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Updated on January 8, 2024

CBD and Alcohol

Fact Checked

Key takeaways

  • CBD is safer than alcohol. While zero deaths have been linked to CBD consumption, about 95 thousand alcohol related deaths are recorded annually.
  • Combining CBD and alcohol is a bad idea as this may lead to adverse side effects.
  • Alcohol is a depressant and can affect how our brain work while CBD is an anti-depressant and helps our brain to function optimally.

CBD and alcohol is a topic that has gained attention largely because CBD comes from the cannabis plant. In most cases, people tend to equate the two and believe they affect the brain in a similar way. That’s not true as CBD and alcohol are not the same. While CBD provides a calming effect on the brain and body via the endocannabinoid system, alcohol is highly psychoactive and alters the function of your brain. This article will look at the major difference between the two compounds and how they affect the brain.

Effect of CBD vs. alcohol on the body

CBD and alcohol affect the body in different ways, and their interactions can vary based on factors such as dosage, individual tolerance, and frequency of use.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that does not produce a "high." It interacts with the endocannabinoid system, influencing various physiological processes without causing impairment. Known for its anti-anxiety effects, CBD interacts with serotonin receptors, contributing to mood regulation. Some individuals use CBD to manage symptoms of anxiety and stress. Additionally, CBD exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an analgesic, making it a consideration for managing chronic pain conditions and inflammatory disorders. Research also suggests potential neuroprotective effects, offering benefits for conditions affecting the nervous system.

On the other hand, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, slowing down brain activity and causing effects like impaired judgment, coordination, and reaction times. It has sedative properties, inducing relaxation and, in higher doses, drowsiness. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, resulting in symptoms like headache and fatigue. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and inflammation, potentially leading to conditions like cirrhosis. Moreover, alcohol can negatively interact with various medications, amplifying side effects or reducing the effectiveness of certain drugs.

Can I mix CBD and alcohol

Combining CBD and alcohol is not recommended because both substances undergo processing in the liver through the same enzyme.

When you mix CBD and alcohol, it can cause issues such as extended exposure to the substances, increasing the risk of adverse effects. This combination may lead to difficulties in the body's ability to process each substance efficiently.

Additionally, mixing CBD with alcohol can potentially result in reduced absorption of CBD by the body. This means that the intended effects of CBD may not be as pronounced or effective when taken alongside alcohol. The interaction between CBD and alcohol can lead to a dampening effect on the overall impact of CBD, affecting its potential benefits.

In simpler terms, when CBD and alcohol are combined, it may interfere with the way the body processes each substance and diminish the desired effects of CBD. Therefore, it's advisable to exercise caution and avoid mixing CBD with alcohol to ensure a more predictable and controlled response to each substance.

Safety of CBD vs. Alcohol

The safety profile of CBD and alcohol cannot be compared. While CBD is linked to zero deaths annually, information from Drug Abuse Statistics shows that about 95 thousand alcohol related deaths are recorded in the U.S annually.

CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn't produce a "high" or intoxicating effect. Users can experience the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD without impairment. It is generally considered to have a low risk of dependence or addiction, and it does not lead to the development of tolerance or withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with substances of abuse. CBD is well-tolerated by most people, with common side effects being mild and temporary, such as fatigue, changes in appetite, or diarrhea. Serious side effects are rare. Research suggests that CBD may have various potential benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective properties. It is being explored for conditions such as anxiety, pain, inflammation, and certain neurological disorders.

Alcohol on the otherhand, is a central nervous system depressant and is known for its intoxicating effects. It impairs cognitive function, coordination, and judgment, leading to a state of inebriation.

Alcohol carries a significant risk of dependence and addiction, and prolonged and heavy alcohol use can lead to physical and psychological dependence, as well as withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with various health risks, including liver damage, cardiovascular issues, increased risk of accidents, and an elevated likelihood of developing certain cancers. Additionally, alcohol can interact negatively with certain medications, amplifying side effects or reducing the effectiveness of prescribed drugs.

Frequently asked questions

Can I safely combine CBD and alcohol?

No, combining CBD and alcohol can produce adverse side effects. CBD can reduce the absorption of CBD in the body.

Are there specific risks associated with drinking alcohol while using CBD?

While CBD is generally considered safe, alcohol carries higher risks, including intoxication, impairment, and potential health issues. Combining CBD with alcohol may affect how each substance is processed in the body, potentially influencing their effects.

Can CBD help with the negative effects of alcohol consumption, such as hangovers?

Yes, CBD may help relieve the symptoms of hangover. It also helps to reduce dependence on alcohol.

Want to Learn More?

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  5. Why CBDa is Rare?

Sources

Yurasek AM, Aston ER, Metrik J. Co-use of Alcohol and Cannabis: A Review. Curr Addict Rep. 2017 Jun;4(2):184-193. doi: 10.1007/s40429-017-0149-8. Epub 2017 Apr 27. PMID: 32670740; PMCID: PMC7363401.

Gunn RL, Aston ER, Metrik J. Patterns of Cannabis and Alcohol Co-Use: Substitution Versus Complementary Effects. Alcohol Res. 2022 Feb 10;42(1):04. doi: 10.35946/arcr.v42.1.04. PMID: 35223338; PMCID: PMC8855954.

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