CBD, or cannabidiol, has recently become a popular natural alternative for treating many conditions, including hangovers. Learn all about CBD and how it could help fight your early-morning headaches here. 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.
Can You Really Use CBD to Cure a Hangover?
You’ve likely tried dozens of different remedies after drinking too much the night before, all with varying success. Coffee, hair of the dog, a greasy breakfast.
But can CBD really work to cure a hangover? This wonder compound is promoted as a natural remedy for almost everything else these days, from healing body aches to relaxing your mind.
Here’s what you need to know before turning to cannabis after an evening of overindulging on Captain Morgan.
What Causes Hangovers?
When you drink alcohol, the liver can break down approximately 90-98% of it at the rate of ten grams (one standard drink) per hour. This process transforms the alcohol into a harmless blend of carbon dioxide and water that your system expels naturally.
Hangovers occur when you drink faster than your system can process it, so toxins like acetaldehyde start to build up in your system. You’ll begin to feel the effects of the hangover several hours after drinking as your blood alcohol level starts to go back down.
Everyone’s hangover symptoms differ, though common ones include fatigue, nausea and stomach pain, muscle aches, sensitivity to light and sound, sweating, painful thirst, and a pounding headache.
Most people start recovering from hangovers within a few hours of developing symptoms and will feel back to normal within a day. But in the meantime, you may find yourself practically bedridden and canceling the day’s plans until you feel like yourself again.
It’s hard to predict where your limit is for ending an evening unscathed. Some people develop hangovers after one drink, while others can take shots all night without any ill effects. Your genetics play a role in how sensitive you are to alcohol, as does whether you drink on an empty stomach, pair alcohol with other drugs, or whether you get enough sleep afterward to give your body time to process out the toxins.
There’s also evidence that you’re more likely to develop a hangover from drinking darker-colored spirits like brandy and bourbon. That’s because they contain a higher concentration of flavor compounds known as congeners that can increase the severity of your hangover.
Compounding things, alcohol is a diuretic. If you aren’t sipping water throughout the night, you’ll end up dealing with dehydration symptoms that can make even mild hangovers more punishing.
How Can CBD Help Hangovers?
Everyone swears by their own hangover cure, from taking electrolytes to eating fatty foods or even drinking more alcohol. CBD is starting to gain attention as a natural hangover remedy, and the evidence shows it could work better for you than conventional choices. Here’s what you need to know.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping you in a general state of equilibrium. It regulates body processes ranging from sleep to appetite and even your pain response, and drinking too much alcohol can throw it off.
CBD is the second-most common cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. This chemical compound interacts with the CB2 receptors within your endocannabinoid system. Unlike THC (the most common cannabinoid), CBD won’t get you high. Rather, it is used as a natural remedy for health problems like chronic pain, insomnia, and more.
Giving your body a dose of CBD can counteract alcohol’s effects in five key ways.
1. Reduces Effects of Headaches and Brain Fog
CBD may help you avoid the infamous post-binge drinking headache. As headache pain comes from inflammation, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can help you get fast relief. Some people also find that CBD dries out their mouth and encourages them to drink more water. Symptoms of a hangover are exacerbated by dehydration, so any reminder to sip water will lessen your symptoms later.
Likewise, research shows that while alcohol leads to neurodegeneration, applying CBD to your skin may reduce this brain fog by up to 50%. Further studies reveal that the compound can also improve your concentration after drinking by interacting with the dopamine receptors that impact memory and focus.
2. Quells Nausea
CBD acts as an antiemetic, which means that it helps reduce the physical sensations of nausea and vomiting. Take some after a long night out, and you’re less likely to feel queasy the next day.
3. Prevents Anxiety and Depression
A night out drinking can increase your brain’s cortisol levels. CBD acts with your serotonin receptors to slow down your cortisol response and restore a feeling of emotional balance.
If you’re stressed during a hangover, CBD can relax your mind so you recover faster.
4. Fights Free Radical Damage
The body is in rough shape after an evening out, and it needs a serious nutrition boost. As CBD is a powerful antioxidant, it can help put vitamins back into your system and flush out toxins like acetaldehyde to reduce free radical damage from the alcohol.
5. Counteracts Fatigue
It’s natural to feel sluggish after heavy drinking. CBD may give you a boost of energy to get back on track. Cannabidiol interacts with your system on a cellular level to bring it back into equilibrium so that you start to recover and get back to baseline faster.
The Best Types of CBD Products for Hangovers
While CBD can help with hangovers, the way you take it will make a significant difference in how well it addresses your symptoms. The three best methods for taking CBD for hangovers include oils, nasal inhalers, and ingesting it through gummies or other edibles.
CBD oil can come in vials or as roll-ons for applying it directly to your skin. Roll-ons work well if you have localized pain in one part of your body, such as a sore lower back. You can administer the oil directly where you need it for targeted relief, but it might take a long time for the oil to absorb into your bloodstream to the point you notice the effects.
Consider CBD oils if: You want portable CBD treatments that can target specific parts of the body.
One of the most common ways to take CBD today is by ingesting it within gummies or other edible products. Some people take it as tinctures that they add to drinks or apply directly under their tongue. It usually takes 45 minutes or longer for the effects to kick in, but you’re likely to experience them for several hours after.
While these treats make medicating yourself feel like indulging in candy, they offer the lowest bioavailability of all CBD delivery forms. CBD is fat-soluble, which makes it challenging for your body to absorb. The bioavailability averages between 6-19%, which means that most of the CBD leaves your system as waste.
Consider CBD edibles if: you want a mild, long-lasting effect (and the idea of eating something doesn’t make you feel nauseous).
CBD Nasal Inhalers
Nasal inhalers offer one of the fastest ways to get cannabinoids into your system, as they can achieve maximum concentration of CBD in your blood within ten minutes or less.
Unlike vaping, which relies on heat, nasal inhalers use propellants to get the CBD into your system. This means there’s zero risk of harmful side effects like scorched lungs or other heat-induced irritation.
CBD nasal inhaler brands vary in quality and concentration. Many require you to purchase an inhaler separately to use the canisters. If you want an all-in-one system, the BoomBoom CBD nasal inhaler contains all-natural ingredients like a proprietary blend of organic peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and spearmint oil with organically-grown broad-spectrum CBD from Colorado.
These discrete inhalers give you a convenient way to use CBD on demand. You can pull one out whenever your hangover symptoms start to feel overwhelming and experience almost immediate relief without anyone knowing what you are doing.
Consider CBD nasal inhalers if: you want a portable, discrete way to administer CBD for quick results.
How to Determine the Right Dosage
The best way to get hangover relief through CBD is to make sure you take the correct dose. Fail to take in enough, and you may not notice any improvements in your symptoms. But, take too much, and you could exacerbate your hangover by triggering lethargy, irritability, and even headaches.
Now here’s the tricky part—everyone reacts differently to CBD. Five mg for one user might have the effect of 25mg for another. It’s best to track your personal usage so you get a sense of your most effective dose. If you’re new to CBD, seek out products with relatively low potency from brands that are transparent about precisely how much of the active ingredient comes in each dose. Err on the side of using too little at first and slowly increase your usage over time.
Will taking CBD after drinking alcohol prevent a hangover? Sadly, this compound (or anything else) isn’t likely to completely eliminate your hangover symptoms, no matter how much you take. The only way to avoid hangovers altogether is to not drink alcohol in the first place. The best strategy is drinking smart and treating yourself soon after. This means pacing yourself, staying hydrated, and avoiding drinking on an empty stomach.
If you follow these common-sense measures with CBD, then there’s a strong probability that you can avoid the worst hangover symptoms and recover faster so you can move forward with your day. That’s good news we all can drink to.
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.