A hangover can seem like a punishment for having a good time, but it’s usually just the body’s response to imbalances like dehydration, inflammation, or inadequate sleep. Either way, those desperate to cure their hangover may wonder—is CBD good for hangovers? And if so, what’s the best CBD hangover management method?
Unfortunately, there’s no solid medical proof to prove that CBD can cure a hangover, but many anecdotal reports suggest that it could help with some of the uncomfortable side effects.
Some people have reported that CBD (in combination with adequate sleep, nutrition, and hydration) can even help prevent a hangover from happening. Here’s why it may work:Homeostasis vs Hangovers
CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the regulatory system tasked with maintaining homeostasis in the body. When the body is in homeostasis, everything is functioning as it should. That means that the body’s temperature and metabolism is regulated, the body is properly hydrated, and internal inflammation is within normal range.
Unfortunately, alcohol consumption can really throw these things out of whack, which can lead to a slew of uncomfortable symptoms the next day. Because alcohol is recognized by the body as a toxin, consuming it can initiate the detoxifying process, which excites inflammatory pathways and causes symptoms like headaches, upset stomach, and more.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that the key signs of a hangover generally include nausea, dehydration, low blood sugar, anxiety, fatigue, a lowered immunity, and more.
To reiterate, there is no proof that CBD cures hangovers, but it’s possible that it may help with some of the symptoms associated with a hangover. There are some areas where CBD may be helpful, and others where CBD may have little to no impact. Understanding the two can help you better target your hangover from all angles.
As we mentioned, there are some hangover symptoms that could benefit from a dose of CBD. Here are some areas where CBD hangover management may be a useful tactic:
Some evidence suggests that CBD has anti-inflammatory benefits, which is why it may help with pain due to injury or muscle fatigue or even inflammatory headaches. This could be useful after alcohol consumption when the body begins the inflammatory detox process. Some people suggest that CBD is good for managing headaches, while others claim that CBD is their go to for calming muscle fatigue after a long night out.
It’s not uncommon to wake up feeling a little foggy after a booze-filled night, but some evidence suggests that CBD may help. One study suggests that “CBD reduces alcohol-related brain damage, preventing neuronal loss by its antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties,” which could help mediate the foggy feeling you have when you’re hungover. The same study found that CBD may reduce liver fibrosis or other negative impacts due to alcohol intake.
When you drink alcohol, your blood sugar spikes immediately. Typically the body would excrete insulin to help keep blood sugar in check, but alcohol actually inhibits the secretion of insulin, which allows glucose in the blood to go unchecked.
CBD has not been proven to have any direct impact on the blood sugar in cases of alcohol consumption, but one study found CBD may have an ability to reduce insulin resistance and moderating blood sugars for people with type 2 who are not taking insulin.
Blood sugar regulation and other regulatory factors that impact your hangover are also regulated by the Endocannabinoid System when it attempts to maintain homeostasis. Outside of CBD’s potential impact on stabilizing blood sugar levels while consuming alcohol, CBD may help create a more balanced ECS, which may in turn help the body quickly return to normal after alcohol consumption.
It’s no secret that feeling nauseous and vomiting are the most common (and perhaps the most unwelcomed) symptoms of a hangover. One study found that CBD interacts with the CB1 receptors in a manner that may help suppress the nausea and vomiting response. This may be why many people turn to CBD as an antiemetic option for controlling vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Alcohol consumption can stimulate the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can have a major impact on things like digestion, reproductive functions, mental health, immunity, and more.
Most significantly in the short term, cortisol can increase anxiety and negatively impact mood and potentially inhibit the body’s ability to heal and regenerate after alcohol use.
Some research suggests that CBD may help keep cortisol in check by reducing secretion, which means it may be useful when taken in advance. One study found that those who took regular doses of CBD had lower levels of cortisol, which was linked to improved sleep. Taking a dose of CBD in the evening after drinking could help reduce cortisol levels in the blood, reducing stress and improving sleep.
CBD’s impact on cortisol could be why many people find CBD to have a calming effect.
As alcohol is broken down in the liver, it transforms into a toxic compound called acetaldehyde, a known carcinogen. That’s not to mention other free radicals and toxic compounds that circulate your system as a result of alcohol consumption. According to research, CBD is a powerful antioxidant (potentially even more powerful than vitamin C) that can help flush out toxins and prevent free radical damage.
Despite CBD’s lengthy list of wellness benefits, there are some steps to hangover prevention where you just can’t cut corners. Here are some things to consider:
Alcohol is a known diuretic, which is why you may find yourself running to the bathroom frequently after you break the proverbial seal. Alcoholic beverages are not usually very hydrating, which means that it’s easy to get pretty dehydrated in just one afternoon of drinking.
Consuming diuretics can be tricky and misleading. Your urine may appear to be clear, which typically means you are well hydrated. In reality, the alcohol is actually flushing all of the extra water from your body, which is going to leave you feeling pretty depleted the next day.
Unfortunately, CBD won’t rehydrate your body. That part you’ll need to do on your own, and it’s pretty important. Having a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks can seem like a daunting task, but it may really help you avoid some of the symptoms that come along with dehydration the next day, like dizziness, confusion, muscle fatigue, and headaches.
Just drinking water without replacing your electrolytes is usually not enough on it’s own, and you may find that you still feel dehydrated even after drinking plenty of water.
Consider drinking an electrolyte beverage at the end of the night when you’re finished drinking alcohol, and you may even have another in the morning when you wake up. All that urination is likely to deplete all of your body’s water storage and your electrolyte stores, which can make the symptoms of dehydration even worse.
CBD can’t help much in this department either, but (as we mentioned earlier) it’s possible that it may help reduce some of the muscle fatigue and soreness you feel as a result of an electrolyte imbalance.
Getting enough sleep is essential to allowing the body to process the alcohol and the various toxic byproducts it produces. While some research suggests that CBD may help improve your sleep, you still need to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to rest.
Often when we drink alcohol, we stay out drinking into the early morning hours. It’s fine to stay out late, but make sure that you have plenty of time to sleep in the next morning.
The amount of time you need to sleep will vary based on your unique needs, but many sources suggest that we need between 6 and 8 hours for optimal healing and regeneration.
Now that we’ve discussed how CBD may help manage some of the symptoms of a hangover, let’s discuss another popular topic—can CBD prevent hangovers?
Obviously, preventing a hangover from ever happening is a better option than managing the symptoms after they arrive. While many people have claimed success in using CBD to prevent a hangover, it’s not as simple as taking a one-off dose before you pour yourself a drink.
Instead, we need to consider howCBD may help prevent hangovers, and then we’ll discuss how to use CBD to possibly prevent hangover symptoms below.
Again, there isn’t any evidence to explain why CBD may prevent hangovers, but we can assume that it probably has to do with the way that CBD promotes balance within the Endocannabinoid System.
Because the Endocannabinoid System controls many of the symptoms you may experience during a hangover, it’s fair to say that a well-regulated ECS may experience fewer symptoms. The catch is that CBD needs to be taken regularly to be most effective. Of course, a single dose may also help reduce some symptoms, as we mentioned above.
If you really want to reduce or prevent a hangover, consider the following tips:
When people learn that CBD may help manage or prevent hangovers, they ask a seemingly obvious question: Can I mix alcohol with CBD?
There’s not much research to evaluate the impact of CBD when mixed with alcohol, and some CBD-infused cocktails have made their way onto the hemp market. In general, it’s likely fine to take CBD with alcohol, but keep in mind that the two could increase each other’s effects.
As we mentioned, taking CBD daily is the best way to help mediate hangovers when you consume alcohol, so it may be best to find a multipurpose CBD dose that you can easily fit into your regular wellness routine.
Hangover symptoms vary for everyone, and some people experience more severe symptoms than others. CBD won’t outright cure a hangover, but it still could be an invaluable part of your wellness routine used to prevent the nasty side effects of drinking alcohol.
CBD has many positive effects besides potentially managing a hangover, so fitting it into your daily routine could benefit you in many other ways. Here’s what we suggest:
The type of CBD product you use for hangover prevention doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the product you buy. However, some products are better suited for everyday use, while other dosing methods may be more effective when fast relief is needed.
For fast-acting management doses, consider a CBD Tincture Oil or CBD + Vitamin C Chews.Both of these methods offer the benefits of sublingual absorption, which means they can provide CBD relief in 30 minutes or less.
Explore these CBD dosing methods and more in our Vitality CBD Collection, a selection of products designed to optimize your daily wellness routine and support an optimal life.
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