CBD vs Alcohol

Tara DeVincenzo About CBD, FAQ

CBD vs Alcohol

Alcohol and CBD share the commonality of being part of a prohibition at some point in their history. Though alcohol’s prohibition was relatively short-lived, CBD had been bunched in with marijuana and therefore looked at through the scope of a recreational drug.

CBD is now considered separately from THC’s psychoactivity. It’s currently considered a supplement rather than an FDA regulated drug. With its use becoming more widespread, it’s important to consider interactions, especially with alcohol. In this article, we dive into CBD and alcohol together, and then the differences of CBD vs alcohol.

Are They Safe Together?

Mainstream entertainment often alludes to the exceptional coupling of cannabis and alcohol, but there’s more to it than just a pair of party favorites.

THC gets its reputation for being psychoactive, but people often glaze over the fact that alcohol is psychoactive as well. When combined, they offer a psychoactive potpourri known colloquially as a  “cross-fade.” Though some people react differently (e.g. “the spins”), science has concluded there could be some favorable results of combining the two.

Alcohol (ethanol) may elevate the absorption of THC when it’s smoked, spiking the accompanying euphoric response. It seems the blood-thinning properties of alcohol facilitate accessibility of THC to the blood. Since the main goal of THC is to give this euphoric high, alcohol makes way for a quick and potent dose.

But what about CBD? CBD is not a conductor of psychoactivity and instead is widely used as a therapeutic or medicinal compound. Well, it appears that CBD may actually protect against the possible dangers of alcohol consumption.

For one, CBD may help to protect the liver. Damage is caused to the liver when alcohol is introduced to the body because it causes oxidative stress. CBD seems to help prevent that, thus protecting the liver.

Furthermore, it seems CBD can help protect the body from alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. CBD can provide protection against the breakdown of brain tissue initiated by alcohol. What’s even more impressive about this finding is that CBD doesn’t need to enter the body through the mouth. It can help cause protection of the brain even when administered dermally via creams, salves, or patches.

As if that wasn’t enough, CBD also exhibits a possible ability to quell the effects of alcohol. Since CBD has no psychoactive properties on its own, it seems apparent that the interaction wouldn’t enhance alcohol’s toxicity in the brain. Researchers have found that CBD used with alcohol results in lower blood-alcohol content than when equal amounts of alcohol are drunk on their own.

For all the good the CBD provides independently, positive interactions with alcohol are more just another nod to its efficacy. In the description of CBD vs alcohol, CBD seems to win as both an excellent complement and on its own.

The Case Against Alcohol

CBD vs Alcohol

Alcohol is addictive. Although it isn’t listed as a Schedule I drug (which cannabis is still classified under), it has a high potential for abuse. More than 86% of the American population reported having tried alcohol before they turned 18.

Though the number of people who continued to drink alcohol later in their life decreases, over 15 million Americans had developed an Alcohol Abuse Disorder. This misuse has cost the healthcare system $249 billion by the year 2010.

The cost is even higher when considering alcohol-related deaths. Alcohol is the third most prevalent cause of preventable death of Americans behind tobacco and poor diet. The impact is amplified when considering misuse of alcohol on a global scale. Alcohol has been attributed to nearly 6% of global deaths.

As with any intoxicating substance, moderation is key. It is possible to enjoy alcohol, and even reap some benefits from it, when used appropriately. Still, given the widespread misuse and fatalities associated with alcohol abuse, it ranks quite high on the list of dangerous substances.

For the Sake of CBD

When considering CBD vs alcohol, CBD is definitely newer in mainstream culture. Knowledge about CBD is growing, but research is still in relatively early stages. However, according to what we know now, dangers are virtually non-existent.

CBD is known for a number of therapeutic properties such as its anti-inflammatory, anti-colvusory, and analgesic effects. The FDA has approved a drug made with CBD for treating the childhood disorder, Dravet’s Syndrome. This syndrome is associated with frequent, life-threatening seizures. CBD has been shown to be effective in many cases, including those that were resistant to other drugs.

Seizures aren’t the only instance where researchers have found faith in cannabis. Other disorders with associated tremors, like Parkinson’s disease, show some promising signs of responding well to CBD.

As for general usage of CBD, people can use it for pretty much any of their daily woes. The endocannabinoid system is linked to mood, appetite, cognitive function, and pain perception. Taking CBD, in the right dosage, can promote a healthier lifestyle if any one of these functions are lacking or unbalanced.

CBD vs Alcohol: Making the Swap

When considering CBD vs alcohol, it’s clear that CBD is undoubtedly safer and more beneficial than alcohol. The few antioxidants delivered from a glass of red wine pale in comparison to the antioxidative qualities of CBD. It’s also much safer to indulge in a few drops of oil than it is in a few shots of liquor. CBD won’t impair your motor skills like alcohol and won’t create any cognitive impairment.

CBD vs Alcohol

Also, since CBD is used as an anti-emetic, there’s a much lower likelihood that you’ll end up with your head in a toilet from over-indulging. There are no reports of overdosing or poising from CBD.

Alcohol still reigns supreme as the substance that’s there for the good times and the bad. CBD likely won’t become a replacement for alcohol, but it could become a good way to modify or subdue how much is consumed.

For those with an oral fixation in social settings, you’re in luck: there is such a thing as a CBD cocktail and it’s gaining popularity. Since it isn’t considered a drug or even a controlled substance, mixologists from coast to coast are adding it to their concoctions.

If you need a little motivation to get on the dancefloor, CBD may — or may not — give you a push. Its ability to calm nerves and relieve stress are good motivators to letting loose without the expense of your inhibitions.

At its core, CBD simply isn’t a replacement for alcohol. Instead, the relationship is that of a protector. It provides a counteraction against the detrimental effects of alcohol on the body and the brain. And it provides numerous other health benefits as well.

Final Thoughts on CBD vs Alcohol

Alcohol has long been a part of human culture and society. The rise of cannabis is unlikely to dethrone it as the centerpiece of both celebrations and hard times, which is why understanding how to facilitate a relationship is important.

Though some are partial to cannabis over alcohol, there’s good reason why you can be open to both. Alcohol in moderation can be an enjoyable way to relax or unwind while CBD–also in the right doses–can be protective and beneficial to your health. Alcohol doesn’t provide the therapeutic benefits of CBD, and CBD is beneficial for resolving some of the problems presented by booze.

On a day-to-day basis, CBD is a much safer option. Just because it helps combat some of alcohol’s pitfalls does not suggest it cures them. CBD won’t delete the pictures that ended up online or unsend that risky text message nor will it protect your liver from all of the harm alcohol does to it. It’s best to keep CBD as part of your daily routine and alcohol as an occasional indulgence.

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Last modified: June 3, 2019