problematic drinking. By strengthening the body’s defensive mechanisms and reducing alcohol cravings, CBD oil may help minimize the harms of alcohol abuse.
These are very promising findings. With more clinical research analyzing the effects of CBD on damage caused by binge drinking, therapists may use it as an adjunctive treatment for those trying to recover from addiction.
CBD Before vs After Drinking Alcohol
Like we said, taking CBD after drinking alcohol may help you ease the pesky symptoms of hangovers, protect your body against alcohol-induced damage, and support post-drinking recuperation.
On the other hand, taking CBD before drinking may contribute to lower blood alcohol levels. The blood alcohol levels are referred to the amount of alcohol in your blood after drinking. The higher these levels, the greater the impairment in cognitive function and motor performance.
Although the evidence that CBD affects blood alcohol levels, one study conducted on 10 people found that a dose of 200 mg of CBD significantly reduced the amount of alcohol in their blood. However, it’s not clear whether lower amounts of CBD would yield the same result.
Long story short, studies show conflicting results, reporting no significant influence of CBD on blood alcohol levels.
CBD for Recovering Alcoholics
Considering the health benefits of CBD, some people decide to support their recovery from alcoholism with CBD oil.
But is CBD safe for recovering alcoholics?
According to the World Health Organization, CBD is a safe compound, with no severe side effects. Its abuse potential is comparable to placebo, and people tolerate it even in doses as large as 1500 mg daily without any negative reactions.
Several studies have found that high doses of CBD oil can cause a few mild side effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite fluctuation
CBD can also change the way certain medications are processed by the liver. CBD is the inhibitor of the system of enzymes (CYP450) that metabolize drugs. When you take CBD along with your medication, it may cause a negative interaction, resulting in subtherapeutic effects or toxic concentrations of the drug in the bloodstream. If your medication has a grapefruit warning, you shouldn’t take it with CBD oil.
We recommend consulting a holistic doctor to establish the right routine for both the CBD and your meds.
Does CBD Protect Cells Against Alcohol-related Damage?
Binge drinking can cause severe damage to cells, increasing the likelihood of inflammation and chronic diseases, such as pancreatitis, hypertension, and certain types of cancer.
CBD has neuroprotective properties, which means it could reduce damage caused by alcohol abuse.
In one study on rats, a CBD cream lowered the brain-cell damage caused by heavy drinking by up to 49% (5).
Another study found that CBD administration to mice resulted in better protection against alcohol-induced fatty liver disease by triggering autophagy, a process that supports cell regeneration (6).
One study has found a correlation between the use of CBD-rich cannabis extract with an increased risk of liver toxicity in mice. However, the mice were force-fed with ridiculously large amounts of CBD, and the study’s results weren’t replicated in humans.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Alcohol
Research suggests that small doses of alcohol may intensify the effects of large doses of CBD — resulting in sleepiness and greater relaxation.
However, taking CBD alongside alcohol is counterintuitive because alcohol indirectly damages the endocannabinoid system — something that CBD is supposed to prevent.
In animal studies, CBD has shown the potential to protect cells against alcohol-induced damage, reduce blood alcohol levels, and control withdrawal symptoms from addiction.
Until more studies are done on this subject, it remains unclear whether mixing CBD and alcohol can be safe, even in small amounts.
- Rehm, Jürgen. “The risks associated with alcohol use and alcoholism.” Alcohol research & health: the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism vol. 34,2 (2011): 135-43.
- Shannon, Scott et al. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.” The Permanente journal vol. 23 (2019): 18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041
- Yang, Lili et al. “Cannabidiol protects the liver from binge alcohol-induced steatosis by mechanisms including inhibition of oxidative stress and increase in autophagy.” Free radical biology & medicine vol. 68 (2014): 260-7. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.12.026
- Kleczkowska, Patrycja et al. “Cannabinoid Ligands and Alcohol Addiction: A Promising Therapeutic Tool or a Humbug?.” Neurotoxicity research vol. 29,1 (2016): 173-96. doi:10.1007/s12640-015-9555-7
- Liput, Daniel J et al. “Transdermal delivery of cannabidiol attenuates binge alcohol-induced neurodegeneration in a rodent model of an alcohol use disorder.” Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior vol. 111 (2013): 120-7. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2013.08.013
- Wang, Yuping et al. “Cannabidiol attenuate alcohol-induced liver steatosis, metabolic dysregulation, inflammation, and neutrophil-mediated injury.” Scientific Reports vol. 7,1 12064. 21 Sep. 2017, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-10924-8
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
Can I take CBD while drinking alcohol?
CBD is growing in popularity . We don’t need to tell you this, though — you already know. It’s everywhere. From skin products, to oils , to drinks , this magnificent compound has been touted to potentially reduce pain, treat anxiety, and be an all-round lifesaver, while not having any psychoactive effects . Powerful stuff.
However, it is still a substance, and as such, many have questioned their ability to use CBD in conjunction with alcohol. No one wants to go to the pub with friends to only have a soft drink because they’ve had a little drop of oil to relax their nerves (it pretty much defeats the purpose!). So, we are here to answer once and for all — can you take CBD while drinking alcohol?
What is CBD?
Can I take CBD while drinking alcohol?
What are the effects of mixing CBD with alcohol?
What are the potential benefits of mixing CBD with alcohol?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound that exists in the Hemp plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it does not have any psychoactive effects, which is why it is legal to purchase in the UK . Instead of the high, you can hope for better sleep , less stress, and more happiness .
It can be consumed in many ways, but applying the oil under the tongue and waiting for it to be absorbed into the bloodstream is often the preferred and most efficient method of maximising its potential.
Can I take CBD while drinking alcohol?
Luckily, the bottom line is yes. There is no evidence to suggest that CBD and alcohol interact badly with one another, so it’s safe to assume taking CBD while drinking alcohol is harmless.
That said, it’s important to note that research is still at an early stage. The consumption of alcohol in large quantities is not healthy either way, so we’d recommend drinking in moderation generally.
What are the effects of mixing CBD with alcohol?
CBD and alcohol are usually safe to consume together. However, there are some side effects that you should be wary of. Alcohol is known to reduce inhibition — that’s why we love (and hate) it so much. While CBD doesn’t do that , it helps calm your nerves, which can have a similar effect. That’s why some studies have considered whether the two substances may amplify each other. Our suggestion to mitigate these potential effects is to use verified sources to obtain your CBD, and avoid overconsumption of alcohol.
What are the potential benefits of mixing CBD and alcohol?
Although there are some potential side effects, and we always recommend moderation, some studies have actually shown that combining CBD oil and alcohol could be actively positive for many reasons.
1. Cures hangovers
CBD potentially has some magnificent mental effects that help mitigate anxiety. This is particularly useful in combating hangover anxiety — the feeling of dread that many experience after a night of booze. However, that’s not all. There’s some evidence that CBD actually ‘reduces the alcohol level in your bloodstream’, which means you get less drunk, and therefore, less hungover.
2. Helps with pacing
We’ve all been there. Anecdotal evidence from consumers tells us that “only one drink” turns into two, then four, then we end up on the dancefloor having consumed who knows how many millilitres of spirit. If you’re one of these people who just can’t say no to a pint of beer — or a shot of tequila — you may be interested to know that CBD may reduce the desire for overconsumption of alcohol . This is usually attributed to the relaxing nature of the substance.
3. Improves variety
When you have delicious CBD drinks, using them as a mixer can be a completely new drinking experience. Instead of sticking to a gin and tonic, why not add your spirit to our elderflower mint drink? And if you’re more of a margarita kind of person, adding some tequila to our gorgeous lemon basil drink can give you a necessary twist for this classic. The world truly is your oyster when you mix CBD and alcohol.
So, while CBD and alcohol may augment each other’s effects on the body, there’s still too little research to suggest there’s an issue with taking CBD while drinking. In fact, most studies lead us to believe that cannabidiol may be effective at combating some of the negative consequences of alcohol, making it a perfect combination. However, like always, we recommend avoiding overconsumption of either substance.