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CBD & Alcohol

Mixing CBD with alcoholic beverages is one of those fads hitting the scene. With the rising popularity of CBD, manufacturers have started manufacturing CBD-infused alcoholic beverages, beers and shots, which leads one to wonder what, exactly, the outcomes could be. We know that mixing a particular energy drink with alcohol has long been popular. We also know that doing so in many cases has lead to heart problems and in some instances, death. So is this new thing any different?

CBD alone has not been shown to be addictive, which we know is the opposite effect that many experience with alcohol. We know CBD lessens anxiety and causes the body to relax. Alcohol lessens inhibitions and also causes the body to relax. Alcohol can also trigger negative behaviors in some individuals, which is not a behavior that’s been observed in those using CBD. The primary concern is that combining CBD with alcohol magnifies the shared properties of relaxation and can cause sleepiness and sedation as both magnify the effects of the other. Depending on a body’s response, this could be a negative or a positive. If a person is driving, then clearly this is a negative. And while one would hope people would always employ common sense and make proper decisions about their behaviors that could potentially harm another, that too is often not the case. So there are serious considerations.

In one study, participants were given 200 mg of CB alongside one gram of alcohol for every 2.2 pounds of weight. This dosing resulted in significant loss of time and motor impairment. This effect was not observed when administering the same dose of CBD alone. Now for the good news, which even as I write this, seems a bit ironic in that too much alcohol consumption is typically not a good thing and is not something I encourage. Lab studies have shown CBD may protect against some of alcohol’s negative impacts such as pancreatitis, fatty liver disease, cell damage and inflammation of the liver. One study showed that CBD applied topically to lab rats reduced brain cell damage caused by excessive drinking, by 49 percent. A study conducted in the 1970’s and which used much higher dosing than would typically be consumed, showed a reduction in the blood alcohol levels of study participants. There is anecdotal evidence that suggests there may be benefits to combining CBD and alcohol, but most studies use higher than typical dosing and have predominantly been conducted on lab animals. Until we have solid data gathered from human testing, the common wisdom is that all things in moderation is the best approach.

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