Drinking with CBD

A lesson many of us learn the hard way is that cannabis and alcohol are not the best mixture – but CBD is promisingly different. As CBD rapidly gains popularity it has slowly but surely crept its way into many crevices of our lives. What started as CBD lattes has since turned into CBD cocktails, CBD beer, and just about any other beverage that CBD can be infused into. As drinking culture has seen a bit of a decline with the rise in popularity of cannabis it’s no surprise that combining alcohol and cannabis was the natural next step. Though research is overall lacking in this space the studies that have been conducted have indicated that there are no immediate adverse effects to be wary of. 

What Am I Supposed to Feel? 

Many studies have been conducted to determine the exact result of mixing CBD with alcohol. It’s safe to say the effect can differ from person to person and may vary from the usual effects of CBD sans alcohol or alcohol sans CBD. The overall thought process as of now is that CBD and alcohol both promote feelings of calmness and relaxation and that taking the two together may amplify these effects. 

According to Jenny Winchman, Founder of YewYew Shop, “The jury is still out on how safe CBD and alcohol are together. Like pretty much everything with CBD or cannabis, experts don’t completely agree. From my own personal knowledge and experience, it is fine to mix CBD and alcohol. On CBD, you’re very chilled out and lighthearted, and the alcohol will make that more intense. On the other hand, some people become very sedated on CBD, and adding alcohol will only knock you out more.” 

How Should I Start Mixing the Two?

The first thing to consider before mixing CBD and alcohol is that you need to know your tolerance to both substances. Jenny suggests “if you’re going to try CBD with alcohol, definitely try both on their own so you know how you react to them.” Knowing your baseline reaction to both substances allows you to better gauge the effect that the mixture will have on you and gives you a point of reference to compare the feeling too. When you first start mixing, Jenny recommends to “Start with a low dose of CBD (5-8mg) while drinking and check-in with yourself and see how you feel.” 

If you feel as if you’re getting little to no results and want to kick it up a notch, do so in small increments so that you can eventually perfect the ideal dosage for your desired effect. Jenny adds, “For me, adding CBD to a cocktail is the perfect way to end the night. It’s definitely not a pre-gaming move because you’ll probably feel kind of sleepy” from the combination.

Can I Get a Hangover?

Let’s be clear on one thing: alcohol can give you a hangover, but CBD cannot. You’ll hear people use the term “CBD Hangover” loosely, but this oftentimes refers to a fuzzy feeling that might occur if you’ve taken a large dose of CBD prior to bedtime. Jenny adds, “If I take a ton of CBD (think 30mg) to help me sleep, sometimes I’ll wake up drowsy. But that’s it, and after a few minutes, it wears off.” This feeling of drowsiness in the morning is the only seemingly negative response CBD can give you, so there’s no need to worry about a pounding hangover unless you have simply had too much to drink. 

That being said, the jury is still out on how these two interact. In one study, it was found that consuming CBD can help to lower blood alcohol concentration, better known as BAC. It’s theorized that this happens because CBD can reduce inflammation in the liver when consumed, which can help your body metabolize alcohol at a faster rate. The thing is, it almost doesn’t matter that it lowers the BAC percentage because consuming CBD will not reduce the effects of alcohol meaning it won’t make you any less drunk than you already are.

Yes, Your Motor Skills Are Still Impaired 

Even though CBD on its own does not contribute to delayed or impaired motor skills alcohol is well known to do so. That being said, when combining the two, it’s still not recommended to drive. The thought process behind this is that since CBD can mimic the depressant effects of alcohol you run the risk of decreasing your motor skills further. Please note that this can be due to a number of different chemical processes that have yet to be studied as research in this area is lacking. 

Where Should I Start? 

With so many CBD infused options it can be overwhelming to even begin picking products. Our suggestion? Start with what you like to drink. If you’re a cocktail person get fancy with different CBD infused cocktail recipes until you find one you like. If you’re strictly a beer or wine person, seek out options in those spaces. Starting with products you know you like not only allows you to dip your toe into the CBD cocktail arena but allows you to better gauge how the added CBD makes you feel.