Many people swear by its transformative healing properties for various ailments like anxiety, pain, and sleep problems. CBD itself is oil extracted from the cannabis plant. It is similar to marijuana but without the chemical THC that gets you high. It can be found in the form of oil, creams, bath salts, dog treats, and now even mixed drinks. But before you decide to go bottoms up on that new CBD cocktail, you should know what you are getting yourself mixed up in. Is mixing CBD and alcohol safe?
As a Chicago drug treatment center, we see people enter our facility who are addicted to a variety of substances and may not realize exactly what they are putting into their bodies. While many drugs are beneficial, even the best drugs can have negative side effects. So, although it lacks the THC, is CBD combined with alcohol really that innocuous? Or is it actually beneficial for your health? Although there is still a lot of research that needs to be done, the effects of CBD and alcohol may be both positive and negative.
Some researchers argue that because both are substances that can make people feel drowsy or relaxed on their own, mixing CBD and alcohol could amplify these effects and make them longer lasting. Georgetown University Medical Center professor James Giordano has commented on the dangers of mixing CBD and alcohol by saying “The level of intoxication is going to be greater: greater loss of control, inhibition, motor coordination, and that becomes problematic.” Other research negates these claims. One study found that mixing CDB and alcohol led participants to struggle with motor skill tests, but the effects of CBD and alcohol were extremely similar to alcohol alone.1 Alcohol could be doing the damage all on its own.
Some research actually suggests that combining the two could have some health benefits. A study done on mice found that mice who were given 5.0% CBD gel capsules had a 48.8% reduction in alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.2 Could CBD actually negate some of the harmful effects of heavy alcohol consumption? Another study found that CBD may help protect the liver from damage caused by alcohol such as acute-induced liver steatosis.3 For heavy drinkers, CBD could actually be helpful, but if you are in it for the health benefits, then a mocktail with CBD is the smarter and safer choice.
Although the short-term effects of CBD with alcohol are up for debate, the long-term effects are widely still unknown. CDB combined with alcohol could have many hidden dangers as well as health benefits that research has yet to reveal.
What isn’t up for debate are the dangers of excessive and consistent alcohol abuse. No matter how much CBD you take, alcohol is still harmful. If you or a loved one is an alcoholic, you need more than just CBD. Our alcoholism treatment in Chicago helps people like you to not only stop drinking for good but also to help get your body healthy again.