CBD is everywhere. Should it be in your cocktail?
Go to any trendy cocktail bar or restaurant and it’s likely you’ll see CBD featured somewhere on the menu. Though coffee shops and bars have reported minor crackdowns in states all around the U.S., it’s still impossible to avoid.
In New York City, there’s the Stony Negroni cocktail at Adriaen Block in Queens and at BuzzWorks in San Francisco, there are a number of CBD beers. It’s certainly popular, but is it safe to mix CBD and alcohol? Unfortunately, due to a dearth of research on the topic, there’s no definitive answer yet. There are, however, some studies that give us an idea of what the pros and cons of mixing the two might be.
When it comes to CBD and alcohol, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that — while a glass of wine or a cocktail every now and again is a perfectly acceptable part of a healthy lifestyle (assuming you have a healthy relationship with alcohol) — when it comes to booze, moderation is everything.
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This is especially true if you’re struggling with any kind of chronic condition or taking medication, which might benefit from cutting out alcohol altogether in honor of your health.
It might even be beneficial.
One small study showed that mixing the two could lower blood pressure more than drinking alcohol alone, which is something to keep in mind if low blood pressure is an issue for you. Other than that side effect, however, the results of the same study showed that mixing CBD and alcohol didn’t cause any symptoms that weren’t expected from alcohol alone.
In fact, studies have shown that cannabis — with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties — could help mitigate the negative effects of alcohol. In one example, a study on over 300,000 adults with a past or current history of alcohol abuse showed that cannabis use is associated with a reduced incidence of liver disease. Another study showed that taking CBD could potentially be used to treat alcohol-induced neurodegeneration and behavioral and cognitive impairments.
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In addition, CBD has been described as an anti-addictive compound and although the research is preliminary, some scientists think CBD could act as a complementary therapy for substance abuse disorders.
What to keep in mind when mixing CBD and alcohol.
Unlike THC, the effects of CBD are subtle – it’s doubtful that you’d feel any more or less intoxicated when you mix it with alcohol.
That said, everyone responds to cannabinoids like CBD differently, so it’s wise to take CBD on its own in the beginning to understand how it makes you feel. Mixing it with alcohol right off the bat will affect your ability to notice and pin down any benefits you’re receiving and attribute them to CBD specifically. The lack of research also means that we don’t yet know what the long-term effects of mixing CBD and alcohol regularly might be.
If you’re taking CBD for a health concern such as insomnia or anxiety, it’s possible that adding alcohol to the mix might even set you back. The relationship between alcohol and anxiety is complex, and a according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), anxiety is a mental health disorder that, in some situations, can even be caused by prolonged drinking.
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When it comes to insomnia, alcohol might help you fall asleep but according to the Mayo Clinic, it will also sabotage your sleep quality by disrupting your sleep later on in the night. All important things to keep in mind.
The bottom line? From what we know so far, there’s no reason to think that mixing CBD and alcohol is dangerous. It’s still, however, a good idea to get to know CBD affects you on its own before you start mixing it with anything else.