CBD and Alcohol: Do They Mix?

Can you mix alcohol with CBD?

With the surge of popularity of everything cannabidiol (CBD), a recent trend that’s started to emerge is mixing CBD with alcohol, with everything from CBD beers and wines, to bartenders in trendy establishments adding a CBD oils to cocktails. Then there are those individuals who use CBD oil on a regular basis but who would also like to have a drink or two over the weekend, begging the questions, is CBD and alcohol a good mix?

CBD + Alcohol may amplify each other’s effects

Alcohol is known to promote feelings of relaxation and sedation, effects that are very similar to that of CBD.. This means that, when taking CBD and alcohol together, these effects could potentially be amplified, causing symptoms such as increased sleepiness and sedation. Although this might not sound too bad, it can become potentially dangerous in certain situations.

For instance, in one study, scientists looked at the effects of administering 200 mg of CBD with 1 gram of alcohol for every 1 kg of body weight. And what they found was that the combination caused significant impairments in motor performance as well as changes in time perception.

However, it is important to note that this was a relatively small study and quite old, dating from 1979. Since then we’ve learned a lot more about CBD and its effects, one of which is that is it neuroprotective, may prevent cell damage and could potentially even be therapeutically beneficial for those addicted to alcohol.

CBD may protect against the effects of alcohol use

So, although the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol are unfortunately very much understudied, there is promising research that shows that CBD may actually protect against some of the negative effects of alcohol.

For instance, research is showing that CBD has neuroprotective effects that may protect against cell damage caused by alcohol consumption. Similarly, CBD may also protect against the inflammation and subsequent cell damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

CBD has also been shown to have the potential to reduce blood alcohol concentrations (BAC), the measure of the amount of alcohol in your blood. Generally speaking, higher your BAC is, the more drunk you will feel. However, one small study found that a 200 mg dose of CBD can significantly reduce BAC and reduce the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Again though, this was a study from the 1970s that administered what would be consider very high dosages of CBD.

Should you take CBD and alcohol together?

When considering the above, it might be tempting to mix your CBD and alcohol. But it’s important to remember that there is simply not enough research to know whether or not this is really safe.

Add to that the fact that the effects of both CBD and alcohol vary greatly from person to person. With factors such as body composition, metabolism, tolerance and even what you ate that day greatly influencing how you experience these substances, mixing CBD and alcohol would affect different people in different ways.

Final Thoughts

So, although there are a handful of animal and human studies showing that CBD may reduce some of the side effects of alcohol, it’s better to act on the side of caution. For now, and until we know more, it’s probably wiser to not rush out to your nearest bar and over indulge in a bunch of CBD cocktails. But if you do decide to mix the two up, play it safe and stick to low amounts of both.