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Can You Take CBD Oil After Drinking Alcohol?

 Can You Take CBD Oil After Drinking Alcohol?

It’s Sunday and you’re off to brunch with friends. After a waterfall of delicious citrusy mimosas, you return home only to be met with the Sunday Scaries. The impending doom of Monday’s tasks comes creeping in and your mind swirls with stress, fear and agitation. You reach for your tried-and-true relaxation go-to, CBD, only to wonder, similar to can I drink water after taking CBD oil, can you take CBD oil after binge drinking alcohol?

Combining alcohol and CBD may increase each compound's sedative effects, which can impact your personal safety. 

Maybe not — many health experts advise against combining CBD and alcohol, since they may amplify each other's effects negatively. That said, it’s always important to be mindful when taking CBD in regard to dosage and ingredients — which we explore below. 

How Does CBD Affect the Body?

CBD, also called cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that’s found in the cannabis plant — both hemp and marijuana. CBD derived from hemp plants, however, is the only type of CBD that’s federally legal for cultivation, production and commercialization. Hemp plants have only trace amounts of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which can have psychoactive effects when smoked, consumed, or applied to the skin.  

Fortunately, legal CBD must contain 0.3% or less of THC, meaning you’re unlikely to experience an altered state of mind. However, you may still experience some sedative effects, especially when used simultaneously with alcohol. That’s because CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate many of the body’s processes, including but not limited to: 

  • Metabolism
  • Cognition
  • Immunity
  • Sleep

More specifically, the ECS helps maintain homeostasis and regulates the circadian sleep-wake cycle — the 24-hour internal clock that the body operates on to determine levels of alertness and sleepiness, often according to the light levels in our environment. This is most likely tied to a naturally occurring endocannabinoid found in the body called 2-AG, which activates one of two endocannabinoid receptors found in the ECS: CB1, which exists within the central nervous system. 

When CBD enters the body, it can mimic the endocannabinoids found in the body and interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in similar ways. Accordingly, CBD oil is believed to reduce feelings of stress and improve sleep quality, among other potential benefits. Although, it does not have intoxicating properties.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?

When you drink alcohol, it enters the bloodstream quickly, and its effects can manifest within 10 minutes.

While it’s generally safe to consume alcohol in moderation, it, like CBD, can impact the 

brain and central nervous system. More specifically, it can impair the brain’s ability to:

  • Maintain balance
  • Store memory
  • Control speech
  • Regulate judgment

It also acts as a depressant to the central nervous system, which can decrease brain activity and increase feelings of drowsiness. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dizziness, confusion, memory problems and loss of consciousness. It may also negatively impact the liver, kidneys and digestive system and disrupt your normal sleep cycle, which can prevent your body from entering a restorative REM sleep. 

That said, it’s easy to believe that CBD may have restorative effects on the body and help support a more restful sleep after consuming alcohol, but this is likely not true.

The Effects of Alcohol and CBD

Can you take CBD and drink alcohol at the same time? It’s not advised. Combining alcohol and CBD may increase each compound's sedative effects, which can impact your personal safety. However, research is limited.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that combining the  

use of CBD with alcohol or other drugs can slow brain activity and increase the risks of sedation or drowsiness, which may lead to injuries, particularly if you’re:

  • Driving
  • Operating machinery
  • Swimming 

Smaller studies, however, have not found conclusive results as to how alcohol and CBD interact with one another. While two studies conducted in 1979 found no change in effects when both substances were given, another clinical trial found that 200 mg of CBD, when taken at the same time as alcohol, reduced blood alcohol levels. Although, levels of impairment stayed the same. 

The same results did not occur when the CBD was administered an hour before the alcohol — there was no effect. 

Excessive alcohol use may also impact the ECS, according to a 2022 study. It can reduce the amount of ECS receptors in the brain, thus limiting CBD’s potential effect on the body.

In addition to drowsiness, combining CBD and alcohol may also cause intestinal issues and liver abnormalities. 

Also, if you use a full spectrum CBD product, which contains trace amounts of THC (no more than 0.3%, legally), chief medical officer and founder of San Francisco-based Ria Health, John Mendelson, M.D., states that the THC may interact with the alcohol, according to a Forbes article. 

How to Use CBD Safely

You may be wondering, how long after taking CBD oil can I drink alcohol? While studies are inconclusive, Eloise Theisen, a nurse practitioner cited in the same Forbes article, states that taking CBD in the morning and drinking an alcoholic beverage in the evening may not have negative effects. 

However, using both substances concurrently is strongly advised against. 

To ensure the safe and responsible cannabis use, it’s important to adopt a mindful approach. Here are some guidelines and considerations to follow when adopting CBD into your health and wellness routine:

  • Avoid other substances – Like alcohol, it’s also important to avoid using CBD simultaneously with recreational and prescription drugs, specifically those used to treat inconsistencies in mood and sleep. 
  • Educate yourself – Before using CBD, take the time to research potential benefits and side effects. Also, ensure that the product you’re using is safe and free from harmful contaminants. Reputable CBD brands will provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that includes cannabinoid profiles, contaminant results, purity, potency and dosage to ensure you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. The COA will also indicate that the product has been tested by third-party laboratories to verify its quality and ingredients. This can minimize the risk of consuming a CBD product that contains contaminants or exceeds the legal limit of THC.
  • Be mindful of potential side effects – Even when taken alone, CBD may affect your body negatively, depending on your unique body composition and sensitivity levels. While CBD is generally well-tolerated, you may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, changes in appetite and digestive issues. If your body does react negatively, consider changing your dosage or speaking with a healthcare professional about your CBD usage. Also, be mindful that the effects of certain dosage levels may manifest differently depending on your weight, metabolism and overall health.
  • Store CBD properly – You’ll want to keep your CBD product, whether it’s hemp oil, hemp pills, a CBD topical, or a CBD gummy, in a dark, dry and cool place to avoid breakdowns in potency or quality.

How to Drink Alcohol Safely

It’s best to consume alcohol in moderation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that men limit themselves to two drinks or less a day, and women should limit themselves to one drink or less a day.

That said, even drinking within the recommended limits can increase your risk of death, whether through accident or illness.

Additionally, it’s advised that the following individuals should not drink:

  • People who are pregnant
  • People who are lactating
  • Those under the age of 21
  • Those with certain conditions or those who are taking medications that negatively interact with alcohol
  • Those recovering from excessive alcohol consumption
  • Those needing to operate a vehicle or machinery
  • Those feeling sad, nervous, or unsafe

To practice safe drinking, consider the following:

  • Understand how alcohol impacts your body – Educate yourself about the short and long-term effects of alcohol on the body and excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a depressant that can impair your judgment, coordination and cognitive abilities.
  • Set a personal drink limit – Determine your own personal drink limit based on factors such as your tolerance, weight, age and overall health. Stick to a small amount of alcohol that you feel comfortable with and that aligns with recommended guidelines: moderation is key to minimizing the negative effects of alcohol.
  • Eat before and after drinking – Consuming food before drinking alcohol can help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Eat a balanced meal with protein, fats and carbohydrates. On the other hand, eating after binge drinking can help absorb alcohol and mitigate its effects, like hangovers.
  • Substitute with alcohol-free drinks – If you want to limit your alcohol intake or choose not to drink at all, consider opting for alcohol-free alternatives. There are many non-alcoholic beverages available, including mocktails, alcohol-free beers and non-alcoholic spirits, which can provide a similar social experience without the intoxicating effects of alcohol.
  • Don’t drink and drive – Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and illegal. Alcohol impairs your ability to operate a vehicle safely and increases the risk of accidents, injuries and fatalities. 
  • Arrange a safe ride home – Prioritize the safety of yourself and others by planning ahead for a safe ride home. Designate a sober driver, use public transportation, call a taxi or ridesharing service, or rely on a trusted friend or family member to provide transportation. 
  • Always keep your drink with you – When in social settings, it's important to keep an eye on your alcoholic beverage at all times to minimize the risk of drink spiking or unintentional consumption of someone else's drink. Avoid accepting open beverages from strangers, and if you need to leave your drink unattended, get a new one when you return.

Indulge in CBD Alcohol-Free With Zebra CBD

While studies are limited, it’s not advised to combine CBD and alcohol since it may have sedative effects. However, it may be safe to consume alcohol hours after CBD as long as you’re consuming safe amounts and acting responsibly.

At Zebra CBD, we offer a bounty of CBD self care products made with premium hemp extract that support total well-being. Equip your medicine cabinet with premium CBD oils, or opt for edibles and CBD gummies. Just remember to consume all CBD products safely and educate yourself beforehand.


Sleep Foundation. What Is Circadian Rhythm?

FDA. What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD.

GoodRx Health. What Happens When You Mix CBD and Alcohol?

Forbes. CBD And Alcohol: What Happens When You Mix Them?

CDC. Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol.

About the Author

Mara Welty Image

Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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