All About CBD and Alcohol
CBD is widely known for its numerous health benefits and the multitude of medicinal properties it offers. Its therapeutic application extends to a variety of health conditions and diseases. One of CBD’s most interesting characteristics is its interaction with alcohol and its ability to assist in treating dependency and addiction.
How CBD & Alcohol Interact
Although research is limited when it comes to the interaction, one intensive study published in 1979 produced fascinating results.There were four groups in the study: placebo, alcohol, alcohol plus CBD and CBD alone. The alcohol and alcohol plus CBD groups demonstrated significant impairment when it came to motor and psychomotor performance.
Interestingly, the study found that when CBD was given in conjunction with alcohol, the resulting blood alcohol level was significantly lower than the group given only the alcohol. In conclusion, the study found that when it comes to the impairment of motor and mental performance, CBD’s inactivity also extends to alcohol.
That being said, most health professionals recommend limiting alcohol consumption when using other drugs such as CBD, even if they are a natural form of therapy. This is due to the possibility of unknown interactions and the effect alcohol may have on CBD’s effectiveness.
CBD vs. Marijuana with Alcohol
In comparison with CBD, marijuana typically is consumed with alcohol to enhance the overall effects. Because marijuana contains significantly more THC than most CBD products, it produces intense psychological effects that are compounded when used in conjunction with alcohol.
In addition, there can be several unwanted side effects when alcohol and marijuana are used together. Consuming marijuana can also affect how alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream, making it hard to predict how your body will respond. Reported side effects of using marijuana and alcohol together include:
Plus, when consuming the two together, it’s often easy to overconsume alcohol, because the effects may not be felt as quickly. This can lead to a toxic dose and alcohol poisoning. In extreme cases, alcohol poisoning has resulted in death.
How CBD Can Help with Alcoholism
When alcohol consumption reaches the point of dependency, it is considered an alcohol addiction, or alcoholism. In this stage, CBD can be greatly beneficial.
When CBD is consumed, several receptors in the endocannabinoid system are affected. CBD primarily affects two of them, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptor stimulation is directly involved with the feeling of pleasure and reward. However, if CB1 receptors are overstimulated, such as in alcohol abuse, their activity and availability will decrease.
In the case of alcohol addiction, when withdrawal occurs the decreased stimulation of the CB1 receptors causes an increased craving for alcohol. This is because the brain will have pre-existing associations with alcohol and the feeling of pleasure and reward. In addition, during the early stages of withdrawal and abstinence from alcohol, neurons in the brain can become overactivated, which can lead to their damage and death.
This is where CBD comes into play.
Because CBD can act as a neuroprotective agent and has the potential of reducing neuronal overactivation, CBD may directly prevent damage to the brain caused by withdrawal. In addition, CBD has been shown to prevent brain cell damage from occurring.
Another promising aspect of CBD is its ability to reduce the severity of many withdrawal symptoms. CBD also has been shown to alleviate symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, irritability, nausea and more. So, when CBD is used in conjunction with alcohol abstinence, it can be incredibly helpful in reducing the likelihood of cravings and in assisting with withdrawal symptoms.
Other Addictions CBD Can Help With
In addition to alcohol addiction, there is promising evidence that CBD is an alternative therapy for several other addictions.
Several studies have shown CBD may be effective in treating substance abuse and other addictive disorders beyond alcoholism. One found that individuals who replaced nicotine with CBD, and consumed CBD anytime a craving for nicotine occurred, reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by more than 40 percent. This was coupled with the fact the craving did not increase, even with decreased consumption.
A similar study came to the same conclusion for opioid addiction. As mentioned, perhaps the most powerful benefit of CBD when it comes to addiction is its ability to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Because of its numerous medicinal properties, CBD has shown to be very effective in reducing many common withdrawal symptoms.→ For more information on what CBD does to your body click here.
How to Source a Quality CBD Product
It’s important to remember that not all CBD products are created equally. This is why it’s incredibly important that you thoroughly research any CBD product you intend to purchase and use. There are several factors to take into consideration before purchasing, to ensure you feel the maximum benefits.
The first thing to look for in a high-quality CBD is that it is a whole-plant extract rather than an isolate. Because CBD is synergistic in nature, whole-plant extracts are ideal. This allows the CBD to work in conjunction with the other cannabinoids and terpenes present. The extract should also be obtained from organically grown hemp and extracted by carbon dioxide.
It’s very important that the hemp is organically grown, because that hemp is an incredibly efficient bioaccumulator. This means it absorbs nutrients and chemicals in the surrounding soil, good or bad. So, if pesticides, herbicides and other harmful chemicals are used in the growing process, it’s likely they will also end up in the final product.
Similarly, CBD products extracted by unsafe methods, such as heat and solvents, will compromise the quality of the final product. Heat will kill many of the essential nutrients found in CBD, and reduce its medicinal benefits. Like harmful chemicals, solvents also tend to end up in the final product when that extraction method is used.
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Although the research is still relatively limited, evidence is very promising when it comes to CBD helping with alcohol and other addictions. By mimicking the pleasure/reward feeling associated with alcohol consumption, and alleviating symptoms of withdrawal, CBD may be an incredibly powerful alternative therapy for addiction.