Is CBD safe to consume in or with an alcoholic drink?

This Is What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and CBD

I am sure you have seen commercials, ads, or heard about companies mixing CBD into alcohol, but what about those who are users of CBD? What happens to someone who uses CBD and drinks alcohol? With CBD increasing in popularity, it seems people are mixing it with everything, including alcohol. Depending on where you live. Some local bar scenes are spilling over with CBD cocktail offerings, and breweries are making and selling their own CBD-infused beer. But is mixing CBD and alcohol really a good idea?

Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that the interactions between CBD and alcohol haven’t been rigorously researched. But based on the studies that have been done, it doesn’t seem like there are any immediate adverse effects of mixing the two substances on a one-off basis.

As a matter of fact, you might not notice a change in your buzz at all. In the small studies that have been done, there appears to have an unnoticeable difference between people who had alcohol and those who had alcohol with CBD. Their experiences were in line with what happens when you have alcohol without CBD. I think the misconception is that if you take CBD with alcohol, you are going to just feel better...not so much. You will feel better (or worse) more so from the effects of alcohol, more so than taking a dose of CBD.

Since alcohol and CBD both relax you and lower your inhibitions, these effects could be especially strong and long-lasting when you mix the two substances, however, taking CBD with alcohol really is just another vehicle to ingest CBD into your body. Because there is no euphoric ‘high’ associated with CBD, the immediate benefits are subtle, however, longtime CBD users could have an increased “chill” effect when drinking alcohol. As a standard though, everyone metabolizes these substances differently, so there really is no telling what kind of an effect it may have on you.

Having said all that, there are suggested reasons to consider pairing CBD with your cocktail, if you’re going to be knocking one back anyway—there is a possibility that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could actually be beneficial for drinkers, and there is some research that backs this theory up, all be it small and done on animals.

Multiple animal studies show that CBD protects against neurodegeneration associated with alcohol (the hangover) and that CBD may also help protect the liver from alcohol-generated oxidative stress (alcoholism) . Another study in the journal Psychopharmacology found that people who had alcohol and a CBD capsule had lower blood alcohol levels than those who had alcohol alone, though they experienced the same impairments in cognition and motor coordination...Interesting!

Another Study from Free Radical Biology & Medicine showed that rodents that ingested CBD 30 minutes before ingesting alcohol were less likely to experience alcohol-induced oxidative damage in the liver than those that didn’t have the CBD. While they’re just animal studies, experts think they’re quite telling. “Alcohol decreases autophagy [degradation of damaged cells] in the liver, causing fat to accumulate in the liver and therefore cause fatty liver, inflammation, and hepatitis,” suggests Soyona Rafatja, a New York-based functional and integrative family medicine physician. CBD does the opposite, spurring damaged cells to degenerate, which can counteract alcohol’s effects.

Even so, no one is recommending using CBD to offset the effects of booze—instead, always drink alcohol in moderation. If you’re using CBD for medical reasons or are taking other medications, you should always check with your doctor before combining CBD with alcohol. The long-term impact of drinking CBD cocktails on the regular is still very much a question mark.

We must remember that CBD is a substance we don’t know much about in a relative sense to most thing medicinal. But the research is still evolving and we’re learning new things all the time. In the meantime, you can rest assured that mocktails are going to be a totally safe option. Bottoms up!

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