Is It Safe To Mix CBD And Alcohol?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical derived from the marijuana plant. Unlike THC, which is another chemical component of cannabis, CBD is non-psychoactive, according to Mayo Clinic. While CBD is generally well-tolerated, it's important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of CBD in any product other than the prescription called Epidiolex. Yet, despite the lack of FDA approval, CBD is found in all kinds of products on store shelves nationwide. 

Many consumer goods, including food, beverages, and tinctures are laced with the chemical. Even the beauty industry has added it to various topicals and skincare products. While many of these companies make health claims about CBD, much of the science has yet to back it up, including such claims as a potential treatment for anxiety relief. Interestingly, people often drink alcohol for similar reasons. But are there potential risks with combining the two?

What happens when you mix CBD and alcohol?

It's important to note there's limited research to prove the safety and efficacy of combining CBD and alcohol. Still, preliminary data suggest some considerations you may want to keep in mind. First, when you mix the two together, you may feel the effects of each more intensely, particularly when it comes to drowsiness, according to Healthline. Other anecdotal evidence suggests combining the two can cause mood and behavior changes. 

Additionally, a 2021 study published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine listed alcohol as a substance that interacts with CBD, but further research needs to be done to understand what those interactions entail. Although CBD is widely commercially available, researchers stress the importance of consumer awareness regarding potential interactions, despite the prevalence and easy access of both substances. While combining the two together may not be a great idea, some studies suggest CBD may have beneficial effects on alcohol overconsumption.

CBD may curb the effects of alcohol overconsumption

CBD is being studied as a possible treatment option for alcoholism and alcohol use disorders. A 2019 study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that CBD had a neuroprotective effect on the hippocampus, an area of the brain adversely impacted by the effects of alcohol. Study findings also suggested CBD helped mitigate damage to the liver (hepatotoxicity) upon consumption, helped reduce alcohol-seeking impulses, and reduced convulsions due to withdrawal in rodent test subjects.

To further support this evidence, a 2014 study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine suggests CBD is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that can help prevent some of the toxic effects of alcohol. Additionally, the research suggests CBD may help protect against fatty liver disease (liver steatosis) and other liver injuries common to alcohol overconsumption. 

Because medical experts believe that more research should be done on CBD, particularly its interactions with alcohol, those who combine the two should seek medical advice beforehand.