Plenty of us are familiar with the hangover that inevitably follows one too many drinks. When you consume alcohol faster than your liver can process it, toxins can build up in your bloodstream. Once your blood alcohol levels start to return to normal, you may experience symptoms ranging from nausea and fatigue to sore muscles and headaches.
Everyone seems to swear by their own go-to hangover cure. As CBD becomes more popular, however, many people wonder whether they can use CBD for hangover symptoms. While CBD might not be a foolproof hangover cure, using it may help to alleviate some of the worst parts of hangover recovery.
CBD: The Basics
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a derivative of the hemp plant. Unlike its cousin, THC, CBD doesn’t come with any psychoactive side effects.
Taking pure CBD in any form won’t make you “high” in the same way that THC would. CBD users report experiencing the positive effects of marijuana, such as relaxation, pain relief, and appetite stimulation without losing any clarity of thought.
While THC and CBD have a similar chemical structure, they bind to different receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). THC binds to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain to produce effects associated with being high, such as enhanced senses, feelings of euphoria, and hallucinations.
On the other hand, CBD does not bind well to CB1 receptors. It instead stimulates your body to produce its own natural cannabinoids, promoting a sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
Alcohol also interacts with your body’s internal ECS. It could decrease natural cannabinoid levels in the brain, leading to poor sleep patterns, digestive issues, mood fluctuations, and more. There is a possibility that CBD could help to restore balance to your ECS and soften the effects of a brutal hangover.
Using CBD for Hangovers
Taking CBD for hangover symptoms won’t magically cure you or speed up the recovery period. However, it may help alleviate some of the nastier symptoms associated with hangovers. Whether you ingest it orally, take it sublingually, or inhale it, CBD can help to combat alcohol-induced nausea and inflammation.
CBD and Drinking
You should avoid taking CBD supplements alongside or directly after drinking. CBD could amplify the effects of alcohol, leading to strong and long-lasting effects. People who combine CBD and alcohol can often experience fatigue, sedation, and a loss of coordination and inhibition.
It’s best to wait until most or all alcohol is out of your system before taking CBD. In most cases, it’s fine to take it once you feel your hangover setting in. At this point, your blood alcohol level will be returning to normal. Most people feel their hangover peak once their BAC returns to zero, which can be up to 12 hours after drinking.
CBD and Hangover Anxiety
Plenty of people take CBD for anxiety, as it can help relax you and promote a sense of calmness and wellbeing. However, it’s not necessarily a good idea to take CBD for hangover anxiety.
Hangover anxiety occurs after drinking large amounts. If you feel jittery or nervous about the idea of a hangover the following morning, you may be showing signs of hangover anxiety.
Because CBD could compound the effects of alcohol, it’s best to avoid it as a relaxation aid when drinking. The best way to treat hangover anxiety is by managing your stress symptoms, drinking plenty of water, and ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep.
CBD Side Effects
CBD products may not always be the best choice for a hangover cure, especially when you're feeling particularly weak or nauseous. Some users report adverse CBD side effects such as extreme nausea, digestive upset, and fatigue after dosing. When in doubt, it's best to skip the CBD and simply opt to recover with plenty of rest and fluids.
Choosing the Right CBD Product
The best CBD for hangover symptoms usually comes in an ingestible form. Eating a CBD gummy or drinking a CBD-infused beverage is safer for your lungs than smoking or vaping and more effective than topical solutions. However, if you are nauseous or vomiting, an edible product may not be the best choice for you.
CBD products are not FDA tested or approved, so it can be tough to pick out the best option to treat your symptoms. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to only buy from companies that are transparent about harvesting, manufacturing, and testing processes. Avoid any producers that have lawsuits or FDA warnings attached to their name.
Always check third-party lab tests to ensure the quality and purity of any CBD product. If the company does not offer testing through a third-party lab, you may want to avoid buying their product. An in-house lab will have little regulation and may have incentive to doctor testing results.
Other Hangover Cures
CBD isn’t necessarily the only way to deal with a persistent hangover. There are several other tried-and-true methods of promoting recovery, and you possibly won’t have to worry about any negative CBD side effects.
Drinking fluids is the most effective way of staving off the effects of a hangover. Water will help to rehydrate you, while sports drinks can replenish electrolytes and restore balance to your system. Eating small amounts of absorbent foods, such as bread, can also help to alleviate nausea and indigestion.
When You Should Contact a Doctor
In severe cases, a hangover might require a more serious treatment than homemade DIY remedies. The most common signs of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, confusion, low body temperature, and an abnormally slow breathing rate. If you or someone you know is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, you should call 911 or head to the emergency room straight away.
People Also Ask
Here, we'll cover some of the most common questions people have regarding CBD for hangover symptoms.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural hemp derivative that many people use for its benefits.
Can I take CBD after drinking?
It’s best to avoid taking CBD alongside alcohol. However, you can use CBD to alleviate hangover symptoms once your BAC is back to normal levels.
Does CBD help with hangover anxiety?
Even though CBD can help with anxiety, it’s best to avoid using it to treat hangover anxiety after drinking. Taking CBD may just compound the negative effects of alcohol.
How to use CBD for hangovers?
You can take CBD for hangovers in a wide variety of forms, including edibles, topical agents, and cartridges for smoking or vaping.
Can CBD make a hangover worse?
In some cases, taking CBD may compound hangover symptoms such as nausea and exhaustion.
How to choose a quality CBD product?
The best way to choose a quality CBD product is by doing your research online and opting for a reputable, transparent brand.
Other ways of dealing with a hangover?
If you don’t want to use CBD, you can treat your hangover the old-fashioned way with plenty of rest and fluids. Sports drinks can be particularly useful for restoring electrolyte balance.
When to contact a doctor?
If you suspect you or someone you know may be suffering from alcohol poisoning, call 911 or head to the ER immediately.