CBD is most commonly found in oil tinctures, softgels, and gummies. However, CBD is versatile and often mixed into food and beverages, including CBD-infused beer and CBD cocktails. This may have you wondering about CBD and alcohol interactions.
Please Note—CBD companies cannot provide medical advice and we cannot guarantee that CBD will effectively soothe your mind or body. The data we provide is for informational purposes. Consult with your physician for guidance on all dietary supplements.
What Is CBD?
For those new to CBD or who aren’t crystal clear on the difference between CBD and marijuana, here’s what you need to know.
Cannabis is a plant that contains over 100 active compounds, including THC and CBD. THC is the intoxicating compound that gets you high. CBD is the compound responsible for the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
You might not have considered it before, but roses with different-sized buds, colors, petal types, and aromas are grown from different strains of the rose plant. They are similar but different. The same is true of the cannabis plant, of which there are over 700 strains.
Industrial hemp is the strain of the cannabis plant that CBD is made from. Hemp is naturally low in THC, and when processed to contain .3% or less THC—it becomes the product that we often refer to as just “CBD”. This is not enough CBD to get you high.
Where it can become confusing, is that marijuana contains CBD too. In terms of legalization, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states as long as there is .3% or less THC. Marijuana-derived CBD is at varying stages of legalization from one state to the next. However, CBD and marijuana are not classified as different substances at the federal level—so your employer, school, or extracurricular program may legally prohibit the use of CBD.
What Happens If You Mix CBD And Alcohol?
CBD oil can be shaken, whisked, blended, or infused in alcoholic beverages. The primary reason to mix it in, is to find fun new ways to enjoy CBD. However, studies show that there may be added benefits to mixing CBD and alcohol together.
A small study found that the combination of alcohol and CBD significantly lowered blood alcohol levels when compared to drinking alcohol without CBD. Other studies show that CBD may protect against alcohol-induced cell damage.
While CBD will not get you high, always drink responsibly, assign a designated driver, or use an Uber or Lyft to get home.
How Much CBD Do I Put In A Drink?
This is entirely up to you! Keep in mind that CBD is infused in olive oil, so it may slightly change the flavor profile of your favorite cocktail recipes. Also, the milligrams per serving are slightly diluted when CBD is mixed into food or beverages. That being said, the average CBD cocktail contains 1 dropper of CBD per serving. This is typically between 15 and 30 milligrams per serving but will vary depending on the CBD brand you prefer.
How Long Should I Wait To Eat Or Drink After Taking CBD Oil?
As mentioned above, the milligrams per serving become diluted when you eat or drink with CBD. Or when you add it to your food or beverages. To enjoy the full wellness benefits of CBD, take your oil or supplement and wait 30 to 60 minutes before you eat. So, take it as soon as you hop out of bed, then shower and get dressed before you eat. Or increase your milligrams per serving when you eat or drink to find what works best for you.
Can I Just Add CBD To My Favorite Cocktails?
Yes, you can! We have several CBD and alcohol beverages on our blog, but you can add it to any of your favorite cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages. Since oil and water don’t mix, it is best to blend, shake, or whisk the CBD in so that it evenly distributes. In addition to cocktails, consider adding it to your coffee, tea, smoothie, or juice.
An increasing number of cafés, restaurants, and bars sell CBD-infused food and beverages. You can also find CBD brands that offer CBD-infused beer, soda, sparkling water, and more. If recreational marijuana is legal in your state, be sure to verify the THC level of infused menu items.
What Type Of CBD Should I Use For My Cocktails?
As a young and highly unregulated industry, it’s important to ensure that you are purchasing a premium CBD. You can verify quality with the criteria below:
- USDA-Certified Organic CBD
- No synthetic additives or fillers
- Third-party lab tested for purity
- Lab test results are shared online
- Full or broad-spectrum CBD, not isolate
Let’s take a quick look at what broad-spectrum CBD is:
CBD Isolate—these are products that are processed to eliminate all other active compounds. While it may sound better because it’s a pure form of CBD, you miss out on the benefits of terpenes. Isolate products have no aroma or flavor, other than the oil or product they are added to.
Full-Spectrum CBD—these are products processed using the whole hemp plant, meaning that it contains all of the up to 100 types of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC and terpenes. Full-spectrum products have a mild, but earthy aroma and flavor.
Broad-Spectrum CBD—with many consumers uncomfortable with .3% of THC in their CBD, the THC is completely removed in broad-spectrum products. However, all other 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids remain present, including terpenes. Broad-spectrum products also have a mild, but earthy aroma and flavor.
Holmes Organics premium CBD is broad-spectrum, meets the criteria above, and is processed to contain 0.0% THC!
Is CBD Safe For Recovering Alcoholics?
This question is an ongoing topic of debate, so you must decide what is right for you. Much of the debate is due to the lack of understanding that CBD and marijuana are not the same product. But with CBD, you can enjoy the benefits without the high. For example, if times of high anxiety are triggering and CBD eases your anxiety it may aid in your recovery process.
On the flipside, with marijuana legalized in many states, some recovering addicts are choosing to use legalized marijuana for its medicinal benefits. Many believe that this is risky, and that marijuana is a gateway drug that recovering addicts should avoid.
A few studies and trials have been conducted using hemp-derived CBD for addiction and recovery. One clinical trial found that CBD decreased cue-induced cravings and anxiety that are common among those withdrawing from opioid addiction. Another study found that CBD may minimize alcohol-related brain and liver damage.
Whether you are struggling with alcohol use disorder, drug addiction, other addictions, or a variety of addictions—don’t go it alone. Find a local addiction specialist, in or outpatient treatment, and support groups to personalize your recovery.
Most CBD and alcohol interactions are internal, so you may not feel the difference—but mixing CBD and alcohol is increasingly popular!