Cannabidiol or CBD is a compound present in the cannabis sativa (hemp) plant. CBD differs from its cousin THC in the aspect of intoxication. It is not capable of causing a high. The prominence of CBD has risen in the recent years given its proven potency.
A common question surrounding CBD is regarding its interaction with alcohol. There are studies that shed light on the subject. More extensive studies are however needed for more conclusive results.
How Does the Combination of CBD and Alcohol Work?
A study consisting of 10 healthy adults (6 male and 4 female) was conducted to understand the effects of alcohol and CBD in combination. Participants were first given an oral placebo, consisting of orange juice and glucose capsule. In tests spaced over a gap of 1 week, volunteers were given CBD and alcohol alone and in combination.
200mg of CBD capsule and orange juice were given to volunteers next. A glucose capsule, and alcohol mixed in orange juice, were given next. This was later followed with 200mg CBD capsule and alcohol mixed in orange juice.
Different parameters were used to understand the effects of each administration:
- A finger tap test was performed to assess motor performance.
- Differential aptitude and cancellation tests were used to assess psychomotor performance.
- Volunteers underwent a production task timed for 1 minute.
- Subjective effects – effects that are experienced only by the participants and communicated by the subjects themselves through oral assessments– were recorded. These assessments included 66 items of semantic differentials.
- Blood alcohol levels of volunteers were assessed using breathalyzer estimations.
The study authors drew the following conclusions:
- Use of alcohol, and CBD and alcohol, resulted in significant decrease in psychomotor and motor functions of volunteers.
- Use of CBD and alcohol lowered blood alcohol levels. The decrease in such levels was greater than the levels recorded when alcohol alone was given.
- Though a major ingredient of hemp, CBD is inactive when it comes to its influence on mental performance and motor functions. This inactivity persists in its interaction with alcohol.
In another study, researchers studied the effect of CBD and alcohol with alcohol in ethanol form. This study involved 15 participants.
Highlights of the study:
- Each participant received either a placebo or CBD (320µgm/ kg) orally in test T0.
- Each participant was given either a placebo or an ethanolic beverage (in a measure of 0.54g/ kg) 60 minutes later.
- Effects of the consumption were measured in 3 tests – T1, T2 and T3.
T1 was taken 100 minutes after CBD ingestion. T2 was taken 160 minutes after CBD intake. T3 was conducted 220 minutes after CBD consumption.
Tests measured motor function, perceptual, and cognitive abilities of the participants. Three factors were considered to analyze the effects on participants.
Reaction speed, cognitive/ psychomotor coordination, and standing steadiness, were the factors considered.
Results of the study:
- Ethanol caused a substantial decrease in cognitive/psychomotor function. There was no noticeable influence of CBD when taken in combination with ethanol or when consumed alone.
- CBD or ethanol consumption did not produce any significant effect on participants’ pulse rate.
- Administration of CBD prior to ethanol did not cause any significant difference to blood ethanol levels.
- Participants were able to identify when they were administered with ethanol. They did not however report any specific effects of CBD.
With CBD-infused alcoholic drinks becoming popular, interested consumers may be concerned about the effects of the combination of CBD and alcohol.
Though studies are limited, findings reveal the following regarding CBD and alcohol:
- There is no proven adverse effect of the combination of CBD and alcohol.
- CBD, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, could have beneficial effects on active drinkers.
- Animal studies reveal that CBD can help protect drinkers from neurodegeneration effects caused by alcohol. The compound can even be helpful in reinforcing the liver’s defense mechanism against alcohol-induced oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a possible consequence in heavy drinkers.
- If you drink alcohol after taking CBD, your BAC will typically be lower.
- The effects of alcohol on the next morning seem to be lessened.
Studies show that the CBD and alcohol combination does not have any adverse effects on consumers. Some studies also show that CBD could be beneficial for alcohol users. Extensive research is required to reach conclusive facts. It is always best to consult your doctor..