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 has been used by many people to help with their hangovers. This article explores whether or not this is a safe or effective use of CBD.
CBD For Hangover
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.
Does CBD Oil Help With Hangovers?
CBD has a well-earned reputation for helping people manage everything from chronic pain to anxiety.
More recently, people have been discussing the possibility of using CBD to help with hangovers.
If you’re interested in getting rid of your hangovers quickly and painlessly, you’ll probably want to keep reading.
What You Need to Know About Hangovers
If you want to know how CBD can help with your hangover then it’s in your best interest to understand how a hangover actually happens. There are a lot of factors involved that lead to the symptoms we identify as a hangover.
In either case, the primary culprit of a hangover is alcohol. Alcohol is a known toxic compound that wreaks havoc on the body. However, the biological mechanisms behind this phenomenon are a bit more complex than simply saying “alcohol makes you feel like crap.”
One of the main things involved in the hangover process is a chemical called acetaldehyde.
If that sounds like a harsh chemical, that’s because it is. The name acetaldehyde comes from the combination of two more familiar, highly-toxic compounds: acetone and formaldehyde.
When you consume alcohol, it’s absorbed by your body and broken down into a number of different components, one of which is acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a member of a group of chemicals called aldehydes.
This particular compound is highly reactive and toxic to the body. Being highly reactive, a huge number of different reactions are required in order to effectively break it down so it can be excreted.
While this is happening, your body has to redirect energy and resources to this metabolism process. During this time the acetaldehyde will be exerting its toxic effects on your body. This is the cause of a number of unpleasant hangover effects.
What Causes A Hangover?
There are many different factors that can lead to a hangover.
One such factor is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it makes you pee a lot. If you’re not staying sufficiently hydrated while you’re drinking (which very few people tend to do) then it’s easy to become extremely dehydrated.
The symptoms of serious dehydration are quite similar to many symptoms of a hangover: headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Some of the gastrointestinal symptoms of a hangover can also be a direct result of alcohol. Alcohol irritates the digestive lining and causes your digestive tract to produce more acid. This can contribute to issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Alcohol can also sap your body of electrolytes. These are important chemical messengers that allow your cells to communicate effectively. When you’re lacking in electrolytes you can experience issues like headaches, irritability, and physical weakness.
Using Cannabis as a Hangover Remedy
People have been using cannabis as a hangover treatment for many years. It’s not uncommon to hear of partygoers smoking a joint during the morning after in order to ease the symptoms.
This isn’t just a tall tale or a folk remedy. There is the real science behind cannabis being an effective treatment for hangovers.
One of the reasons for this is because of the way that cannabis affects the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is one of the widest networks in the body. This system influences everything from our digestion to our perception of pain and anxiety.
There are two main receptor sites in the ECS: CB1 and CB2. These receptors are activated by compounds called endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are those produced by the body itself, whereas cannabinoids are those produced by other methods – such as those found within the cannabis plant. Endo literally means within.
There are many cannabinoids found in marijuana. However, for the purpose of this report, the two most important ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Up until recently, people thought that the main reason cannabis helped with hangovers was due to its THC content. THC influences the ECS in a very powerful way, leading to effects like relaxation and a reduction in nausea.
This happens because THC binds to the receptor sites in the ECS. However, in binding to these receptor sites, THC also causes a significant form of intoxication. Not everyone enjoys this intoxication and many people find that it makes them paranoid, anxious, or uncomfortable.
Why does this matter?
It matters because alcohol is known to cause undesirable effects in the ECS. Long-term alcohol use may cause serious imbalances in the endocannabinoid system. However, recent research suggests that even short-term alcohol use can have an adverse effect on the system.
When your endocannabinoid system is out of balance, a number of different issues can arise. ECS imbalances have been acknowledged in both physical and mental health issues ranging from anxiety to inflammation of the bowel walls known as irritable bowel syndrome.
Symptoms of a hangover are, indeed, quite similar. Hangovers are often associated with anxiety and digestive problems.
Restoring balance to the ECS may help to mitigate these symptoms as well as some of the other unwanted effects of a hangover.
Does CBD Work for Hangovers?
CBD may be useful for helping to overcome a hangover. In fact, some people may find that CBD is more useful than THC for managing hangovers.
The reason for this is because of the different ways that each of these compounds affects the ECS. THC is a direct agonist to the CB receptors. This means that it activates them. This direct activation leads to profound and obvious effects, including intoxication.
CBD performs many similar functions as CBD. However, it tends to operate in a more indirect fashion. By influencing the production of hormones, neurotransmitters, and enzymes, CBD is able to bring balance to the ECS without causing any serious intoxication.
This is fantastic news for people who are hesitant to use cannabis as a hangover treatment.
How Exactly Does CBD Help? — List of CBD Benefits for Hangovers
In this section, we will outline some of the research and speculation regarding the use of CBD for hangovers.
CBD May Help Fight Dehydration-Related Symptoms
As mentioned earlier in the article, many of the symptoms of a hangover are believed to be the result of acute dehydration.
However, some researchers — including Ethan Russo, M.D. — believe these symptoms may actually be the result of a seriously imbalanced endocannabinoid system.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic. Not only can the related loss of fluid cause you to feel dehydrated, but it can also lead to inflammation in your body. CBD can help to reduce inflammation.
Researchers and study subjects report that CBD works very well as an anti-inflammatory compound. It can help to reduce the discomfort, aches, and pains that are associated with inflammation of all sorts including that caused by a hangover.
One of the best parts of this is the fact that CBD doesn’t adversely interact with alcohol. This is not the case with more traditional anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen which can cause an increase in liver toxicity.
CBD Helps Fight Nausea & Vomiting
Cannabis has long been used as an antiemetic to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
In fact, cannabis has proven so effective for this that marijuana is becoming one of the most popular medicines to prescribe alongside chemotherapy — a cancer treatment that often causes intense nausea and vomiting.
CBD proves to have many of the same benefits. While it may be in your best interest to consume cannabis in its whole form to reap the benefits of a variety of cannabinoids, people who are opposed to marijuana’s intoxicating effects can find relief by simply using CBD.
CBD Helps Balance Your Mood
Among the most common symptoms of a hangover are anxiety, irritability, and even depression.
One of the reasons for this may be an increase in cortisol production. Cortisol is an important hormone but elevated levels can lead to mood instability and high stress.
Regardless of the cause, CBD is understood to help fight anxiety of all types. It has been used to help prevent panic attacks, alleviate social anxiety, and to help people manage generalized anxiety.
One of the reasons for this is because of CBD’s ability to affect our serotonin system.
Serotonin is one of our chief neurotransmitters that regulate our moods and feelings. By bringing balance to our serotonin system, CBD can help to fight anxiety and depression.
CBD May Help Fight Alcohol-Related Health Problems
While there have not been any studies done specifically to prove this, speculation abounds. This is because of CBD’s nature as a powerful antioxidant.
Alcohol is a fairly potent toxin. When you’re hungover, part of what you’re feeling is the result of toxic chemicals accumulating in your body. As an antioxidant, CBD may help to mitigate some of this damage.
How Much CBD Do I Need to Help My Hangover?
This can be a bit of a tricky question to answer.
Not only is everyone designed differently, but the method that you use to consume CBD can have a profound influence on how much you consume.
A heavy-set person taking CBD orally is going to need a completely different dose than an underweight individual who is using a vaporizer.
Oral CBD (Capsules)
Oral CBD has the lowest bioavailability of any type. Bioavailability is a term that describes the amount of a substance that is effectively absorbed and utilized by the body.
This means that the CBD pill or capsule must be taken in a higher dose than any of its forms. It’s generally recommended to start at a smaller dose of around 5 mg. This way, you can prevent yourself from becoming accustomed to a higher dose right away.
However, this can change if you decide to break apart your capsule and take the substance sublingually. We’ll discuss why in the next section.
Most forms of CBD can be taken sublingually.
Sublingual absorption occurs when something absorbs directly in the bloodstream through the blood vessels in your mouth. To take CBD sublingually you just need to hold the material, whether it is an oil, tincture, or powder, under your tongue.
Sublingual absorption has a higher rate of bioavailability than oral dosing. It also affects the body faster. Sublingual absorption is preferred by many because you get more value for your purchase.
As sublingual absorption is much more potent than oral CBD, you may not need it very much. It’s worth starting with a dose as low as a few milligrams and working your way up.
CBD can also be smoked or vaporized. Many products are available that provide concentrated CBD which can be vaporized through a vape pen or a dab rig.
You can also purchase cannabis that is bred to contain a high concentration of CBD and a minimum concentration of THC. This cannabis can be smoked like normal marijuana and enjoyed for its medicinal benefits.
Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to calculate the amount of CBD that you’re using if you’re smoking it.
Topical CBD is generally not absorbed into the bloodstream. If it is, it is only in extremely small quantities. As such, topical CBD is generally not useful for managing any of the mental side effects of a hangover such as anxiety and depression.
However, if you are prone to feeling aches and pains during a hangover, topical CBD may be useful. Lotions, creams, salves, and balms can all be rubbed directly into the problem area where they will serve to decrease pain.
Final Word: CBD For Hangovers
CBD, as a component of cannabis, has been used for many years to help combat hangovers. However, it was only in recent years that scientists have isolated CBD. This allows people to enjoy the same medicinal benefits of cannabis without any of the intoxications.
CBD helps by reducing anxiety, managing pain and discomfort, fighting nausea, and helping to produce feelings of well-being. It is a useful tool for helping to manage hangovers.
If you have experience using CBD for hangovers, leave a comment below to let us know about your experience.
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.