Hangovers — the unpleasant symptoms that follow alcohol intake — can wreck you.
A study published in Current Drug Abuse Reviews concluded that roughly 77% percent of the US population is prone to hangovers.
So can CBD help with hangovers?
Short answer: maybe. Long answer? Keep reading, because it gets interesting.
Alcohol and Endocannabinoid System
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS), found by researchers studying THC in the early 1990s, is a complex cell-signaling system that is active in everybody and plays a vital role in regulating a variety of processes and functions, including:
- Reproduction System and Fertility
Alcohol interacts with the ECS and negatively affects it.
According to research, consumption of alcohol (long-term or short-term) can have unpleasant to serious imbalance effects on the endocannabinoid system.
The Effects Of Alcohol On the Human Brain
Studies have shown that alcohol affects regions in the brain that are associated with emotions, stress, feeding, and motor-related processes. In addition, short-term exposure to alcohol lowers endocannabinoid levels in the brain and decreases several related N-acylethanolamines — a chemical comparable to cannabinoids.
Since both alcohol and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system, people wonder whether we can use CBD for hangovers.
Can CBD Help With Hangovers?
CBD cures for hangovers is not a new thing; marijuana has been used for ages to lessen the symptoms of hangovers.
CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system in humans with two major receptor sites, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids activate these receptors.
Our body produces endocannabinoids itself, while cannabis plants are the source of cannabinoids.
In recent times much scientific research on cannabis plants has been carried out that has paved the way for understanding CBD's effects on human mental and physical well-being. CBD can help with:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Pain and Inflammation
- Acne and Skincare
- Mood Regulation
- Nausea and Vomiting
Right now it may not be appropriate to consider CBD as a hangover cure as more scientific evidence is needed to determine its therapeutic potential and dosage.
However, CBD may help improve hangover symptoms.
As discussed above, alcohol affects the body by creating an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) responsible for regulating the body's processes ranging from appetite to sleep and even the pain response.
CBD interacts with the CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system to restore balance and can reduce the alcohol-induced hangover symptoms.
CBD For Hangover Symptoms
CBD can counteract the effects of alcohol on the human body and help alleviate five acute symptoms of a hangover.
CBD for Headache & Brain Fog
CBD may work to avoid the notorious post-binge alcohol-induced headache. In addition, studies have shown that cannabinoids can be used as anti-inflammatory drugs to effectively help get fast relief from headaches that come from inflammation without causing liver toxicity.
Alcohol leads to neurodegeneration, and science backs the transdermal application of CBD for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration and reduction in brain fog by up to 50%.
Also, alcohol interferes with dopamine receptors and affects memory and concentration. A few studies reveal that CBD can also help improve focus by reducing brain fog.
CBD for Dehydration
Alcohol is a diuretic, and its consumption is known to cause severe dehydration alongside triggering the body's inflammatory response, exaggerating hangover symptoms.
Besides being an effective anti-inflammatory compound, CBD dries out the mouth in most people and encourages them to drink water more often. Taking an adequate amount of water replenishes electrolytes in the body and lessens hangover symptoms.
CBD for Nausea & Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are common hangover symptoms, and credible studies on animals have shown that CBD helps regulate nausea and vomiting effectively.
CBD for Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
Alcohol lowers blood sugar levels, putting the body into hypoglycemia. Regular intake of CBD oils helps regulate blood sugar levels in case of chronic alcohol consumption.
In addition, it helps improve the insulin sensitivities that develop over time because of frequent increases in levels of blood sugar followed by a drastic drop. Research suggests that regular marijuana intake reduces insulin resistance by 17%.
CBD for Balancing Mood
Irrespective of the cause, CBD is famous for its mood-elevating and antidepressant properties. It is also known to treat anxiety disorder potentially. During a hangover, the level of cortisol increases in the body, making a person feel stressed or even depressed.
CBD acts on serotonin receptors – a significant neurotransmitter that regulates feelings and mood. Research shows that by bringing balance to the serotonin system, CBD helps to fight alcohol-induced anxiety and depression.
Benefits Of Using CBD For Hangover
As cited above, CBD has many beneficial effects on the body, including anti-anxiety, antidepressant, antiemetic, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Additionally, it helps with nausea and vomiting, regulates blood sugar levels, and relieves migraines with its neuroprotective effects.
Studies on therapeutic prospects of cannabidiol for alcohol use disorder and alcohol-related damage to the liver and the brain indicate that CBD can also help reduce consumption of alcohol levels.
Furthermore, it reduces alcohol-induced brain damage and prevents neuronal loss with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties.
Can CBD Prevent A Hangover?
No! Taking CBD before consuming alcohol will not prevent a hangover.
But regularly taking CBD may contribute to a well-balanced Endocannabinoid System (ECS). As a result, the internal bodily environment becomes more stable, handling the adverse effects of alcohol in a better way.
Side Effects Of Using CBD for Hangover
There are no comprehensive studies to determine the side effects of using CBD for hangovers. Various human and animal studies have recorded that CBD may help decrease the side effects of alcohol. However, limited knowledge is available to indicate its adverse impact on health.
What Type of CBD Is Most Effective For Hangovers?
There are different forms of CBD available on the market, and they can be consumed through multiple methods.
Oral CBD has low bioavailability, making it less effective and requires higher doses than any other form.
Taking CBD sublingually (administering something under the tongue) offers the best bioavailability because of its highest absorption rate. In addition, it demonstrates effects in less than 60 seconds, making it an excellent remedy for instant hangover relief.
Topical CBD has the least absorption and is typically ineffective in treating anxiety and depression during hangovers. However, topical CBD products are known to relieve pain and aches caused by hangovers.
When concentrated CBD is smoked or vaporized, the effects kick in no time, helping to alleviate hangover symptoms instantly.
CBD is a great natural supplement with many potential benefits to mitigate the symptoms of a hangover — but it is not a cure. However, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and filling up on healthy carbs help relieve a hangover in addition to CBD intake.
(This post is written by Zara A. Khan, a freelance writer specializing in the CBD niche)