Several people have asked if alcohol and CBD canare used at the same time. Scientific studies have been selected for this article on the combined effect of CBD and alcohol. The text also examines whether CBD could be helpful for a hangover that occurs as a consequence of alcohol consumption.
Alcohol is the world’s most common intoxicant, which significantly affects the functioning of the central nervous system. Many people use alcohol to relax or to boost their mood and self-confidence in social situations.
Alcohol is produced as a byproduct of the fermentation process of sugar and yeast. Alcohol affects the GABA system, paralyzes the central nervous system, affects motor skills, mood, speech and reduces inhibitions. The effects of alcohol become stronger as the blood alcohol concentration increases.
Safe dosing of alcohol
Alcohol is the most common intoxicant in the world and it is known that consuming too much alcohol can cause significant harm to health. Up to 3 million people die from alcohol each year. In addition to the quantity and individual factors, the strength and quality of the alcoholic beverage affects how it affects each person. (1)
The use of alcohol can cause difficulties in remembering events under the influence of alcohol. According to research, a drunken state of 1.5 per mille affects many people’s memory, and doses higher than that can paralyze the brain and, at worst, cause death. (1)
Excessive use of alcohol may increase the possibility of developing various diseases and problems, which may include e.g. stroke, hypertension, liver disease, pancreatitis, digestive problems and cancer. Alcohol has been estimated to be the world’s most dangerous substance when taking into account the risks arising from its use at the level of the individual and society. In addition to health hazards, alcohol causes dangerous situations in traffic and very often various crimes involve alcohol in one way or another. (1)
The symptoms of a hangover, or alcohol withdrawal syndrome, begin on average within 4-12 hours of stopping drinking. Sometimes the symptoms may not appear until much later. The withdrawal symptoms of long-term alcohol use are significantly stronger and can last for weeks. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually include anxiety, sweating, tremors, vomiting , insomnia , nausea, irritability and even momentary auditory and visual hallucinations, as well as epileptic convulsions. At its worst, a hangover can lead to a state called delirium tremens, causing life-threatening delusions. (2)
CBD can affect how strong and how long a hangover lasts. According to user experiences, hangovers have been experienced as significantly milder if cannabinoids such as CBD oil have been consumed before, after or at the same time as alcohol. Cannabinoids affect the functioning of the internal cannabinoid system, which balances the load from outside and inside. This smart system also takes care of many other important vital functions by optimizing them according to the situation. Read more about everything the endocannabinoid system is affected.
The combined effect of alcohol and CBD
The combined effect of alcohol and CBD has still been studied too little, so that we could know for sure how they affect each other on average. However, there are some studies on the subject that confirm the view and the experience of many that because CBD balances and optimizes several functions of the body, it can also balance the effect of alcohol on the body and especially its side effects pain , bad feeling , anxiety , powerlessness and stress .
Since alcohol is a substance that has a very strong effect on the central nervous system and is one of the most dangerous substances, its consumption should be kept within the limits of moderation, even if CBD and cannabinoid products are used at the same time. The balancing effects of CBD may go unnoticed if alcohol is consumed in large quantities.
Can CBD relieve hangovers and the side effects of alcohol?
Alcohol puts a strain on the body, and especially the next day, the physical and mental whole is often put to the test. CBD can generally reduce symptoms, which are also familiar from the after-effects of alcohol use, such as anxiety , nausea , headache , diarrhea, migraine and so on. According to several experiences, CBD already consumed the day before has eased the next day’s hangover.
Although countless studies have been conducted on the benefits of CBD for many common diseases and challenges such as hangovers, there are still too few actual studies on the benefits of CBD for symptoms caused by alcohol in order to scientifically confirm the matter. However, it is common knowledge that CBD oil is not toxic and no significant harmful side effects have been observed even with prolonged use (3). CBD oil does not intoxicate and does not adversely affect driving, as long as it is made from hemp varieties with a very low or no THC content (usually less than 0.2%).
Alcoholic CBD drink
Alcoholic beverages containing CBD are also sold on the market. In fact, cannabis liquor and various hemp tinctures are one of the oldest drugs that are also used recreationally today. In countries where CBD is allowed as food, it is also added to beer, which can be bought at the grocery store. CBD beer is promoted as an easy option to get CBD regularly. Giant soft drink companies such as The Coca-Cola Company have also announced their interest in CBD drinks in the future.
When you take into account that alcohol is used by a total of 2 billion people worldwide, you could easily think that as the legislation changes in a more permissive direction, large companies will also really get into the business, in which case the explosive growth of CBD alcoholic beverages is yet to come.
CBD and mild vs strong alcoholic beverages
Finally, it should be mentioned that no significant difference in the strength of the alcoholic beverages has been observed in terms of the combined effects of CBD. Instead, the quality of the alcohol and how much of it is consumed matters.
Painkiller, CBD and hangover
Many people use painkillers for the symptoms of an alcohol hangover. The active ingredients of popular over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol (e.g. Panadol) have not been found to have harmful interactions with CBD when used at the same time (4). Although no side effects have been observed, further studies on the subject are needed because the cannabinoid system is very complex and the studies are still fairly new.
CBD affects liver enzymes (CYP450) and it is known that certain prescription drugs that act in the same areas may cause side effects when used with CBD. If you are using some kind of medication and are considering using CBD, we recommend reading more about it in the article The effect of CBD oil with drugs .
CBD and Ibuprofen (Burana / Ibumax)
Ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Burana and Ibumax, among others, is another very popular anti-inflammatory drug, whose interactions with CBD have so far been studied very little. Although some experts are of the opinion that CBD and ibuprofen are safe together as long as the dosage of CBD is kept moderate, others are of the opinion that the matter is not yet fully understood. (5)
Despite the fact that it has not been possible to demonstrate any confirmed side effects from the combined use of these two substances, it is worth approaching the matter with caution. Both of the compounds CBD and ibuprofen are broken down in the liver by the same enzymes, and for this reason, their combined use may have some as yet unknown side effects. (5)
The risk of possible side effects can be reduced by timing the dosing of CBD and ibuprofen-containing painkillers at different times. Appropriate timing can reduce the possibility of CBD somehow affecting the way the liver processes ibuprofen. However, it is important to remember that each person has an individual body and way of processing active substances. So, at least for the time being, the matter should be treated with caution. It is generally recommended to discuss the joint use of medications first with a doctor who understands CBD. (5)
Alcohol and drugs
It is not recommended to use painkillers and alcohol at the same time, because with some medicines their combined effects may have health risks. It is important to always find out how medicine and alcohol interact. Common over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (Aspirin, Ibumax and Burana) can cause irritation in the digestive tract, which may be further aggravated by alcohol (6).
There are many differences in the medicines and without knowing the matter better, it is not advisable to take medicines and alcohol at the same time. Alcohol may increase or decrease the effectiveness of medicines. Medicines containing paracetamol in particular (Paratabs, Panadol, etc.) may cause liver damage when used at the same time as alcohol. (6)
Mixed use is the term for when drugs and alcohol are combined for recreational use. In general, medicinal substances that affect the central nervous system are not recommended to be taken together with alcohol, as the effect may be unpredictable and increase the risk of an accident.
If, despite the risks, you intend to use medicines together with alcohol, it is good to feel how they affect you. If you notice side effects as a result of use, it would be necessary to think about possible health risks, which can even be fatal in some cases. If no clear adverse effects occur during joint use, then usually a small amount of alcohol such as a glass of wine or beer does not necessarily cause significant harm. When the medication is long-term, the situation should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. (7)
According to several experiences, CBD can be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of a hangover, as it balances the various functions of the body in a versatile way. The combined use of alcohol and medicines may have its risks, and it is worth finding out their possible interaction in advance. Medicines, CBD and alcohol should not all be mixed together without knowing better how they interact. Alcohol and CBD may either increase or decrease the effectiveness of medications and cause side effects. The compatibility of medicines with alcohol should be verified together with an expert doctor.
- S. Morell Lundroff. 2022. Science magazine. The world’s most dangerous drugs. https://tieku.fi/ihminen/paihteet/maailman-vaarallissimmat-paihteet. Referred on 03/08/2022.
- M. Huttunen. 2018. Health library Duodecim. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (“hangover”). https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk00197. Referred on 11.08.2022.
- WHO.int. 2018. CANNABIDIOL (CBD) – Critical Review Report Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Fortieth Meeting Geneva. https://www.who.int/
- B. Spencer-Davies. 2021. It’s our talk. Can you take CBD and Paracetamol at the same time ?. https://itsourtalk.com/cbd-and-paracetamol/. Referred on 11.08.2022.
- L Ashton. 2022. CFAH. Can You Take CBD and Ibuprofen Together? Referred on 11.08.2022.
- Alko.fi. Medicines and alcohol can cause unpleasant interactions. https://www.alko.fi/vastuullisesti/alkoholi-ja-terveys/laakkeet-ja-alkoholi-voivat-aiheuttaa-ikavia-yhteisvaikutuksia. Referred on 08/24/2022.
- Hello media. 2007. Medicine and Alcohol . https://www.terve.fi/artikkelit/laake-ja-alkoholi. Referred on 08/24/2022.