What You Should Know About Mixing CBD and Alcohol - GoodRx (2023)

Key takeaways:

  • The science isn’t clear on what exactly happens when CBD and alcohol are used together.

  • The FDA warns that mixing cannabidiol (CBD) and alcohol can cause increased sedation. But other small studies show no change in effects when the two were combined.

  • There’s some evidence that CBD could help treat alcohol use disorder by reducing inflammation, liver damage, and alcohol cravings.

What You Should Know About Mixing CBD and Alcohol - GoodRx (1)

Cannabidiol, often referred to as CBD, is gaining popularity in America. More and more people are turning to this cannabis compound for its potential health benefits, like improving sleep or reducing anxiety.

Although CBD is showing up in more Americans’ medicine cabinets, there’s still a lot researchers don’t know about it. This includes what other substances you may or may not be able to mix CBD with. And alcohol is no exception.

If you’ve started using CBD, is it OK to have a few beers with friends? Or a glass of wine after work? And what happens if you do?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the active compounds of the cannabis plant. CBD has many potential health benefits. There’s growing evidence that CBD may reduce anxiety, fight inflammation, and act as a pain reliever. CBD also lacks the intoxicating side effects of other cannabis compounds, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD is available over the counter (OTC) in many different forms. Some of the most common are:

  • Capsules or gummies

  • Sublingual (under the tongue) liquids

  • Topical lotions or cosmetics

  • Dried flower that can be vaped or smoked

Keep in mind that CBD sold OTC can only legally contain less than 0.3% THC, as instructed by the FDA. These products will affect you differently depending on how they’re used. For example, CBD cosmetics applied to your skin are unlikely to be absorbed into the body. They only work on the area of the skin to which they’re applied. However, eating or inhaling CBD will affect your brain as well as your body. Inhaled CBD will also usually work faster than CBD products you swallow.

What happens when you mix CBD and alcohol?

Honestly, we’re still not sure what happens when you mix alcohol and CBD. It’s true that the recent legal change that allowed CBD to be sold OTC has made it much more accessible to people — but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.

When it comes to alcohol and CBD, there’s currently some disagreement about how these two substances mix. The FDA warns that you can become dangerously drowsy if you drink alcohol white taking CBD. This can lead to accidents, especially when driving, operating machinery, or taking part in water-based activities.

But other scientists claim that we don’t currently know how these two drugs interact. There are only two human studies looking at the interaction between CBD and alcohol. They were both conducted in 1979 on very small groups of people (10 to 15 people). Both showed no change in effects when people were given a combination of CBD and alcohol versus alcohol alone.

CBD’s effects on alcohol

Scientists do not know exactly how CBD affects alcohol when humans consume both substances. One clinical trial found that when 200 mg of CBD was taken at the same time as alcohol, it reduced blood alcohol levels. This did not happen when a different dose of CBD was given 1 hour before alcohol in another study. It’s important to note that the level of impairment remained the same in both studies. CBD did not appear to lessen alcohol’s effects when they were given together. So no clear conclusion can be drawn from this information.

Alcohol’s effects on CBD

As mentioned, the FDA warns that alcohol may worsen sedation and drowsiness when combined with CBD. The makers of Epidiolex (cannabidiol), the only FDA-approved prescription CBD medication, also warn that mixing CBD with alcohol can cause increased sleepiness.

There’s also some evidence that excessive alcohol use affects our body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). This biological system is found in all of our organs and helps balance our body functions. CBD works in our body by interacting with the ECS. Alcohol may reduce the amount of ECS receptors in our brains, which can limit CBD’s effect on your body.

What side effects can you expect when you mix CBD and alcohol?

CBD and alcohol share many similar side effects. Both substances can cause drowsiness, diarrhea, and liver abnormalities. Consuming both of these substances together may increase the risk of these side effects.

How long should I wait after taking CBD to drink alcohol?

There’s no scientific consensus on how long you should wait to drink alcohol after taking CBD. Until we know more, it might be best to avoid combining them altogether. Keep in mind that inhaled CBD only stays in your system for a couple of hours, but oral forms of CBD can last for 6 hours or more.

If you choose to consume alcohol and CBD together, it’s best to do so cautiously. Don’t drive or participate in activities that may be dangerous if you’re feeling drowsy, like cooking or water sports.

What about CBD and alcohol use disorder?

CBD is actively being researched as a possible treatment for people with alcohol use disorder. In this case, CBD is used to help people reduce and eventually stop consuming alcohol.

There’s some evidence that CBD may:

A lot of conversation around CBD and alcohol use centers around the idea of harm reduction. This is the idea that even though CBD may still have risks, it may be less harmful to the body than alcohol.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't try to replace alcohol with CBD on your own. This is something you should talk to a healthcare provider about first.

The bottom line

We don’t fully understand how mixing CBD and alcohol affects our bodies. It’s best to avoid the combination when possible. If you do take them together, do so with caution. They can both cause drowsiness and have a possibility of liver damage at high doses. There’s emerging evidence that CBD may help protect against the physical effects of alcohol use disorder. It may also reduce alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms, but more research is needed in this area.


Balachandran, P. (2021). Cannabidiol interactions with medications, illicit substances, and alcohol: A comprehensive review. Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Belgrave, B. E., et al. ( 1979). The effect of cannabidiol, alone and in combination with ethanol, on human performance. Psychopharmacology.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Drowsy driving: Asleep at the wheel.

Chung, T., et al. (2019). Cannabis and alcohol: from basic science to public policy. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research.

Consroe, P., et al. (1979). Interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans. Psychopharmacology.

Hamelink, C., et al. (2005). Comparison of cannabidiol, antioxidants, and diuretics in reversing binge ethanol-induced neurotoxicity. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Huestis, M. A., et al. (2019). Cannabidiol adverse effects and toxicity. Current Neuropharmacology.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals. (2020). Epidiolex [package insert].

Lowe, H., et al. (2021). The endocannabinoid system: A potential target for the treatment of various diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Lucas, C. J., et al. (2018). The pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

National Harm Reduction Coalition. (n.d.). Principles of harm reduction.

Nona, C. N., et al. (2019). Effects of cannabidiol on alcohol-related outcomes: A review of preclinical and human research. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Patel, P. M., et al. (2021). Safety and sourcing of topical cannabinoids: Many questions, few answers. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

Ternay, J. D., et al. (2019). Therapeutic prospects of cannabidiol for alcohol use disorder and alcohol-related damages on the liver and brain. Frontiers in Pharmacology.

Turna, J., et al. (2019). Cannabidiol as a novel candidate alcohol use disorder pharmacotherapy: A systematic review. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research.

United Kingdom National Health Service. (2022). Risks-Alcohol misuse.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020). What you need to know (and what we’re working to find out) about products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021). Better data for a better understanding of the use and safety profile of cannabidiol (CBD) products.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021). FDA regulation of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD).

Wolfe, S. A., et al. (2022). The synaptic interactions of alcohol and the endogenous cannabinoid System. Alcohol Reviews.

GoodRx Health has strict sourcing policies and relies on primary sources such as medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, thorough, and unbiased by reading our editorial guidelines.

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What happens if you mix CBD with alcohol? ›

What side effects can you expect when you mix CBD and alcohol? CBD and alcohol share many similar side effects. Both substances can cause drowsiness, diarrhea, and liver abnormalities. Consuming both of these substances together may increase the risk of these side effects.

Do CBD drinks have the same effect as alcohol? ›

Sipping a CBD drink can give you the same sense of 'relief' you get from drinking alcohol, without the negative side effects. Say goodbye to hangxiety and hello to happy days!

Can you mix CBD in drinks? ›

Can you add CBD Oil to hot or cold drinks? Yes, you can add CBD oil to hot and cold drinks and it won't impact its effects. As a rule of thumb, if the temperature is safe for you to drink, it's safe for CBD. If you want to add CBD oil to your morning tea or coffee, just wait until it's finished brewing.

What happens if you drink too many CBD drinks? ›

The general consensus among professionals and even the World Health Organization, is that in even in extremely large doses, CBD is likely to cause extreme drowsiness, lethargy, upset stomach, nausea and diarrhoea and other unpleasant, disorienting side effects, not death.

How long after taking CBD can you drink alcohol? ›

You should avoid drinking alcohol for at least four hours after taking CBD. This gives your body time to process and absorb the CBD. CBD and alcohol may amplify each other's effects. Taking CBD with alcohol may make you feel more intoxicated than taking either substance alone.

Can I take CBD before drinking? ›

If you are taking CBD oil, it is advisable to wait at least four hours after your last dose before consuming alcohol. This will give the CBD time to leave your system and will help to reduce the chances of any adverse side effects.

What are the pros and cons of CBD drinks? ›

Pros: It is easy to drink, needs no extra preparation. Cons: Most brands include minimal levels of CBD (2-5 mg) in their water. For it to be beneficial for the body, studies suggest a person needs to have at least 15 mg CBD every day (approximately).

How long should I wait to eat or drink after taking CBD oil? ›

Even if you consume sublingual CBD oil, there's no need to wait at least an hour before drinking water afterward. It's okay to wash what's left down with water as long as you've given the CBD oil some time to sit beneath your tongue for between 30 and 60 seconds.

Why add CBD to cocktail? ›

Incorporating CBD in your favorite cocktail enhances its flavor and increases the feel-good effect of the drink. Cocktails spiked with CBD also melt away stress and symptoms of depression. Another good thing about this alcoholic drink is that it won't give you a hangover.

What Cannot be mixed with CBD? ›

CBD has been reported to interact with several anticonvulsants, including diazepam, lamotrigine, and phenytoin28,29; sedative drugs including barbiturates such as phenobarbital and hexobarbital30; and narcotics such as codeine and morphine.

How much CBD can you drink in a day? ›

Studies show doses up to 1,500 milligrams a day have been well-tolerated, but every person is different. Ingesting too much CBD can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, drowsiness, lightheadedness and general disorientation.

How much CBD should a beginner start with? ›

"The best practice and the industry standard for dosing is to guide new CBD users to 'start low and go slow. ' This means starting at a dose of 10mg and slowly titrating up as needed by increasing the dose in 5mg increments every 2 to 3 days," says Capano.

How does CBD in drinks make you feel? ›

CBD drinks may help you relax, and improve your mood and energy levels. They also may be able to help with symptoms like chronic pain or inflammation. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, so it won't get you high when added to beverages.

How do you sober up from CBD? ›

Here are eight ways to help you sober up safely.
  1. Watch your dose and potency. ...
  2. Give it time. ...
  3. Stay calm and use relaxation. ...
  4. Find a distraction. ...
  5. Drink water, but avoid coffee and beer. ...
  6. Avoid other substance use and folk remedies. ...
  7. Use a safety plan. ...
  8. Seek out professional assistance.
Aug 17, 2021

Is CBD healthier than alcohol? ›

The effects of CBD seem to be safer than alcohol, as alcohol is renowned for its various harmful effects. However, they do share a couple of similarities in terms of relaxing qualities. Some people tend to reach for an alcoholic drink when they are feeling uncomfortable in a social situation.

How long do the effects of CBD drinks last? ›

How long do the effects last? Again, it all depends on your body, how much you take, and how you take it. But generally, the effects of CBD can last from 2 to 6 hours.

Is CBD better than alcohol for sleep? ›

Again, research into cannabis and sleep is in its infancy, but a 2017 review of studies by researchers at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California found that CBD may help treat insomnia, while THC, like booze, may help you fall asleep faster but can lead to disturbances later on.

Should I take CBD during the day or night? ›

There's no wrong or right time to take CBD. You can take it in the AM without worrying it might make you feel drowsy, or in the PM without any fear of a sleepless night. Because the reasons for trying CBD are unique to each individual, it's not going to throw your routine off course.

When should you drink CBD drinks? ›

CBD DRINKS are great if you're looking for something a little more social to help relax and unwind. Incorporate them into your daily routine, whether that's post-gym, as mid-morning pick me-up or as an evening release instead of a glass of wine.

What are the negative things about CBD? ›

Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

What is negative about CBD? ›

Potential risks and harms associated with CBD use include adverse drug interactions, liver toxicity, and reproductive and developmental effects. Delta-9 THC or delta-9 THC-contaminated products may be sold as CBD.

When shouldn t you take CBD? ›

People considering or taking CBD products should always mention their use to their doctor, particularly if they are taking other medications or have underlying medical conditions, such as liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart issues, a weakened immune system, or are on medications that can weaken the immune ...

Do you sleep a lot after taking CBD? ›

Fatigue: Fatigue is a common side-effect of introducing CBD into your lifestyle. CBD relaxes muscles, relieves pain, and even helps minimize anxiety, so you'll likely feel incredibly relaxed and even tired. Not to worry, though.

Should I drive after taking CBD? ›

Caution using CBD while driving

Although the new study suggests that CBD is unlikely to impair driving through intoxication, some people taking CBD can experience drowsiness , which might affect their driving ability.

Can you sleep after taking CBD? ›

while cbd oil does not have sedative effects on the body, it is calming and relaxing, and it is absolutely possible for somebody to mistake that as feeling tired. it is also possible for those effects to result in a person feeling more readily able to fall asleep.

How many CBD drinks should you drink? ›

The Food Standards Agency advises a limit of 70mg daily, although regular users consume between 100-200mg.

What is the strongest way to consume CBD? ›

As soon as you dose up, there is only a 15 to 20 minute onset time before its effects are experienced throughout the body. Most Efficient Method of Consumption - Sublingually-administered CBD is the most direct and efficient form of CBD consumption, having the highest and fastest absorption rate of cannabidiol.

Does CBD help with arthritis? ›

Anecdotally, some people with arthritis who have tried CBD report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement and/or anxiety reduction. However, like any medication for arthritis, some people do not report any symptom improvements when taking CBD.

Can I take CBD with ibuprofen? ›

Yes, you can take ibuprofen and CBD oil together. However, it is important to note that ibuprofen can increase the effects of CBD, so it is best to start with a lower dose of CBD oil when taking ibuprofen.

Can CBD lower heart rate? ›

CBD also has a slight positive effect on WHOOP members' resting heart rate and heart rate variability, with average HRV rising by 1.3 milliseconds and average RHR dropping by 1 beat per minute. And while the difference is negligible, next-day recovery is 0.22% higher on average.

What is a high CBD percentage? ›

When looking at a strain's cannabinoid content, it is quite common to find a THC content ranging from around 12 – 25 percent, with anything at 20 or more being considered very strong. This is not the case when it comes to CBD; any CBD content level that is 4 percent or higher is considered a high CBD strain.

Is 40 mg of CBD a day too much? ›

You can take 40 mg on days when you're in a lot of pain. After a week, you increase it to 45 mg, and after a second week, you use 50 mg. At this point, you might feel that your pain is bearable. It might be wise to keep track of how much CBD you're taking and whether your symptoms are getting better.

How much CBD is safe in 24 hours? ›

Due to its varied uses, there's a wide range of dosage recommendations. A 2017 review of research showed that humans can safely tolerate up to 1,500 mg per day. For reference, typical 1 ounce bottles of CBD oil contain from 300 to 1,500 mg.

Is 25mg of CBD gummy strong? ›

It's not too much and it's not too little. A 25mg dose of CBD is what you get with Pure Craft CBD softgels. This can be a good dose for beginners interested in the potential wellness benefits of CBD. It's a relatively low dose (though you can go lower!) but many people still find that it offers relief from symptoms.

What is a good CBD strength to start with? ›

1mL serving has 6.67mg CBD. This is a CBD potency of 6.67%. Typically, experts consider oil under 10% CBD low potency. It's wise to start with the lowest possible dose whenever you start a new supplement or compound.

Is 10mg of CBD a day enough? ›

Unless your doctor recommends a specific dose, start by taking 10 to 20 mg a day. Take this for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated and that you don't experience any unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.

What is the fastest way to feel effects of CBD? ›

Sublingual products

Letting the product absorb under your tongue rather than subjecting it to the digestive tract preserves more of the CBD, and you'll feel results faster. Sublingual products take effect faster than edible products. Choose this route if you're looking for quicker results.

Do CBD drinks actually relax you? ›

Many people use CBD to boost their mood and help to put their minds at ease. Research shows CBD can help people to relax and feel more at ease. Whether you want a new alcohol-free beverage to dance the night away or a daily dose to help chill out, CBD drinks should be on your menu.

What is a CBD cocktail? ›

CBD cocktails are alcoholic beverages containing cannabidiol – or CBD for short. CBD is a compound in cannabis plants that has gained increased popularity over the years due to its impact on anxiety, pain, insomnia, and more.

What to do when high alone at night? ›

You can go for a night stroll in your neighborhood and see sights you've likely never known to exist. Even something as simple as sitting on a park bench and watching people walk by can be tranquil and peaceful. If you live near the ocean, take time to listen to the waves crash into the shore.

How long does it take to flush out CBD? ›

Since it takes approximately five half-lives to completely eliminate a drug from the human body, it's likely that CBD stays in the system for about 85 hours, or about 3.5 days” says Dr. Johnson-Arbor.

How much CBD should I take for recovery? ›

One rule of thumb is 1-6 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight based on pain levels. Another is to start with 5-10mg per day and increase by 5-10mg until you feel relief.

Does CBD dissolve in alcohol? ›

Basically CBD is soluble in alcohol as well as in CO₂. Therefore both substances are generally suitable for dissolving the contained cannabidiol from the plant material.

What happens when you drink CBD? ›

Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

Can CBD help hangovers? ›

CBD may be able to help with headaches, inflammation, nausea, and vomiting for some people. But it may also cause some side effects like nausea and fatigue, which isn't ideal if you have a hangover. Recovering from a hangover is often best done by hydrating, getting rest, and filling up on a hearty meal.

How is CBD infused in drinks? ›

CBD drinks are made with CBD oil extracted from cannabis plants. The oil is then mixed with water or another beverage to create a drinkable solution. CBD drinks are available in a variety of flavors, and they can be enjoyed hot or cold.

How will a CBD drink make me feel? ›

Drinking CBD-infused drinks can help you find balance in your life, allowing you to relax and unwind. People say they experience pain relief, feel more mellow, and more comfortable after consuming CBD. Cannabis beverages have been gaining in popularity since cannabidiol (CBD) became legal.

Can you infuse alcohol with CBD? ›

Selling CBD-infused beer and alcoholic beverages is not currently legal in the U.S., according to the FDA, but you can still combine these ingredients yourself. All you need to do is purchase a CBD oil, tincture or isolate powder and then mix it into an alcoholic beverage.

How much CBD is safe to drink? ›

Studies show doses up to 1,500 milligrams a day have been well-tolerated, but every person is different. Ingesting too much CBD can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, drowsiness, lightheadedness and general disorientation.

What drugs should not be taken with CBD? ›

CBD has been reported to interact with several anticonvulsants, including diazepam, lamotrigine, and phenytoin28,29; sedative drugs including barbiturates such as phenobarbital and hexobarbital30; and narcotics such as codeine and morphine.

What is best for alcohol hangover? ›

  • Fill your water bottle. Sip water or fruit juice to prevent dehydration. ...
  • Have a snack. Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach. ...
  • Take a pain reliever. A standard dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever may ease your headache. ...
  • Go back to bed.
Dec 16, 2017

What does a CBD hangover feel like? ›

It's a good idea to start with a low dosage so you can determine your own levels of tolerance. Classic symptoms of a weed hangover are fatigue, brain fog, mild nausea, headaches, and dry eyes. Cannabis hangovers rarely last more than a few hours.


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