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How to use cbd oil for alcoholism

CBD for Alcoholism – June 2022

A 2018 study found in the journal Addiction Biology stated that the use of CBD might be promising in treating alcohol use disorders (4) .

The research conducted on rodents revealed that CBD reduced alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced relapse in the test subjects.

Another study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology reported that CBD might have positive effects on rodents with alcohol and cocaine self-administration histories (5) .

In the study, the researchers found that CBD reduced drug-seeking without sedative effects, tolerance, or interference with normal motivated behavior.

The authors also observed that CBD attenuated anxiety and prevented high impulsivity in rats with a history of alcohol dependence.

The researchers concluded that CBD might be promising in relapse prevention. While the CBD administration was only for a week, the test subjects felt the positive effects for five months.

A 2019 review of preclinical and human research suggested that CBD might reduce alcohol consumption and protect against the harmful effects of alcohol, like liver and brain damage (6) .

A study found in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology outlined CBD’s purported protection against alcohol-related liver and brain damage in animal models (7) .

According to the researchers, CBD’s supposed liver-protective properties include contributing to the reduction of lipid (fat) accumulation, modulation of inflammation, attenuation of oxidative stress, and induction of the death of activated hepatic stellate cells.

Hepatic stellate cells help the liver respond to injuries and heal damages (8) . Their activation may lead to hepatic fibrosis, the excessive wound-healing that can result in the buildup of connective tissues (9) .

The study also reported that CBD prevented the loss of neurons ( brain cells ) through its antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects (10) .

A systematic review was conducted on eight rodent studies, three human research literature, and one study using cell culture to evaluate CBD’s potential as a therapy for alcohol use disorder (11) .

In the studies involving mice and cell culture, the researchers observed that CBD exhibited neuroprotective properties against alcohol damages on the hippocampus.

They also noted that CBD reduced alcohol-induced liver damage and steatosis in rodent models . Steatosis is the retention of lipids in the liver, which could be detrimental to one’s health.

The researchers reported that CBD reduced alcohol self-administration, withdrawal-induced convulsions, alcohol-seeking, and impulsive discounting of delayed rewards in the mice test subjects. They concluded that CBD is well-tolerated in humans.

While most of the studies were done on animal models, the findings are useful for future studies and clinical trials on humans.

How CBD Oil Works to Alleviate Symptoms of Alcoholism

In a 2018 animal study, increasing doses of CBD (30, 60, and 120mg of CBD per kilogram of the test subjects’ weight) were given to mice to assess the effects on the animals’ motivation to drink alcohol. The mice had to press a lever to get access to 36ml of ethanol (12) .

According to the researchers, this method was useful in evaluating motivation to drink alcohol because the test subjects had to exert effort (press the lever) to be able to consume alcohol.

The researchers found that CBD administration decreased alcohol preference (from 75% to 55%) and intake (from 6g of pure ethanol per kilogram of the test subjects’ body weight daily to 3.5g of ethanol per kilogram of the mice’s weight every day).

Even when the researchers increased the requirement to get alcohol to three lever presses, they observed that CBD administration reduced the active lever presses.

The researchers believe that these CBD-induced effects are associated with changes in the gene expression of critical targets closely related to alcohol use disorder.

Among the key targets are the endocannabinoid system ’s (ECS) cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1 receptor) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2 receptor).

The authors noted that a single administration of CBD when the test subjects were taking alcohol decreased the expression of CB1 receptor in the brain and increased CB2 receptor expression.

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for several body functions, including memory, pain perception, appetite, and mood (13) .

Cannabinoids, or compounds that help the ECS with these vital functions, interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CBD may help with specific alcohol withdrawal symptoms . These disorders include anxiety, nausea and vomiting, and insomnia (14) .

Recent studies have reported that CBD might be anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing).

A study done on mice has shown CBD’s anxiety-reducing and antidepressant properties (15) .

Another study in 2019 concluded that CBD might have a calming effect on the nervous system. Results showed the substance reduced anxiety disorder and improved sleep (16) .

CBD may also help with nausea and vomiting because of its antiemetic (nausea-reducing) properties (17) .

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Alcoholism

The Pros
  • Human and animal studies have shown the potential benefits of CBD in treating alcohol abuse .
  • CBD has a favorable safety profile (18) . Hence, it may be used safely for alcohol addiction.
  • There is no record of drug addiction to CBD (19) . Hence, substance abuse of CBD is highly unlikely.
  • CBD may be useful in treating some hangover symptoms, like nausea (20) . Thus, CBD may benefit those who want to stop drinking.
The Cons
  • More research on CBD and human alcoholism is warranted.
  • Researchers have reported the side effects of CBD , including tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in weight or appetite (21) .
  • CBD as a treatment option for binge-drinking and alcoholism has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
  • A study showed that CBD mixed with alcohol did not have significant interactions (22) . However, combining the two substances is still not recommended until further research has been conducted.

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Alcoholism

Chamomile tea is being used for its benefits on addiction recovery. The herb may help with the insomnia of people in recovery (23) .

Dandelions may also be useful as an herbal remedy because they are believed to be good for liver detoxification. However, it may have harmful side effects, such as worsening of acid indigestion symptoms and specific allergic reactions (24) .

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Similar to chamomile tea, CBD may have health benefits that are good for sleep (25) .

Compared with dandelions, CBD also has therapeutic properties that may help the liver. A study found in the British Journal of Pharmacology reported that CBD restored liver function in mice models (26) .

CBD is generally safe to use (27) . Hence, it may be used for individuals who are attending rehabilitation programs for their alcoholism.

How to Choose the Right CBD for Alcoholism

There are three types of CBD oils to choose from, namely, full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the phytocannabinoids from the Cannabis sativa plant, including less than 0.30% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and essential oils.

CBD products under this type are believed to be the most therapeutic because all the active ingredients synergize and create the entourage effect.

Still, they contain THC, which is the component of the cannabis plant that has mind-altering properties. Despite being available in trace amounts only, THC may be detected by some drug tests.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that marijuana (THC) use may precede abuse of other illicit substances, such as alcohol (28) . Hence, it may be best to avoid CBD products with THC.

Individuals diagnosed with alcoholism may use broad-spectrum CBD, which contains all the ingredients of a full-spectrum CBD product except THC. They may also use pure isolated cannabidiol, also known as CBD isolates.

CBD product prices may vary, depending on the hemp source and CBD potency.

High-quality CBD products, specifically non-GMO, certified organic, and hemp-derived CBD, may be more expensive than low-grade ones. However, buyers are advised to use high-quality products from trusted and credible manufacturers only.

Buyers should also research the extraction process used for the CBD products. They should avoid extraction methods that utilize harsh solvents.

Before buying a CBD product, buyers should check if the product has a certificate of analysis or lab reports verifying its contents and claims.

When purchasing CBD online, buyers are also encouraged to check reviews and read customer insights online. It is a good practice to countercheck if a CBD manufacturer, especially those without brick-and-mortar stores, has been authorized to sell CBD products.

CBD Dosage for Alcoholism

There is a lack of a standard dosage chart for CBD use in treating alcoholism. Individuals are advised to seek their healthcare provider ’s approval before adding CBD to their alcoholism therapy.

It is recommended to begin with low-dose CBD. If no adverse reactions are observed, individuals may work up to a larger dose until the desired effects are achieved.

It is encouraged to keep a journal to record one’s reactions to the substance.

How to Take CBD for Alcoholism

There are several ways to take CBD for alcoholism.

CBD may be ingested, as it is available in gelcaps, pills, capsules, gummies, and edibles.

CBD oil may be taken directly or mixed with food and beverages to mask CBD’s natural grassy taste.

CBD tinctures (drops) may also be applied under the tongue (sublingually) for added efficacy.

CBD topicals, like lotions, ointments, salves, and balms, are also an option. However, they may not be as effective for treating alcoholism.

CBD also comes in a vape pen format. However, recovering alcoholics should refrain from anything that could trigger an alcohol relapse. Vaping or smoking may be one of them (29) .

Vaping may also cause lung problems in some individuals (30) .

Understanding Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a serious health issue . It is classified as the most severe form of alcohol abuse involving an individual’s inability to manage their drinking habits (31) .

It is also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD). There are three AUD categories, including mild, moderate, and severe.

AUD should be treated as soon as possible, as an individual may spiral out of control.

Alcoholism may also affect one’s emotional and mental health. It may also take a toll on an individual’s quality of life and be detrimental to their personal and professional goals.

  • Inability to control alcohol consumption
  • Craving alcohol when an individual is not drinking
  • Neglecting personal responsibilities for alcohol
  • Feeling an insatiable need to drink more
  • Spending significant amounts of money on alcohol
  • Behaving differently after drinking
  • Relieving stress
  • A way to feel good
  • Coping with loss
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Filling a gap due to lack of connection
  • Masking shame
  • Treating unresolved trauma
  • Reduced brain activity
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Poor reflexes
  • Slow reaction time
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blurry vision
  • Restlessness
  • Brain defects
  • Neurobiological diseases, like Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Liver diseases
  • Heart problems
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Diabetes complications
  • Bone loss
  • Vision damage


CBD may have therapeutic benefits on alcoholism and the symptoms associated with it. Studies have shown that CBD has properties that may help lessen alcohol consumption and relapse in animal models.

CBD may also have promising effects on alcohol-related damage, such as neurodegeneration, brain damage, and liver injuries.

CBD’s profile may make it a safe option that could be added to the therapy of recovering alcoholics or individuals who are planning to treat their disorder under a doctor’s supervision .

CBD Oil and Alcohol

CBD stands for cannabidiol. 1 It is a popular cannabinoid found in cannabis plants (both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant), along with more than 80 other active chemical compounds like delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH).

Unlike TCH, however, CBD does not cause the same euphoric effects or the “high” that is associated with “smoking weed.” Instead, CBD has a number of calming and relaxing effects. It mellows you out without producing a high. 2

Here are some quick facts that you should know about CBD:

  • CBD is not marijuana. CBD is a single compound found in hemp and marijuana plants (which are cannabis plants part of the Cannabaceae family). Marijuana is a cannabis plant that is made up of a whole bunch of naturally occurring compounds, including CBD. 2
  • In humans, there is no evidence that CBD has the potential to become addictive. There is no evidence of any public health-related concerns associated with pure CBD use. 2
  • The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD product. It approved a prescription drug that treats seizures linked to Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) for people one year of age and up. 2
  • All 50 states have laws that legalize CBD. However, restrictions vary. 2
  • It is illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement. It’s also illegal to market it by adding it to food. That said, the government does not always enforce these laws. CBD is readily available across most of the country. It often comes in the form of oil. But it is also infused in baked goods and gummies, drinks like tea and coffee, and more. 2
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Benefits of CBD Oil

There are many reasons people use CBD oil and tinctures, although there are no FDA-approved indications other than that listed above. People who use CBD oil talk of the following benefits:

  • CBD oil is often used to treat the symptoms of anxiety. 8
  • CBD oil is used as a treatment for chronic pain in some patients. For example, studies suggest that CBD can prevent and treat inflammatory and neuropathic pain. 8
  • Some studies suggest that CBD oil can help treat insomnia. 8
  • Some studies show that CBD is effective in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). 8
  • Research suggests that CBD oil can help to relieve arthritis symptoms.

CBD oil may also help treat many other health conditions. Because it is a relatively new type of treatment, scientists are still studying the ways in which it can help.

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Potential Side Effects of CBD

As with anything, there are some potential side effects of CBD. 8 These include the following:

  • May cause nausea with or without vomiting
  • Because it can help relax you, fatigue can occur
  • May cause irritability
  • May increase your level of the blood thinner coumadin
  • May raise levels of some other medications in your blood
  • May affect how other drugs and medications affect you
  • May cause liver damage
  • May cause gastrointestinal distress (i.e., diarrhea)
  • May affect male fertility
  • May contain other unknown ingredients that can affect you

What Happens if You Mix CBD and Alcohol?

Some researchers believe that CBD can actually be helpful for people struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD). 9 In some animal studies, CBD has shown to reduce symptoms associated with addiction and withdrawal. Some research suggests that CBD helps people reduce their alcohol intake, prevents them from relapsing, and keeps them on a healthy track. 4

But you have to be careful about taking CBD if you drink alcohol at the same time. Using CBD and drinking alcohol may amplify the effects of both the CBD and the alcohol. Since both CBD and alcoholic beverages are depressants, their cumulative effects might significantly increase if you mix them. You might feel extra relaxed and release your inhibitions.

Research shows that, when you pair alcoholic drinks and CBD, it can lead to significant impairments of motor and psychomotor performances. It can also cause you to overestimate or lose track of time. While CBD alone does not produce these effects on your cognitive function, when you mix it with a beer or cocktail, it can.

Is The Mixture Dangerous?

Mixing CBD and alcohol might be dangerous since they can both enhance each other’s effects. For example, you put yourself at a greater risk of injury due to impairment if you are feeling extra fatigued from mixing CBD and alcohol. You may also feel less alert, which increases your risk of injury.

That said, there is not enough research on the effects of mixing alcohol and CBD to objectively say whether or not it is dangerous.

Side Effects of Mixing CBD and Alcohol

Again, there is not enough research done on humans to tell the side effects and interactions of mixing CBD and alcohol. All scientists know now is that CBD may be helpful in treating alcohol addiction and withdrawal. But it also shares some similar side effects of alcohol consumption, so you run the risk of amplifying them by mixing the two.

What About CBD Cocktails?

While there are a whole bunch of CBD cocktail recipes cropping up on food and drink blogs, mixing CBD into cocktails is not recommended. There is not enough research to confidently say that it is safe to mix CBD into cocktails.

Thinking about Getting Help?

Addiction specialists are available 24/7 to answer questions about costs, insurance, and payment options.

Are There Any Benefits of Mixing CBD and Alcohol?

Yes, there are some health benefits of mixing CBD and alcohol. Some studies show that CBD can have positive effects on people who struggle with alcohol abuse. 10 CBD has been shown to help people drink less and avoid relapsing after recovery. 4

CBD has also been shown to help reduce alcohol-induced hypothermia. There is also some science that suggests CBD may be helpful in lowering one’s blood alcohol level.

CBD and Hangovers

CBD may be helpful in treating a hangover. Because CBD is known to help treat the symptoms of anxiety, which may come with a hangover, it may be beneficial.

CBD and Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can take a toll on recovering alcoholics. CBD oil may be able to help some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Because CBD is known to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures, for example, it might be able to help.

Some studies suggest that CBD has helped people who are suffering from alcohol withdrawal, but this should only be used under close medical supervision.

CBD and Alcohol-Induced Cell Damage

Excessive alcohol misuse can damage cells. This can lead to an increased risk of inflammation and chronic diseases like liver disease, pancreatitis, certain kinds of cancer, and more. But CBD may help protect against cell damage. 3

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For example, one study on mice found that CBD could help against alcohol-induced fatty liver disease through increasing autophagy. 12 Autophagy is the process that promotes the turnover of new cells and allows tissues to regenerate.

Another study on rats found that applying CBD gel to the skin brought alcohol-induced brain-cell damage down by upwards of 49 percent. 5

CBD and Reduced Blood Alcohol Concentration

A study of 10 people found that, when they drank 200 mg of CBD with alcohol, they had significantly lower blood alcohol levels than when they had the alcohol with a placebo. 6 While there is not enough data to prove that CBD reduces blood alcohol concentration, some researchers believe that it does.

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Treatment Options for Alcohol Addiction

CBD may be helpful for people with alcohol addiction. In fact, CBD has been shown to help treat all different kinds of addictions. It’s even been studied in regards to cigarette addictions. 7

Animal studies show that the use of CBD can decrease interest in alcohol, relieve symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and, ultimately, lessen the risk of a relapse. 11

While CBD should not be the only treatment used for alcohol addiction, it can help. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, contact medical help. Alcohol withdrawal effects can be fatal. Stay safe by seeking professional treatment.

I Used CBD To Quit Drinking. Here’s What Happened…

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make. For the past 10 years, I was an alcoholic. My addiction was one that got me 86’d from clubs at times, cause friendship breakups, and cause me to gain weight at an alarming rate.

It wasn’t like I didn’t try to quit before. I’d stop drinking for a while, then something would happen in my life and I’d turn to the bottle again. I didn’t really have a better outlet to cope with stress. My most recent drunken escapade almost cost me my relationship, so I decided to give it a change.

I decided that it was time to make a change, and I was willing to give the canna-boom a try. After all, cannabis has been known to help heroin addicts quit the needle, why not make it work for alcohol?

What Is CBD?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the new hot thing. It’s the second largest compound in cannabis, short of THC. Unlike THC, CBD is 100 percent legal and doesn’t cause a psychoactive high. It’s more of a “body high” that’s associated with relaxation, reduced cortisol, and fewer aches and pains.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have been noticing an uptick in CBD products being touted online. It seems like everyone and their grandma has a CBD brand. It’s been used for arthritis, for anxiety, for dieting, as well as a million other things. It’s even used as an ingredient in pet treats.

I’d heard a lot of news about cannabis users who were able to treat addictions. Honestly, I wanted to switch to pot for my drinking habit. Life had other ideas, though.

In New Jersey, where I live, medical marijuana isn’t easy to come by. Getting a medical card alone can take months of doctors’ visits, and I’m just not down for that kind of hassle. So, I decided to try CBD.

How I Took It

The cool thing about CBD is that it can be used in a variety of ways. Not really knowing what would work for me, I tried a wide range. I tried CBD brownies, CBD sodas, CBD syrup, CBD vapes, and yes, CBD tinctures. If it had CBD in it, I bought it up and started to use it.

Generally speaking, I didn’t really buy items that didn’t have a high dosage. I was concerned about using a high dosage because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to handle.

How I Quit Drinking

Before I fully quit, I started to taper off my drinking day after day. My typical habit was a bottle of beer to a bottle of wine per day. If I were to go fully cold turkey, I was susceptible to delirium tremems, which was a withdrawal symptom tied to seizures, disorientation, and death. I had to do it slowly at first.

Delirium tremens usually happens the first week, with acute withdrawal symptoms persisting for as much as three months. During the first week, I would drink a single glass of wine daily for the first three days. Then the amount dropped to a half-glass of beer for the next 11 days. Then, after two weeks, it went to zero.

While my body took to the reduced alcohol, I started to ramp up the CBD use. I started pouring CBD syrup and CBD isolate in my hookah shisha. I ate brownies and drank CBD sodas to help me knock out at night. I even started carrying a spray that is made of 99.9 percent CBD.

Here’s What I Noticed.

The first thing I noticed is that CBD-infused shisha is a way thicker and more calming smoke than my typical morning hookah sesh. Since I usually wake up anxious due to the withdrawals, it’s been a major blessing. The same can be said about the CBD spray, which helps me avoid grouchiness.

I won’t say that CBD cured my withdrawal symptoms, but they definitely alleviated a lot of the problems I had. I crave drinks less, I feel less anxious, and I also don’t have as much lethargy as I typically do.

Oddly enough, the CBD also helped curb the sugar cravings I get. It’s definitely a win-win.

Would I Advise This Route?

I can’t speak for everyone, and I’m not a doctor, but I definitely do feel like CBD helped me drop the bottle. Overall, I feel better while I’m working on improving my health and stopping my drinking cravings. If it worked for me, it might work for you as well.

That being said, I definitely took a risk when it came to quitting drinking solo. Delirium tremens can kill you if you are unlucky, and it’s best for long-term drinkers to ask a doctor for help while they end their habit. After all, you can never be too safe.