People often take cannabidiol (CBD) on a daily basis, and this has led many to wonder whether there are any complications when mixing CBD and alcohol.
WHAT SCIENCE SAYS ABOUT MIXING CBD & ALCOHOL
Although research is limited when it comes to the interaction between CBD and alcohol, one human study, published in 1979, produced interesting results.
There were four groups in the study: placebo, alcohol, alcohol plus CBD, and CBD alone. The alcohol and alcohol plus CBD groups demonstrated significant impairment when it came to a motor and psychomotor performance. Not a big surprise, considering booze is a known psychoactive substance.
Yet in conclusion, the study found that “the inactivity of CBD, a major marijuana constituent, on a motor and mental performance and effects also extends to its interaction with alcohol.” In other words, mixing CBD and alcohol doesn’t seem to affect a person's level of impairment.
Interestingly, it also showed that “alcohol plus CBD resulted in significantly lower blood alcohol levels compared to alcohol given alone.”
In a more recent study published in the Journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 2014, CBD displayed liver-protective qualities during alcoholic binge-drinking.
In this animal study, mixing CBD and alcohol prevented the development of steatosis in mice. Steatosis is an abnormal fatty development in the body’s cellular structure, and the term is often used to describe the fatty liver disease. This is also a common health issue for alcoholics.
Cannabidiol effectively reduced the development of steatosis in mice, and the study authors theorised that it might have been due to CBD’s antioxidant properties and ability to increase autophagy (a natural process by which a cell destroys defunct parts of itself).
So, it can be speculated that mixing CBD and alcohol could prevent the development of abnormal fats for binge drinkers, but more research is needed to understand the how and the why of this.
CBD & ALCOHOL VS THC & ALCOHOL
Recreational marijuana use with alcohol is quite popular, as it enhances the effect of overall inebriation. The marijuana used for this purpose is often very high in THC. So, mixing the two could be enjoyable, or you could be in for a very unpleasant experience. This is because the psychotropic or mind-altering effects of THC are compounded when used in conjunction with alcohol, also a psychoactive substance.
According to one of the few notable articles on the subject, which also mentioned that THC and alcohol is the most common mixture detected in the blood alcohol levels in car accidents, alcohol increased the potency of marijuana.
In a small study of 19 adults, the non-placebo groups were provided with THC via inhalation and a low dose of alcohol. It was discovered that the levels of THC measured in the blood of the alcohol group were much higher than in the control group. The authors felt that this may “possibly explain increased performance impairment observed from cannabis-alcohol combinations.”
Together with increased levels of impairment, combining THC with alcohol may have several other side effects. Those reported include:
What's more, when consuming the two together, it’s often easy to overconsume one or the other. Both substances increase impairment, and therefore it can become difficult to make accurate judgments on how much of either is safe to consume. Theoretically, at least, it can even lead to toxic alcohol poisoning. In extreme cases, alcohol poisoning has resulted in death.
Again, the consumption of CBD and alcohol, doesn’t seem to trigger the same unwanted effects.
CBD & ALCOHOL ADDITCTION
There is little to no research on the side effects and potential interactions between CBD and alcohol, except when it comes to CBD for alcohol addiction. Here, a growing body of study investigates the potential of CBD to treat addictive disorders.
Based on the evidence of CBD for opioid and tobacco addictions, researchers seem hopeful that there may be potential for other substances as well, including for alcohol.
In the review Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence, published out of Montreal, Canada, 2015, researchers concluded:
"CBD may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction, and some preliminary data suggest that it may be beneficial in cannabis and tobacco addiction in humans. Further studies are clearly necessary to fully evaluate the potential of CBD as an intervention for addictive disorders."
They also iterate that there “was no difference in feelings of being ‘drunk, drugged, or bad’ in alcohol alone, and alcohol plus CBD groups,” in the one study they could locate.
CBD & ALCOHOL ABUSE - CAN CBD PREVENT RELAPSE?
A preliminary study showed that CBD could potentially help prevent relapse in alcohol-dependent mice. This effect lasted up to five months after treatment termination, even when CBD plasma and brain levels were zero after only three days.
Obviously, more clinical, well-designed research is needed, but the evidence is encouraging.
Alcoholism has always been—and remains—a dire problem worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, the global average alcohol consumption is 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per person aged 15 years or older. That's something like 13 grams of pure alcohol a day!
Wee Hemp Spirits Ltd want to be part of the solution & not the problem.
NOTE: Wee Hemp Spirits Ltd make no claims that our CBD infused spirits may prevent or cure any disease or condition such as alcoholism, liver damage, alcohol withdrawal or hangovers.
CBD is a food supplement in the UK & should be consumed as one.
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