Mixing CBD oil and alcohol is something you may be doing without even realising it.
It doesn’t necessarily mean physically combining the oil and liquid yourself. They both have certain effects on the human body, so by using CBD oil and alcohol within a similar timeframe, the two substances could be reacting to each other naturally.
When it comes to CBD, though, rest assured The World Health Organisation has confirmed there is no evidence of any public health-related problems associated with pure CBD.
However, while many people enjoy alcohol recreationally, its health risks are also well known. In addition, we recently explained why alcohol is not halal in Muslim culture – but most CBD is halal.
While research into the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol is still ongoing, this article gives a brief snapshot of what we know so far.
CBD oil: the basics
First, a little context. CBD oil is legal in the UK but there is often some confusion around the law.
The main thing to note is that it must not contain more than 1 mg of THC per pack, otherwise it’s a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
To explore the reasons for mixing CBD oil and alcohol in the first place, it’s worth recapping some of the main benefits of cannabidiol.
One of the most common reasons for taking CBD oil is to potentially reduce anxiety. Other possible benefits include treatment for arthritis and chronic pain.
Potential side effects of mixing CBD and alcohol
There is not enough research available yet to definitively prove if there are side effects from mixing CBD oil and alcohol.
It is possible though that the CBD and alcohol will increase each other’s effects on the human body.
Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it lowers neurotransmission levels and reduces stimulation in the brain.
While this does not necessarily mean that it makes people depressed, alcohol can affect concentration and coordination.
The study noted that using alcohol and CBD caused greatly reduced motor performance and difficulty tracking time. These are symptoms not experienced when participants took only CBD.
Consumed only on occasion and in moderation, the negative effects of alcohol are more limited.
However, when consumed regularly, alcohol can cause brain damage and negatively affect the nervous system, heart, liver, pancreas and blood pressure.
In larger quantities, alcohol can lead to drowsiness and other behavioural changes.
In excessive quantities it can also cause vomiting, unconsciousness and, for a number of reasons, death.
Therefore, if there’s a risk of another substance – including CBD – increasing alcohol’s effects, it’s important to know your limits and if using both simultaneously, only do so in moderation.
Potential – but unproven – benefits
Again, not enough evidence has been collected yet to confirm whether there are advantages of taking CBD oil and alcohol together.
Just as CBD could potentially exacerbate the negative effects of alcohol though, it may also magnify its positive ones.
One of the most popular reasons for using CBD is to feel more relaxed and less anxious.
Some people drink alcohol for the same reason, so it’s possible that taking both at the same time could create an even more relaxed state of mind.
There is also some potential for CBD to reduce the severity of a hangover from drinking too much alcohol.
The negative feelings associated with a hangover are partly due to the human body’s deficiency of serotonin, having had it increase while drinking the night before.
Studies show that CBD can positively affect the receptors in the brain’s response to serotonin.
Moreover, there are some signs from medical research that not only could taking CBD dissuade drinkers from having too much alcohol, it could also potentially be used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as depression.
Finally, a range of animal studies suggest CBD could help prevent cell damage caused by drinking.
Drinks for sale containing CBD and alcohol
While much of the above could apply to anyone drinking alcohol at a similar time to taking CBD – whether sublingually, in capsule form or via vaping – some retailers also sell drinks containing cannabidiol.
We recently wrote about how CBD-infused drinks including cocktails have grown in popularity at some of London’s restaurants.
We’d recommend doing your research before trying a drink containing CBD and alcohol though.
Only buy from trusted brands and look for the list of ingredients – CBD drinks on the market should not contain THC, otherwise they’re illegal in the UK.
When thinking about CBD oil and alcohol, it’s worth knowing what tinctures are.
A CBD tincture specifically is hemp plant matter which has been saturated in alcohol to steep.
This infuses the CBD into the alcohol, before the plant material is strained out.
CBD tinctures usually have additional ingredients added, such as flavourings or sweeteners.
Those who dislike the taste of CBD oil often choose a tincture instead.
However, using a CBD tincture product is not the same as recreationally drinking alcohol and using CBD at the same time – it won’t have the potential benefits, or risks, described earlier.
Read our blog for more information about the differences between CBD tincture and CBD oil.
Summary: what happens if I mix CBD oil and alcohol?
The key thing to note is that if you mix CBD oil and alcohol, they may increase other’s effects.
This could work both ways – for example it could magnify the sense of relaxation, but on the other hand it could exacerbate the side effects from drinking alcohol too.
Medical research into mixing CBD oil and alcohol is still at an early stage, therefore it’s too soon to specify exactly what happens.
If it’s something you’re interested in, then to stay safe, the best approach would be to seek advice from your GP, or a doctor familiar with your medical history and current medication.
Otherwise, you could try mixing CBD oil and alcohol in very small quantities to see how you feel afterwards. If there are no negative consequences, you could try increasing the quantity slightly next time.