CBD is a tool for wellness, and a cocktail is a tonic for recreation. Responsible adults can safely enjoy both in moderation. 

CBD is designed for daily use, whereas alcohol is intended for infrequent use. If you use your CBD every morning and you like to go to wine or craft beer tastings on the weekend, will you have to change your routine?

Here’s what you need to know about mixing CBD and alcohol. Planning your day appropriately and understanding your limits will help you have a good time. 

How Does CBD Affect the Body?

CBD works with the endocannabinoid system. Your body’s endocannabinoid system is giant, and that’s not an overstatement. You have cannabinoid receptors throughout your entire body, including on the surface of your skin. 

The endocannabinoid system plays a supportive role in countless other systems and processes within your body. Your body makes at least two unique cannabinoids for stimulating the endocannabinoid system. The system will also respond to cannabinoids from other sources, like hemp. 

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

CBD works to stimulate your endocannabinoid system and support holistic wellness. The broad support you receive from CBD can support your body’s stress management system and maintain healthy sleep patterns. It may provide post-workout recovery support and encourage normal functioning of your body’s sleep-wake cycle. 

Does CBD Have Negative Effects?

CBD isn’t a mind-altering substance. Although it can help soothe feelings of tension and support a calm mood, it does so without changing how your brain works. CBD won’t impair your judgment or coordination. Working, driving, and participating in athletic activities are generally very safe after using a normal daily dose of CBD. 

CBD doses under 1,500 mg daily are well-tolerated by most people. The average wellness dose is between 25 mg and 100 mg daily. Almost everyone who uses CBD is well within the recognized comfortable limit.

CBD shows no addictive potential. No one has ever become addicted to CBD, and no negative side effects are associated with long-term use. There is also no such thing as a fatal CBD overdose. 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?

Alcohol affects the brain’s communication pathways and inhibits their ability to function properly. Alcohol can cause blurred vision, impaired speech and coordination, and short-term memory loss. 

It also reduces inhibitions, making people who use alcohol more likely to make decisions they wouldn’t make when they don’t use alcohol.

What Are the Benefits of Alcohol?

There aren’t any meaningful benefits of alcohol — at least not benefits that outweigh the risks. Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol use may be beneficial for reducing the risks of heart disease. 

Most of these studies focused on the antioxidant and flavonoid properties of wine. Antioxidants and flavonoids are also in most fruits.

Occasionally consuming one or two alcoholic beverages doesn’t generally harm the health of an otherwise healthy adult. If you drink responsibly and infrequently, you’re unlikely to encounter serious complications to your health.

The Negative Effects of Alcohol

Long-term frequent alcohol abuse can significantly damage the brain and body. It can permanently affect bone density, liver health, the stomach lining, and the central nervous system. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal

It can also create an addictive dependency called alcohol use disorder. When the brain becomes dependent on alcohol, the absence of alcohol can cause seizures and hallucinations. Withdrawing from alcohol when you have alcohol use disorder can be deadly without the supervision of a medical professional.

What Is the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis?

One of the reasons why people have questions about mixing CBD and alcohol is because CBD is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids come from the cannabis family of plants, and hemp is a cannabis plant.

Hemp is a special designation of the cannabis plant. A hemp plant is a cannabis plant that produces 0.3 percent THC or less by its dry weight. THC is the biggest difference between hemp and conventional cannabis. 

THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid; it’s what gets you high when you use cannabis. Since there’s only a marginal amount of THC in hemp, hemp won’t get you high.

CBD almost always comes from industrial hemp. Mixing CBD and alcohol won’t have the same effects as mixing conventional cannabis and alcohol. 

Can You Mix Weed and Alcohol?

Weed, or conventional cannabis, contains a psychoactive substance called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC and alcohol both cause impairment to your brain. 

It’s never a good idea to combine two substances that cause impairment. Their effects will significantly amplify each other, as will their side effects. You probably won’t have a good time. 

Alcohol may increase your body’s ability to absorb THC. Even if you’re a seasoned cannabis user consuming the same amount of THC you regularly consume, alcohol can dramatically amplify your high.

When you consume cannabis before you consume alcohol, the cannabis may delay the alcohol’s absorption. This might seem good, but it can be a huge problem when trying to stay within your limit. 

If the onset of the alcohol’s effects is delayed, it’s very easy to drink more than you can handle. You could suddenly and unexpectedly feel a wave of intense drunkenness.

If you live in a state where recreational cannabis is legal, choosing one or the other is better. If you’d like to split the difference, try a cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beverage. You can sip and have a good time with the rest of your friends, and you won’t be combining substances. 

Can You Mix CBD and Alcohol?

You probably shouldn’t mix CBD and alcohol directly, but there are a lot of instances where you’re probably in the clear. It depends on context, so use your best judgment.

CBD’s effects last about eight hours. If you have a small dose of CBD and drink a glass of wine with dinner six hours later, you will not likely encounter any unpleasant side effects. The CBD is mostly gone, and one glass of wine is a very small amount of alcohol. 

If you were to triple your daily dose of CBD and drink four glasses of wine over four hours, you’re probably not going to have a good time. You might feel sedated or groggy from the relaxation effects of the CBD combined with the effects of the alcohol. 

If you regularly use CBD and occasionally drink alcohol, try to keep both events separate. If you know you will have a mimosa with brunch, skip your morning dose of CBD. You can always use it after dinner to support quality sleep. 

If you take CBD at bedtime, give your body an hour per drink to flush the alcohol from your system and drink plenty of water. You can enjoy your nighttime dose of CBD once the alcohol has run its course.

If you’re responsible and pace yourself, you’ll most likely be just fine. When you do drink alcohol, it’s important to remember to drink in moderation. CBD can be beneficial to your body, but alcohol generally isn’t. 

We all have our preferred ways to relax, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a responsible adult enjoying a cocktail or two on the weekends. If you’re a wellness-focused person, be mindful of your alcohol consumption. It’s less of a fun night if you’re setting yourself up to feel sick the next day. 

What Happens If You Mix CBD and Alcohol?

CBD has been reported to cause drowsiness in excessive amounts. Alcohol can cause drowsiness in small amounts. When you combine CBD and alcohol, you may become significantly drowsy, exacerbating the impairment caused by the alcohol. 

In truth, there isn’t a lot of research data about what happens when CBD and alcohol combine in large concentrations. Most of it is speculation about the possibilities of what could happen rather than what will happen.

When there is no reliable data, it’s best to be cautious. We don’t know if combining CBD and alcohol in large amounts is safe, so we don’t recommend doing it. You don’t want to find out the hard way that your body doesn’t agree with the combination.

In Conclusion: CBD is Safe for Everyday Use, and Alcohol Requires Moderation

Don’t mix a significant amount of alcohol with a significant amount of CBD. There haven’t been any high-quality studies on what can happen if you combine large amounts of the two. It’s better to assume it isn’t a good idea. 

You can enjoy a 25 mg CBD edible and occasionally indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two. When possible, wait a few hours between using CBD and drinking and give your body time to process each substance independently. 

Know your limits, listen to your body, be responsible, and stay safe. 

Sources:

An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system | National Library of Medicine

2018 Farm Bill Provides A Path Forward for Industrial Hemp | American Farm Bureau Federation

Alcohol use: Weighing risks and benefits | Mayo Clinic

Alcohol Poisoning Deaths | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

August 02, 2022