CBD and Alcohol: A Comprehensive Guide

cbd and alcohol


As CBD continues to become more popular, its various benefits are being discovered in conjunction with common pairings. One of those, the combination of CBD and alcohol has been made an increasingly common pair in people as they're both enjoyed regularly. 

It’s estimated that over half of Americans have consumed an alcoholic beverage in the last month. Other nations are even higher, where alcohol is part of traditions like meals, celebrations, or customs.

But it’s not just casual drinkers who are curious about the mix of CBD and alcohol. This combination has started to become part of research and health studies as well. There are positive early indications that CBD can help those fighting alcohol addiction and abuse.

This article will discuss the reported and researched the effects of CBD and alcohol—taken together or near the same time.

CBD And Alcohol Together

We hear the question often. You want to know: is it safe to take CBD oil and alcohol together?

As with any mix of two compounds, a mix of CBD and alcohol will exhibit some effects of each and some effects in combination. You should be aware of these before mixing CBD with alcohol.

CBD has several health benefits. It has shown the ability to help with feelings of anxiety. It is also known to help with better quality of sleep.

Scientific studies involving CBD have expanded through the last decade. According to this alcohol and CBD study proposal, CBD “has attracted considerable attention due to its lack of abuse potential, its excellent safety profile, its unique and complex pharmacology, and evidence that it affects anxiety and stress response in animal models and humans.”

Alcohol has well known benefits and risks. As this medical study asserts, “small amounts of alcohol improve mood and generally reduce anxiety. On the contrary, long-term drinking of higher doses of alcohol results in memory impairment, sedation, motor incoordination, confusion, hypothermia, and sometimes vomiting.”

Combination Effects of Alcohol and CBD

Data from one major study on the effects of alcohol and CBD combined yielded several results. One finding was that “the combination of alcohol plus CBD resulted in significantly lower blood alcohol levels compared to alcohol given alone.” Blood alcohol level (BAC) is generally considered to be a measurement of “drunkenness” and one used often by law enforcement. This mays that adding CBD to alcohol might make you feel less drunk.

As well, the same study found that when CBD and alcohol combined it “produced significant impairments of motor and psychomotor performances, overestimations of time production and subjective responses indicating an accurate self-perception of their intoxication and deficits.”

The study found that these were similar effects to alcohol alone. This is important because, while you may feel less drunk, CBD does not stop the effects of alcohol, especially on motor skills like driving or operating any kind of machinery. You should avoid these things while drinking alcohol with CBD added to it.

In a more subjective description, one bartender interviewed echoed the pros of CBD infused alcohol in an interview. He said, “as a bartender, it’s done wonders for my aches and pains, while also giving me the ability to still have a couple of drinks after work and not worry about complications with pain relievers.”

The CBD and alcohol combination can be safe for you as long as your quantity is limited to your normal consumption of alcohol and you do not attempt to use motor skills in activities like driving.

Also, understand that these two can have an effect if taken within some time of one another. “Even if you’re not slapping the two together in a drink, CBD and alcohol can interact if you take them within four to eight hours of each other,” says James Giordano, a professor of neurology and biochemistry.

CBD Cocktails

CBD cocktails are on the rise as CBD becomes a more popular addition to alcoholic beverages. The rise is likely because of CBD’s relaxation and anti-anxiety effects that provide comfort to drinkers that come in addition to those benefits in small amounts of alcohol consumption.

For your first time mixing CBD and alcohol together, we recommend doing so in a safe space you can be comfortable in, like your home. As with any CBD addition, effects will vary from person to person. Start with a few drops of our oils and assess how you feel after. Add or subtract the amount of CBD tincture in your alcohol from there.

Once you know your preferred amount of CBD, you can begin making your own cocktails. CBD mixes with alcohols of all types, so you can use your favorite combination to make a great CBD mixed drink.

CBD Infused Alcohol At Bars

Still, for those more experienced, more bars and restaurants are serving CBD infused cocktails with all kinds of alcohol.

And if you want to experience a CBD infused cocktail while you’re out, you can likely find that in a city near you. With the excitement of a new ingredient in CBD, and knowing its positive effects on patrons, more bartenders are creating interesting new CBD and alcohol mixtures. CNN Travel even called CBD “USA’s coolest food and drink ingredient.”

States like Wisconsin have pathed the way for CBD infused alcohol drinks and cocktails. The state passed a bill in 2018 allowing CBD sales “as long as CBD contains less than .03% of THC, it’s legal to use it in drink form.”

CBD Recovery In Alcohol Addiction

Scientists are interested in learning more about the CBD and alcohol mixture as a relaxation and leisure activity. But many are turning their eye toward another benefit: that CBD may be able to assist in recovery from alcohol addiction.

One of CBD’s benefits is the suppression of inflammatory pain. This pain can be caused by a lot of exposure to alcohol like years of abuse or binge drinking. There’s also evidence that CBD may help reverse or reduce damage to the liver from previous alcohol abuse.

CBD has also been shown to help with addictions like cigarettes and tobacco by helping to reduce the brain’s cues for use. This could yield huge benefits in the use of CBD to help combat alcoholism or alcohol abuse.

According to the National Health Institute, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths (7.6 percent for men and 4.1 percent for women), were attributable to alcohol consumption in 2012.

As a serious global health issue, the potential for CBD to help in recovery from alcohol abuse is significant and promising.

In the request for this study, the authors write: “There is a growing body of preclinical data demonstrating that CBD produces marked and persisting decreases in alcohol self-administration and preference for alcohol, and alcohol-, cue- and stress-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behavior.”

The study’s outline ends with, “Yet there are few studies of the effects of CBD in humans with addictive disorders, and none in alcohol dependent patients.”

Early results are very positive and more studies are underway to confirm these results.

CBD And Alcohol Withdrawal

Another way that CBD has helped those working through alcohol addiction and recovery is with withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include headaches, tremors, anxiety, and insomnia.

CBD has been shown to counteract effects like this by providing its users with relief from anxiety, reduction of pain from headaches, ease of sleep cycles, and a general relaxation of the body.

In other words, CBD can be an effective agent for reducing the physical and mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

THC And Alcohol

CBD is different than THC, though they’re often lumped together. Both are cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana, but they offer different effects. The combination of THC and alcohol poses a more serious threat to your brain chemistry and alters your behavior more significantly than the mix of CBD and alcohol has been found to.

To know exactly what you’re getting when buying CBD oil, always purchase from a trustworthy brand that openly displays third-party lab results.