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CBD stands for cannabidiol.1 It is a popular cannabinoid found in cannabis plants (both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant), along with more than 80 other active chemical compounds like delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH).
Unlike TCH, however, CBD does not cause the same euphoric effects or the “high” that is associated with “smoking weed.” Instead, CBD has a number of calming and relaxing effects. It mellows you out without producing a high.2
Here are some quick facts that you should know about CBD:
There are many reasons people use CBD oil and tinctures, although there are no FDA-approved indications other than that listed above. People who use CBD oil talk of the following benefits:
CBD oil may also help treat many other health conditions. Because it is a relatively new type of treatment, scientists are still studying the ways in which it can help.
As with anything, there are some potential side effects of CBD.8 These include the following:
Some researchers believe that CBD can actually be helpful for people struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD).9 In some animal studies, CBD has shown to reduce symptoms associated with addiction and withdrawal. Some research suggests that CBD helps people reduce their alcohol intake, prevents them from relapsing, and keeps them on a healthy track.4
But you have to be careful about taking CBD if you drink alcohol at the same time. Using CBD and drinking alcohol may amplify the effects of both the CBD and the alcohol. Since both CBD and alcoholic beverages are depressants, their cumulative effects might significantly increase if you mix them. You might feel extra relaxed and release your inhibitions.
Research shows that, when you pair alcoholic drinks and CBD, it can lead to significant impairments of motor and psychomotor performances. It can also cause you to overestimate or lose track of time. While CBD alone does not produce these effects on your cognitive function, when you mix it with a beer or cocktail, it can.
Mixing CBD and alcohol might be dangerous since they can both enhance each other’s effects. For example, you put yourself at a greater risk of injury due to impairment if you are feeling extra fatigued from mixing CBD and alcohol. You may also feel less alert, which increases your risk of injury.
That said, there is not enough research on the effects of mixing alcohol and CBD to objectively say whether or not it is dangerous.
Again, there is not enough research done on humans to tell the side effects and interactions of mixing CBD and alcohol. All scientists know now is that CBD may be helpful in treating alcohol addiction and withdrawal. But it also shares some similar side effects of alcohol consumption, so you run the risk of amplifying them by mixing the two.
While there are a whole bunch of CBD cocktail recipes cropping up on food and drink blogs, mixing CBD into cocktails is not recommended. There is not enough research to confidently say that it is safe to mix CBD into cocktails.
Yes, there are some health benefits of mixing CBD and alcohol. Some studies show that CBD can have positive effects on people who struggle with alcohol abuse.10 CBD has been shown to help people drink less and avoid relapsing after recovery.4
CBD has also been shown to help reduce alcohol-induced hypothermia. There is also some science that suggests CBD may be helpful in lowering one’s blood alcohol level.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can take a toll on recovering alcoholics. CBD oil may be able to help some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Because CBD is known to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures, for example, it might be able to help.
Some studies suggest that CBD has helped people who are suffering from alcohol withdrawal, but this should only be used under close medical supervision.
Excessive alcohol misuse can damage cells. This can lead to an increased risk of inflammation and chronic diseases like liver disease, pancreatitis, certain kinds of cancer, and more. But CBD may help protect against cell damage.3
For example, one study on mice found that CBD could help against alcohol-induced fatty liver disease through increasing autophagy.12 Autophagy is the process that promotes the turnover of new cells and allows tissues to regenerate.
Another study on rats found that applying CBD gel to the skin brought alcohol-induced brain-cell damage down by upwards of 49 percent.5
A study of 10 people found that, when they drank 200 mg of CBD with alcohol, they had significantly lower blood alcohol levels than when they had the alcohol with a placebo.6 While there is not enough data to prove that CBD reduces blood alcohol concentration, some researchers believe that it does.
CBD may be helpful for people with alcohol addiction. In fact, CBD has been shown to help treat all different kinds of addictions. It’s even been studied in regards to cigarette addictions.7
Animal studies show that the use of CBD can decrease interest in alcohol, relieve symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and, ultimately, lessen the risk of a relapse.11
While CBD should not be the only treatment used for alcohol addiction, it can help. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, contact medical help. Alcohol withdrawal effects can be fatal. Stay safe by seeking professional treatment.
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