Alcohol and cannabidiol (CBD) can interact with each other. Alcohol is known to depress your central nervous system and hence it is considered as a depressant drug. CBD, in small concentrations, boasts of energizing and alerting effects. Conversely, in larger concentrations, the cannabis derivative produces sedative-like effects.
CBD is a compound that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. It is a safe and non-addictive compound.
Can Alcohol and CBD Interact with Each Other? What Does Research Say?
In a study published in the journal Psychopharmacology, scientists gave 10 participants alcohol (mixed with orange juice), CBD (with orange juice) as ewll as alcohol and CBD (mixed with orange juice), and placebo (a sugar pill and orange juice). After that, the impact of the several combinations on the blood alcohol levels, psychomotor skills, and motor performance of the subjects was analyzed.
It was found that the test subjects who were given alcohol-CBD combination and alcohol showed notable impairments in all the tests. However, researchers also observed some differences between the two conditions. Further, volunteers who took CBD and alcohol together had lower blood alcohol levels, but their level of impairment was similar.
According to some studies, CBD may protect you from the harmful effects of alcohol. In a 2013 study, scientists treated animals with a CBD injection or a transdermal CBD gel before giving them alcohol. They observed that both routes of administration decreased neurodegeneration caused by alcohol by 50% in animals. However, the transdermal CBD gel was more effective than a CBD injection.
A study published in the scientific journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine analyzed the effects of cannabidiol on alcohol-induced fatty liver disease. The disease has the potential to cause a broad spectrum of other liver problems. The study investigators found that CBD prevented liver injury caused by alcohol.
All of these studies suggest a positive interaction between cannabidiol and alcohol. However, some sources advise strongly against mixing CBD with alcohol. According to Tonic, you should not consume alcohol and CBD together because it can increase the effects of the two compounds.
Can CBD Cure Alcoholism?
Evidence is mounting that cannabidiol can help individuals recover from alcoholism and other addictive behaviors.
When you feel pleasure from drinking or eating, your brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine to different brain regions such as the prefrontal complex, the nucleus accumbens, the hippocampus, and amygdala. These regions of the brain play a role in pleasurable activities. Alcohol has the potential to stimulate this reward system.
Alcohol affects the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It produces uplifting as well as sedative effects. Alcohol in higher concentrations retards the communication between brain nerve cells. After prolonged use of alcohol, the brain begins creating more excitatory neurons to accelerate communications in the brain. Stopping the use of alcohol can leave your brain in a state of hyperactivity, producing cravings for alcohol to calm down the overactive neurons.
Endocannabinoid System and Addiction
According to recent research, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) can play a major role in treating addiction.
The ECS plays a prominent role in mediating your brain’s neurotransmitters and how they interact, and your cravings and emotions. As a matter of fact, endocannabinoid disturbances have been found to play a significant role in addiction.
According to a study, long-term exposure to drugs can cause irregularities in ECS that can cause addiction.
A growing body of evidence suggests that CBD may contribute to modulating these irregularities. Further, it can help decrease addiction-related risk factors and plausibly lessen the risk of people forming an addiction down the road.