Should You Drink Alcohol While Using CBD?

CBD is a popular natural remedy with many health benefits for both humans and animals. This includes pain relief, treatment of epilepsy and relief of nausea, anxiety, depression and insomnia. This is because humans and just about all animals have an endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This is a complex network of special receptor sites located in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. There are different types of ECS cell receptors. The CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain. These are the ones activated by THC, the component in marijuana that causes intoxication.

How CBD Works

CBD, also called cannabidiol, primarily activates only CB2 receptors, which are located outside of the central nervous system, including the skin. Topical CBD preparations can easily penetrate the skin to activate CB2 receptors found there, but they cannot enter the bloodstream through the skin. For that, you must take an oral CBD product, such as oil or tincture. Because CBD has only a very weak affinity for the CB1 receptor, it cannot cause someone to feel high. CB2 receptors are not associated with intoxication.

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol can certainly cause intoxication, too. The frontal cortex of the brain, involved in judgement, is one of the first areas of the brain to be affected by alcohol. Next is the cerebellum, which is involved in normal walking movements. This is why a drunk person will stagger and fall over. In small amounts, alcohol may have some health benefits, especially for the heart, but regular consumption of large amounts of it are damaging to health. It can destroy the heart, liver and brain. It is addictive. The brain becomes dependent on the constant presence of alcohol to function normally. When the alcohol is not there, severe withdrawal symptoms will occur..

Alcohol and CBD

Those people using CBD on a daily or regular basis may be wondering if it’s safe to drink alcohol. The answer lies in moderation. It’s probably fine to drink a glass or two of wine or have one cocktail, but there is no solid evidence on this at this point. Some experts believe that the two substances likely do interact. Even though alcohol and CBD work on completely different body systems through different mechanisms, both are drugs. Both can cause drowsiness and fatigue, and it’s certainly possible that mixing alcohol and CBD would amplify these effects. 

Since both CBD and alcohol can lower inhibitions and lead to bad judgement, it’s possible that the two would work together to increase this potentially negative effect. Both CBD and alcohol are metabolized in the liver. There have been some reports of liver damage associated with CBD. These reports indicate that the risk of liver damage is probably low and most associated with very high doses of at least 200 milligrams or more, but damage is possible. Your text to link….

There is no doubt that chronic alcohol consumption causes liver damage. Some studies indicate that CBD can even reduce blood alcohol levels. This may have a protective effect on the body’s organs, especially the brain. It’s even possible that CBD may one day be an effective treatment for both alcohol and nicotine addiction.

Should you Mix Alcohol and CBD?

As of this writing, there is no conclusive proof that mixing the two substances is inherently dangerous. Anecdotally, many people do it on a regular basis. The consensus is that standard doses of CBD combined with moderate amounts of alcohol is probably safe. There are actually CBD-infused alcoholic beverages on the market now. Of the two, alcohol is far more toxic, so it just makes sense to use less of this substance. As with any medical issue, it’s always best to discuss CBD and alcohol with your physician. He or she is the best judge of what is right for you.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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