CBD & Alcohol: Can They Be Mixed?

CBD & Alcohol: Can They Be Mixed?

You’ll often see warnings on the packaging of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and some wellness supplements that they shouldn’t be combined with alcohol. CBD oil doesn’t usually have an alcohol interaction warning on the packaging, but does that mean it’s a good idea to use the two together?

CBD usually comes from hemp, a low THC variety of the cannabis plant. This raises more questions about what may happen when the two enter your system simultaneously. 

Understanding what CBD is, how it works, and how alcohol may interact with CBD will help you make an informed choice about whether to use your tincture or have a glass of wine. 

What Is CBD and How Does It Work?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. When it enters your body, it interacts with a vast wealth of receptors. Most of these receptors comprise the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a supportive role in many crucial functions and processes within the body. CBD can also interact with other receptors outside of the endocannabinoid system. 

CBD itself does not override your body’s natural impulses. It simply nudges your endocannabinoid system and causes it to react. As a result, many people feel more relaxed when they use CBD. They find the supplement helpful for workout recovery and promoting better sleep. Some people find they have a greater sense of mental clarity and focus when they routinely use CBD.

Unlike THC, CBD does not cause cognitive impairment. It won’t affect your ability to drive or negatively impact your coordination. CBD is generally recognized as safe, even in large amounts. 

The Research on CBD and Alcohol When Used Simultaneously

There is a theory that CBD promotes better mood and lowers inhibitions, just like alcohol does. This has led to the belief that combining the two will exacerbate the effects. This belief doesn’t seem to be supported by research on CBD used in conjunction with alcohol. 

In one very small placebo-controlled study, participants given alcohol and CBD were measured against participants given alcohol alone. Both groups showed similar levels of cognitive impairment, but the results found that those who took CBD in conjunction with alcohol had lower blood alcohol levels. These blood alcohol levels were measured via breathalyzer estimations.

Overall, it’s difficult to call this study meaningful or productive. People metabolize alcohol at different rates, making it likely that male participants showed lower blood alcohol levels sooner than female participants. Breathalyzers aren’t highly accurate pieces of equipment, which also diminishes the quality of the findings.

It’s impossible to say, based on this study, whether CBD and alcohol actually combine to create a more significant level of impairment. 

A different study directly tested CBD and alcohol against placebo and alcohol. These researchers were not able to discern a significant difference in blood alcohol level between groups or identify any meaningful impact CBD may have had on cognitive impairment when used in conjunction with alcohol. 

Is It Safe to Use CBD and Alcohol Simultaneously?

A critical look at current research would suggest that CBD and alcohol do not have any significant interactions that would cause greater levels of impairment. In the interest of fairness, very little research exists on the subject. The combination of CBD and alcohol has not been outright declared unsafe, but that doesn’t mean that some people may not experience side effects. 

From what is currently understood, there does not seem to be any threat of harm from combining the two. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your best judgement when using alcohol or combining alcohol with other substances. 

What About CBD Beer and Seltzers?

CBD-infused alcoholic beverages are uncommon, but they do exist. You should only use them if you feel comfortable using them, given the lack of high-quality data. 

There are plenty of beverages marketed towards adults as beer, hard seltzers, or mocktail beverages that boast the presence of CBD. In almost every instance, these are non-alcoholic beers, juices, seltzers, and spirits that have been infused with CBD. In the case of non-alcoholic beer, a negligible amount of alcohol may remain. It usually isn’t enough to cause concern. 

These beverages are an excellent option for teetotallers who enjoy the social experience of having a drink with friends. 

If you personally do not want to consume alcohol or you’re medically unable to do so, CBD beverages are the perfect alternative. You won’t get tipsy like the rest of your group, but you’ll still enjoy a mellow buzz of relaxation from your CBD drink of choice. Best of all, you’re good to be the designated driver. 

Use Alcohol in Moderation When Using CBD

CBD is a supplement intended for daily use. In order to experience its full potential in terms of overall wellness benefits, you should take it consistently. 

So what happens when a holiday cookout rolls around, and someone offers you a fancy craft beer or some fruity, refreshing homemade sangria? Should you skip your CBD that day, or should you turn down the offer?

There’s a safe way to play the scenario somewhere down the middle. If you take your CBD every morning right when you wake up, its active presence in your system will slowly diminish throughout the day. In approximately four to eight hours, its active effects will wear off, leaving only its passive effects. 

If you take your CBD at 8 AM, you’re unlikely to experience any immediate reactions with alcohol if you have a drink in the late afternoon or early evening. If you drink in moderation, hydrate your body with water and electrolytes, and get plenty of sleep, you’re less likely to experience the effects of lingering alcohol in the morning. 

After an adequate amount of sleep, one to three drinks should have enough time to completely leave your system before you take your CBD again. 

It’s a bit of a balancing act, but it’s something important you’re doing for your wellness. While it’s unreasonable to expect yourself to abstain from alcohol forever if you’re responsible and comfortable with your limits, just be more aware of moderation on the special occasions where you choose to enjoy a drink. 

You should also listen to your body. If you’ve used CBD and don’t like the way alcohol is making you feel, pass on the drink. When it comes to your health and wellness, you need to be comfortable and confident in every decision you make. 

The Interaction Between THC and Alcohol Is Much More Concerning

THC and alcohol make for a dangerous combination. THC causes significant cognitive and motor impairment on its own. Alcohol poses the same effects. Rather than running concurrently, these effects often stack to create a much more significant level of impairment. 

This is because, when used together, alcohol significantly increases the blood concentration of THC.  This causes users to feel more impaired and can ultimately have serious consequences. 

According to the United States Department of Transportation, cannabis use increases the potential for a traffic accident by 0.7%. Alcohol increases the potential for an accident by 7.4%, and the combined use of cannabis and alcohol increases the potential by 8.4%. 

You should never mix THC and alcohol, whether or not you’re driving. Although it is not possible to fatally overdose on THC, it’s highly likely that you could injure yourself or someone else in a heavily impaired state. 

Peels Is CBD Without the THC

Adults should be allowed to be adults responsibly. You don’t have to forego a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve because you’ve committed to prioritizing your wellness. If you’re comfortable with some celebratory bubbly in the evening, allow yourself to have it, even if you use Peels in the morning. 

Peels is a unique kind of CBD. We don’t produce our CBD from hemp, so it’s always 100% free of THC. Instead, we use a special process called cyclic terpene assembly to convert the terpenes in orange peels into a bioidentical form of CBD. 

Add Peels to your daily wellness ritual, and take it when you wake up. After work, you can enjoy your beverage of choice in moderation without fear of negative interactions. If you’d rather abstain, go ahead. Your wellness journey is your own. 

 

Sources:

The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator | Journal of Young Investigators

Interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans | PubMed

Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in blood | Science Daily

Factors That Affect How Alcohol is Absorbed & Metabolized | Stanford Office of Substance Use Programs Education & Resources

The effect of cannabidiol, alone and in combination with ethanol, on human performance | PubMed