What better way to begin this article than by quoting a cherished cannabis connoisseur, Bob Marley who spent all his life advocating for the herb. He said and we quote;
“Herb is the healing of a nation and Alcohol, the destruction.”
CBD & Alcohol:
Alcohol, which has been around for centuries; is a commonly consumed intoxicating beverage of pleasure across the world. It is even cheaper than water in some parts of the world and is often a cultural tradition in some parts of the world.
Evidence from ancient civilizations dating back 4000-5000 BC, indicates the consumption of alcohol among locals for recreational purposes. The earliest documented evidence is from the ancient Chinese civilization (2000BC-4000BC) however.
CBD, on the other hand; which is short for Cannabidiol, has only recently joined the executive club. This phenomenal hydrocarbon has taken the world by storm.
Discovered amidst the Second World War in 1940, the research is still limited on CBD as compared to alcohol but pharmacologists and doctors both seem to have a profane interest in the wonders CBD can do.
Do you have a disturb sleeping pattern? Then this article will surely help you: CBD for Sleep
CBD & Alcohol: What’s The Difference?
Fasten your seatbelts as we have some chemistry coming up. CBD & Alcohol are naturally occurring organic compounds. They have been around for centuries just like other blessings Mother Nature has to offer.
CBD is classified as a hydrocarbon (due to the presence of hydrogen and carbon bonds in its structure) in organic chemistry whereas Booze is identified as Alcohol (because of its unique -OH group).
Therefore, in terms of chemistry, they are identified as distinct compounds that differ in terms of their structure and composition. They are further classified as hydrocarbons and alcohols in organic chemistry.
All alcohols are toxic and poisonous to a level where the human body cannot endure its effects (with the exception of methanol and ethanol).
Ethanol is the primary ingredient in almost all alcoholic beverages produced around the world, which injurious in itself to human health, is still tolerable up to a certain point. The case is quite the opposite for CBD.
Simply put, an alcohol overdose can kill you but a CBD overdose is not fatal. There is no way cannabinoids can alter key functions like breathing or kidney functioning because there are no cannabinoid receptors in parts of the brain that control key functions of the body.
So What Exactly Is CBD and Where Is It Found?
CBD is one of the 115+ cannabinoids found in the glorious plant of cannabis/hemp. Unlike its counterpart THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It is a hydrocarbon that binds to the already present endocannabinoid system found in the human brain to provide its therapeutic effects.
The high associated with smoking marijuana/hash/ganja/weed is credited to THC and THC alone so you don’t need to worry about getting high when you consume pure, isolated CBD.
Its other variants though, the broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD contain other cannabinoids that enhance CBD’s effects, however only full-spectrum CBD contains THC in addition to other compounds.
Despite being a widely criticized and controlled substance in various regions across the globe; the stigma revolving around cannabis/hemp is finally washing off and people are coming to terms with its therapeutic benefits. This nutraceutical cannabinoid is not only a miracle healer for human beings, but also for your pets!
Is CBD Legal?
CBD itself is non psychoactive but the legality of CBD products varies across different countries and regions. The CBD industry is booming in the Us, UK and Canada; however the same cannot be said about Scandinavia.
CBD in Sweden is allowed only if it contains absolutely no amount of THC (0.00%). We are still unsure about whether manufacturers are offering products with 0.00% THC.
In America and the UK, CBD is primarily sourced from Hemp. Hemp contains no more than 0.03% THC of all the plant matter. Therefore, CBD products with a concentration of less than 0.03% THC are legal in the United States and the UK, and since marijuana is 100% legal in Canada, CBD business is thriving there as well.
In Sweden, it is still in the gray zone and is considered to be a medicine by the Medical Products Agency.
CBD & Alcohol: Can They Be Mixed?
Many bartenders are trying to level up their game by mixing CBD with Alcohol; and the question here arises if they can or should be mixed at all? Let’s dive into what researchers have to say about this.
According to a research paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on the interaction of CBD and Alcohol in humans; the combination of CBD and alcohol was found to be of a controversial nature.
While it did not affect the blood alcohol level in rats, it did lower them in humans. Blood alcohol level refers to the percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream which is a primary determinant for measuring the level of intoxication that the person experiences in another study it was concluded that combining both the substances lead to significant negative effects on the cognitive and motor performance of human test subjects.
The Food and Drug Authority of America has serious concerns about mixing CBD and alcohol as they believe it causes severe drowsiness and loss of control over conscious mental activities that help you perform normal muscle movements. Such sedation can cause several injuries and so they strictly advise against mixing both the substances.
The results however, are not definitive and conclusive as there is very little research done on CBD and its effects on the human body and so there may come a time when mixing CBD and alcohol is declared fit for human consumption, but for now, we believe abstinence is the only strategy to stay out of harm’s way.
Pro Tip: Stay away from the bartender that tries to talk his way into “amping” your drink with CBD!
What Medications Does CBD Interact With?
This is a legitimate concern and as with any supplement or additive, we would advise you to consult a professional doctor or pharmacologist on the chemical reactions of CBD with the medications you are currently on. We will, however, try to address this question generally.
Although CBD is not known to have any serious side effects of its own, it does interact with some medicines and drugs to sometimes trigger unwanted effects. Pharmacologists and doctors have advised not to use it if you’re on certain antipsychotics, macrolide antibiotics, antidepressants and heart medications.
For example, the use of benzodiazepines is not recommended with CBD as it may result in over dosage of similar compounds and generate unexpected side effects. Antidepressants such as fluoxetine or Prozac and macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and clarithromycin are also not recommended to be used with CBD.
Note: Consult your family doctor or an expert who is familiar with your medical history to understand if you have some pre-existing conditions or are on certain medications that make you unfit to consume CBD.
Next up are 5 killer reasons why you should give CBD a chance over Alcohol.
- No Intoxication, Only Relaxation
According to a report published in 2018 by the World Health Organization, more than 3 million deaths occur each year due to the use of alcohol and this is just the official count for the deaths.
The unofficial numbers are much higher and also, these stats do not include the number of people whose vital organs are severely compromised due to the damage inflicted on them from alcohol consumption.
They are either bearing the excruciating pain of chemotherapy and undergoing other painful procedures, or are completely dependent on their caretakers for everyday life functions.
Intoxication not only damages your health but leads to other moral vices and is the harbinger of crime, violence and broken families in a society. While we fully endorse the cosmetic and medicinal applications of alcohol, we’ll let you be the judge of whether or not it is okay to use “alcohol for recreational purposes.”
So what should you do if you’re in the mood to celebrate or relax if not grab your favorite wine bottle? Consider CBD products! CBD products are available in edible forms (gummies, cookies, candies, capsules), IVs, Oils, Vapes, Bath bombs, coffee flavors and CBD infused food and drinks. The list is long, trust us!
Not only does CBD have several medicinal benefits, but it also has some beauty gains for you! CBD is good for rejuvenating your skin, helping skin cells heal, whereas alcohol is actually a mild skin irritant.
Also, where alcohol will leave you tired and hungover the next day, CBD with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties promotes better sleep and helps you wake up fresh with a natural glow on your face.
- Recommended for Recovering Alcoholics
If you are someone who is struggling with alcohol issues, it is time you considered CBD as a means of healing from your problem. CBD is known for helping people overcome withdrawal symptoms and thus it can help you control your liquor urges.
A lot of people who consume alcohol as a way of coping with depression or anxiety may also benefit from the cannabinoid as it is currently being used all over the world as a cure for depression, anxiety, and other related mental health problems.
Also, for all the new users who are drinking just for the sake of it or are in a confused/ difficult phase right now, we urge you to reconsider and switch to CBD if you cannot cope with it on your own.
- No Dependency or Vices Associated with Alcoholism
Alcohol if consumed in a controlled manner, may have slightly lesser repercussions than for those whose love for alcohol knows no bounds, however, alcoholism and alcohol dependency are still a matter of serious concern.
This cruel habit has ripped families apart, leading alcoholics into destroying their own life as well as the lives of generations to come. Alcohol being one of the earliest intoxicants used by humans is known to make you keep coming back for more.
Not only is it considered addictive but is also a gateway drug that leads you to the world of indifference, crime, violence, trafficking and even more illicit drugs.
It opens the door of this world to you only if you get too involved with the substance and its illegal supplier mafias (we don’t intend to scare you). One could go on and on about the Alcohol abuse and so on.
CBD, my friend, is an angel when compared to alcohol. Scientists are of the opinion that since CBD does not produce any euphoric or lingering sedating effects, its potential for abuse is almost non-existent.
It relaxes your mind and body simultaneously, clearing your head and giving you time to ponder about life and spiritual enlightenment.
It helps to boost your self-esteem by suppressing social anxiety and giving you the social freedom you crave. Its therapeutic properties may assist you in fighting diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
It allows you to explore yourself, meditate and identify your purpose in life. In a world of superficial materialism, it lets you slow down to be humble and thankful for what you have.
- Pain, Anxiety & Depression Relief
Individuals who are looking for quick fixes to their worldly problems tend to look towards alcohol. Based on movies, novels or songs that have romanticized alcohol, they somehow developed the opinion that alcohol is the answer to all their worries.
While some may find comfort in the sedation for a short while, it certainly isn’t viable in the long term scenario. It leads you towards the pitfall of long term depression and anxiety. We aren’t saying this based on a hunch; there is scientific evidence to back this fact.
On the contrary, even though the mechanism is still not properly understood, CBD is actually an antidepressant. Along with its other benefits to human health, many researchers found that CBD also reverses the chemical imbalances in the brain that lead to the reduction of psychosis and depression symptoms.
Research is still underway to determine how CBD actually does this, but there are a number of testimonials from satisfied users that have reported significant changes in mental condition and a better, productive day, not only for themselves, but also for their pets!
Yes, Pet owners with furry friends that used to get nervous and anxious when left home alone or upon hearing loud sounds exhibited much lesser anxiety symptoms once given CBD treats or CBD oil.
- Stimulates General Well Being & Regulates Sleeping Patterns
We all know sleep is imperative for normal human functions. However, with the advent of technology and the world squeezing into our palm in the form of handheld devices, insomnia has become a common problem around the world. The blue light emitted from our laptop/mobile/smart device screens is the number one cause of sleeplessness in 80% of insomnia patients today.
Even though a lot of us would love nothing more than to give it up completely and go relax on a beach somewhere, it has become a necessary evil in this fast-paced, tech-driven world. From school presentations to business meetings, from class notes to meeting minutes, there is nothing that we can do in our academic and professional life without some form of computer and the internet.
CBD seems to have come in like a gush of fresh air in this hot, stuffy mess that we’ve discussed just now. CBD boosts moods, improves immunity, promotes appetite, stabilizes bodily functions and thus in turn, regulates sleeping patterns considerably.
Although we’ve pretty much provided every sort of argument there is to convince you of all that you can gain if you consider making a switch to CBD, we would like to address a common anti-cannabis sentiment here which is that Cannabis is not beneficial for everyone and so all of its benefits being advertised are not conclusive.
Well, the best part about CBD is that it is all-natural, so even if you do not gain anything, you will not risk anything too.
Also, you will get to avoid the fate that lies await if you continue to consume alcohol in dangerous quantities. You will avoid the chance of becoming dependent on a substance that has the potential of destroying your life.
You will dodge all the nights of sedation and the mornings of hangovers and instead feel confident about taking the reins of your life into your own hands and shaping it into the kind of life that you’ve dreamed of having ever since you were a kid.
Your future self will thank you if you make this decision now, because there is no better time for it than to start today.