When we ask this question, we actually ask, “Is mixing CBD with Alcohol harmful? And if yes, how?” We are more concerned about the ill-effects of mixing the two on our health; short-term and long-term.

Yet for a few, the query can be, “Both are used in preparing medicines. So, do they both together give any health benefits?”

Well, had there been a simple Yes or No answer, there was no need for an article. But there isn’t any straight answer.

So, before answering this tricky question let us understand the three components. You would be amusing about what is this third one?

Well, let me tell you this. The third one is “You”! Of course, if it was only about mixing CBD & Alcohol how it would concern you…? Well, unless the mix may cause an explosion!

So, let us have a brief understanding of these three, strictly in relevance to the basic question.

Knowing the Three

CBD

Let us first take CBD. What is CBD and what are its properties & its effects on our body? [1]

One thing is for sure that you can’t pronounce what CBD stands for under the influence of a mix of CBD and Alcohol. If you don’t agree, try it out- cannabidiol!

Ok, you could? Then let me throw a bigger challenge- about its big brother, THC! Try it even without a mix- tetrahydrocannabinol!

Well, leave it for now! Just for your reference, both CBD & THC are natural compounds extracted from cannabis plants. Just as a passing reference- marijuana, and hemp come under the cannabis genus.

How CBD works in our bodies?

Now, the real question of how CBD works on our body? Be ready for a few more tongue twisters! You can simply walk through those bumpy ones! Just focus on functioning.

Our body has an e-n-d-o-c-a-n-n-a-b-i-n-o-i-d system…! zzzz…!

It regulates our sleep patterns. This you might have realized while going through those alphabets! Well, wake up…! It does more than that by producing cannabinoids (just skip it)!

It is responsible for appetite, motor learning, mood, memory, pain sensation, and many other functions.

Oof, a bit too much! Well, to cut a long story short, CBD, when consumed triggers that system made up of those crazy alphabets (should I repeat them?). No?

Ok! Triggered by CBD, the body releases more of cannabinoids (skip it again).

Once CBD enters the body it activates its free-will and moves forth unrestricted. It invades the nervous system and protects us from all those nasty pains that trouble us all through our life (jokingly).

Alcohol

Now, let us talk about Alcohol…! Well, until that evening party, we can only talk about it!

Alcohol, when consumed, strolls in our bloodstreams, develops a friendly relationship with all the organs and flows in with water to spread almost everywhere inside us.

Disguised as the body liquid, it moves everywhere including the brains!

And outside here, we see its lovely effects! Do I need to elaborate?

Well on a serious note its entry in our blood-stream is harmful and excess blood alcohol levels can cause serious short-term and long-term effects. [2]

You (or me)!

Well, it is not a session on biology! Just a few facts. Every individual has a different metabolism and that is why the effect of any consumable would be different for different individuals. CBD and Alcohol are no exception to it.

That means whatever discussions we would have on the effect of taking CBD with alcohol, they would only be for the masses. Specific individuals might have different effects on their body system.

Should we mix CBD and Alcohol?

Till now, we tried to understand how CBD and Alcohol affect our bodies independently. Now there are three possibilities:

One, favorable properties of both CBD and Alcohol can magnify the combined effect.

Two, a favorable property of one, counter an unfavorable property of the other and give a favorable effect to our body.

And three, that their adverse effects combine together and cause more damage to our body than when consumed independently.

Well, as I said earlier there is no straight answer.

On one side there are no conclusive pieces of evidence in favor of either of the two. On the other side, there are studies supporting some of these possibilities.

Ok, let us search the research!

Assumptions and Facts

We know that the consumption of alcohol has a relaxing effect. Similarly, CBD also has a calming down effect. If both of them are taken together, the mix would cause you to further calm down.

Some experts apprehend that calming down of brain function can be so much so that it can cause sedation. But there is no such research available to show what quantity and proportion of both the substances would bring calmness and what would further cause sedation.

However, there is another aspect that brings in an individual’s behavior pattern into the picture. Though alcohol has a calming down effect in general yet some individuals tend to become aggressive under its influence.

It is believed that such individuals would not go into sedation rather they would turn even more aggressive under the influence of CBD and alcohol combination.

Studies on the effect of taking CBD with Alcohol [3]

There is no large scale research available on the subject yet some studies have been conducted to find out the effect of mixing the twosome.

Effect on Humans

One of these studies [4] was conducted to find out the effect of interaction between CBD and Alcohol on 10 volunteers from both the genders.

Participants were given 4 different drink combinations- Alcohol alone, CBD with Alcohol, CBD with juice, and placebo with juice.

The results showed that blood alcohol levels of the volunteer with alcohol alone were higher than a combined CBD with Alcohol drink. But the impairment of motor performance was almost the same in both cases.

CBD for the Treatment of Neurodegeneration

Some medical practitioners believe that taking CBD with alcohol can help treat neurodegeneration caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.

Though there is no conclusive evidence available to confirm these views in the absence of any research on humans, yet a study on rodents shows some favorable findings.

Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior conducted a study on rodents [5] to find out the healing properties of CBD in case of neurodegeneration. The results were encouraging.

The study showed a significant reduction in alcohol-induced neurodegeneration in rodents on treating with CBD.

CBD for the Treatment of Steatosis

Free Radical Biology & Medicine conducted a study [6] on mice to evaluate the healing effect of CBD on Steatosis caused by excess consumption of alcohol. Steatosis, if left untreated can cause damage to the liver.

One of the reasons identified as the cause of Steatosis is an increase in oxidative stress. Free Radic selected CBD for the study because CBD has good antioxidant properties. Moreover, it helps in increasing autophagy which as an automatic system of the body to remove damaged cells.

When there is a decrease in autophagy, fat starts to accumulate in the liver. This causes Steatosis.

CBD can increase autophagy thereby removing fat from the liver and could potentially help in treating the disease. The results of the study were favorable.

Limitations of Studies

All the above studies provided some encouraging pieces of evidence to show that CBD has the properties to combat the adverse effects of alcohol.

However, these studies have some limitations.

  1. They lack large scale research.
  2. Except in one of the studies, CBD was not given along with alcohol. Of course, the results indicate the favorable interaction of CBD with alcohol.
  3. Not enough studies conducted on Humans.
  4. The sample size of the studies is too small.

Final Words

We started with the question, “What are the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol”? We tried to identify the real questions, the two opposite questions. One is to know if mixing the two has any adverse effect on our health. And two, if mixing has any health benefits.

Well, we responded that there was no straight, Yes or No, to it.

Both the substances, as we observed, possess some properties that if taken independently, affect us in a certain way. But how they behave with our body system when taken together was a matter of research.

We presented some studies conducted by different labs and agencies to evaluate the effect of taking both CBD and alcohol together. Though these studies indicated favorable results yet do not offer conclusive shreds of evidence.

One of the studies showed that taking CBD along with alcohol helped in significantly lowering the blood alcohol levels in the body. Others showed its healing effects on alcohol-induced diseases.

However, large scale research is needed to confirm the views on favorable or adverse effects of taking CBD with alcohol.

Till that time we need to have a cautious view on this. We should observe the effect of this combination on our health. Moreover, we should try to avoid taking a high dose of both CBD and alcohol. Those who are habitual of taking alcohol in large quantities should be more careful while taking the mix. With the large quantity, they would end up consuming a high dose of CBD as well.

Resources References:

[1]- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol

[2]- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol

[3]-https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5npp7/what-happens-when-you-mix-alcohol-and-cbd

[4]- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/120541

[5]- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24012796

[6]- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112960/