CBD and alcohol: using cannabidiol against alcoholism?

There is the little drink that we enjoy once in a while with friends. The one who relaxes and makes you have a good time. And then there is the drink taken out of habit or, worse, out of need. It often leads to another. Then another. Together, they have consequences on physical health, on mental health, then, insidiously, social and relational consequences.

Chronic alcoholism showed up and he left to stay. Reputed to be soothing, the cannabidiol (CBD) also seems to have the ability to facilitate alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, a question arises: how can CBD help with alcoholism ? This is the subject of this article.

Overconsumption of alcohol: a problem not as rare as we think

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Too frequent drinking leads to loss of control

According to Public Health France, nearlya quarter of the population drink too much alcohol23,6% of French). Among the direct consequences, there are many health problems and a life that is often turned upside down, as much for the person in overconsumption as for his family and his direct entourage. Worse still, alcohol kills, and quite widely. Thus, in France, these are nearly 50 deaths which are, each year, attributable to alcohol. Globally, this represents 50 million deaths each year (one death in 20!).

According to the WHO, however, "alcoholism" is too broad a term, to which the term "ofalcohol dependence ". Whatever its name, this addiction is a recognized disease. From two glasses a day, even with one day off per week, consumption is already considered to be at risk. As soon as relational or medical problems directly related to alcohol appear, we speak of harmful consumption. Alcohol dependence occurs when it becomes difficult to control consumption (difficulty going a day without drinking, withdrawal symptoms in the event of a sudden stop, such as tremors, anxiety or sweats).

What can CBD against alcoholism?

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CBD could help wean yourself off alcohol and other addictive substances

CBD has been studied since the 1960s for its effects. Among them, one aspect is of particular interest to us: its ability to facilitate nicotine withdrawal. A 2013 study has notably shown a drop in consumption of around 40% among smokers who consumed CBD in vaporization. However, nicotine does not seem to be the only substance concerned since CBD is also increasingly used as a transitional product for stop smoking cannabis. Thus, its effects could extend to other addictive substances, such as alcohol.

There are no large-scale studies looking at the use of CBD against alcoholism yet. Nevertheless, initial encouraging results (to be confirmed on a larger scale) suggest the ability of CBD to act against certain negative effects of alcohol, in particular by helping consumers to relax and therefore to give up alcohol more easily.

Is CBD dangerous for the liver?

It is not uncommon to read that CBD could be dangerous for the liver. In fact, if this assertion is not totally false, it is at the very least quite hasty. By digging a little, we quickly realize that, yes, CBD has effects on the liver. They are nevertheless very different from those of alcohol, which can seriously damage it. Thus, CBD seems to have adverse effects on the liver only in the event of significant overconsumption. With a normal dosage, it could on the contrary contribute to remove diseased cells from the liver et promote the elimination of fat. By facilitating alcohol withdrawal, it would also reduce the risk of developing certain illnesses caused by alcohol, such as cirrhosis.

How to use CBD against alcoholism?

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CBD oil, like other derivatives, can help in the fight against alcoholism

First of all, let's specify that the goal is not to consume CBD and alcohol together, but rather tousing cannabidiol as a substitute. By acting on both anxiety and stress, it promotes relaxation and reduces cravings for alcohol. For optimal results, it is recommended to buy quality CBD products, regardless of the derivative. The CBD oils allow in particular to easily dose the amount of cannabidiol, while offering a healthy grip mode (under the tongue) and quick effects (from 20 minutes after consumption).

Warning: CBD can be a great help in the fight against alcoholism. However, it is not a treatment and in no way replaces personalized follow-up (detoxification treatment, support group, therapeutic follow-up in particular). If you or a loved one suffer from alcohol dependence or consume alcohol too often, talk to a health professional who can help you with the process.

Can we mix CBD and alcohol?

We often consume alcohol for the same reasons we take CBD: to relax. From an external point of view and without scratching the surface too much, the question ofcombination of CBD and alcohol is therefore legitimate, especially since the market is seeing more and more CBD-based drinks, including alcoholic ones. However, just because some exterior effects may seem similar, combining them is not necessarily a good idea. Especially if the two are mixed. On the other hand, CBD seems to be able to help to wean more easily from certain addictive substances ... and could therefore prove interesting in the context of fight against alcoholism. Let's disentangle the true from the false to see a little more clearly on the mix CBD and alcohol.

CBD and Alcohol: very different effects on the body

CBD and alcohol mix

At first glance, both CBD and alcohol are relaxing… but their actions are actually quite different.

CBD and alcohol are both renowned for the feeling of relaxation that they can cause in their consumers. Beyond appearances, the actions of the two molecules on the body are however very different. On the one hand, CBD deeply relaxes, for example by relaxing the muscles and allowing the mind to relax. On the other side, alcohol acts more as a euphoric and therefore an stimulant. In the end, even if we can have the impression of relaxing by drinking alcohol, this is not necessarily the case with our body. Mixing CBD and alcohol is therefore far from allowing the soothing effects to be combined. and does not relax more. On the contrary.

Main effects of CBD

  • Is neither psychotropic nor addictive.
  • Reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Relieves intestinal disorders.
  • Soothes skin irritations.
  • Promotes faster fall asleep and better quality sleep.
  • Relieves chronic pain.
  • Acts differently depending on the individual (more or less marked reaction).

Main effects of alcohol

  • Modifies the activity of the brain and the central nervous system (alcohol is psychoactive).
  • May cause addiction.
  • Impairs judgment and concentration.
  • Impairs coordination.
  • Disrupts REM sleep and quality of sleep.
  • Disturbed blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Reduces the sensation of pain.
  • Acts differently in different people.

Thus, apart from their analgesic properties and the fact that we do not all react in the same way to CBD and alcohol depending on our build, our state of mind or even our genetic heritage (what is called the "law of effect"), the effects of CBD and alcohol are very different, and often contradictory. Therefore, the CBD / alcohol mixture is no longer obvious. But is it still dangerous?

Mixing CBD and alcohol is not dangerous… but not recommended either

As a direct consequence of the very different effects of CBD and alcohol on the body, the two associated molecules react for combined effects that are still poorly understood. A 1979 study already [link in English], requiring more in-depth study, thus showed that the CBD/Alcohol association had at least two consequences on the organism: notable psychomotor disorders and lower than average blood alcohol level.

In the short term, this does not represent a real danger for the consumer, subject of course to adopting responsible behavior and not driving. However, the panel is not large enough to be able to draw general conclusions or understand the long-term implications of such a mixture. Other studies have also confirmed the possible Drugs interactions between taking CBD and certain treatments (especially antidepressants), tending to prove at the same time that the association of CBD with other active molecules can have consequences on health. It remains to be seen which ones.

Waiting, mixing CBD and Alcohol is not recommended and better space out the catches a few hours if you consume both products.

What about alcoholic beverages with CBD?

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Cannabis wine, cocktails and other CBD alcoholic beverages are hitting the market.

France, the homeland of wine par excellence, is still reluctant to use CBD alcoholic beverages. Apart Chilled, a sparkling (non-alcoholic) drink infused with CBD, notably sold at Carrefour, the offer is still very limited. However, the Spanish company Santa Margarita already markets a cannabis wine, the Winabis. And she's not the only one to wish develop the market for CBD alcoholic beverages. For all the reasons mentioned at the beginning of the article, however, the association seems unhappy, and could even potentially target an audience that does not usually consume wine. The future, and future research, will tell us if the alcohol-CBD blend has a future, both commercially and from a public health perspective.

To conclude: managing the association CBD and alcohol on a daily basis

For obvious health reasons, and because their respective effects are opposite in many ways, CBD and alcohol should not be consumed at the same time. If by chance you want to taste a cannabis cocktail or wine, nothing serious should happen to you. As for a classic alcohol consumption, and perhaps more, it is nevertheless strongly recommended to moderate consumption. The consumption of alcohol, with or without CBD, is also prohibited for minors and Alcohol abuse is dangerous for health, no matter what accompanies it.

Rest assured, however: if you drink a glass of wine or beer from time to time and are a regular consumer of CBD, there is no major health risk. Just make sure tospace out the sockets, for example by taking your CBD at the start of the day and/or at bedtime and not as an aperitif.

If, finally, you want to get rid of a alcohol abuse or alcoholism problem, CBD can help you. Here again, it is essential to space out the intake of cannabidiol from the consumption of alcohol. CBD can be of great help, but it is not a miracle cure. Discuss your desire to quit with those close to you and plan to help you : there is never any shame in becoming a better version of yourself!