Could CBD cure your next hangover? Well, maybe. Put a little in your Bloody Mary with a raw egg? Perhaps!
Anyone who has had a bad hangover would try anything. On the other hand, they are so under the weather they don’t think of being creative. They’re just as likely to go back to bed.
But, let’s give it a try
The internet is filled with news that CBD can cure your hangover. Some of it is science and some word-of-mouth. We’ll try to sort it out.
♦ The true name for a hangover is “veisalgia.” Smithsonian Magazine says, “Most scientists believe that a hangover is driven by alcohol interfering with your body's natural balance of chemicals.” Their theory holds that the body must process the toxic ethanol in alcohol. To do that, it must make changes.
Specifically, your systems must change the NAD+ enzyme into NADH. But that excess NADH triggers other changes in your ability to absorb glucose and regulate electrolytes. These metabolic imbalances punish you with fatigue, headaches, irritation, muscle soreness, nausea, sleep disturbance, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and more. The toxic ethanol builds acetaldehyde which researchers say may be ten to thirty times more toxic than alcohol. Among other things, it upsets the immune system issuing cytokines that trigger warnings in the form of hangovers symptoms.
♦ Prevention means no drinking. But, if you must, you should drink slowly on a full stomach or while eating to slow the absorption of alcohol. It also helps if you drink water to fill your stomach and offset the dehydration. But no scientific evidence supports consumer legends that certain foods prevent or remedy hangovers.
There is, however, research indicates beverages like brandy with concentrated alcohol or distilled brown spirits like whiskey/bourbon have more impact than clear liquors like vodka. And, the tannins in wine can also challenge your metabolism.
The morning after drink doesn’t help. NSAID’s and OTC stomach soothers are okay, but acetaminophen (Tylenol) adds to your liver’s problems while processing the alcohol. And, foods rich in potassium and magnesium will help replace elements lost through increased urination.
So, what’s the story with CBD?
CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic benefits. It has treated nausea and vomiting. In the right dosage or with the right strain, you can find some relief in using CBD.
- Antiemetic: Heavy drinking will lead to nausea and vomiting in many. Nausea should be a clue to stop the intake because nausea will increase stomach acid to irritate and inflame the stomach’s lining. But CBD has been cleared by the FDA for treating nausea and vomiting attached to AIDS/HIV and chemotherapy. Pharmaceutical R&D has also focused on developing CBD-based medications.
- Antioxidant: CBD reduces inflammation and related damage. And, it has anti-oxidant properties to negate the build-up of oxygen in cells and tissues. CBD acts like vitamins C and E to fight the free radical damage associated with drinking. It’s like mixing your drink with orange juice.
- Anti-inflammatory: Headaches are largely the result of dehydration and inflammation. A significant volume of research confirms the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD in treating migraines and neuropathic pain. Pharmaceutical research continues into its efficacy and possible use in prescription medications.
- Anxiolytic: If your hangovers produce mood swings and depression, CBD interacts with the nerve cell receptors that trigger and deploy the serotonin that balances neurotransmissions, imbalances which cause anxiety and depression. Those anti-inflammatory virtues may also reduce body and muscle aches and cramps.
- Neurogenesis: Alcohol damages the dendrites at the ends of the neurotransmitters that carry messages to and from the brain. There is little research on the treatment of alcohol effects with CBD, but it has shown neuroprotective powers in therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease.
What to look for
Smoking cannabis is going to produce some dry mouth, red eyes, and other symptoms of dehydration. So smoking is not the first-choice therapy. But if you must smoke, you should choose a strain that’s high in CBD and low in THC: Harlequin, Lavender, or Dancehall. You also might try it after drinking just before bed so it can process throughout the night. That leaves you with vapes, edibles, and oils.
- Vaping instead of smoking by-passes some brain/body systems to avoid peripheral damage. It allows you to control the intake more deliberately with less irritation to the throat, lungs, and stomach.
- CBD dominant edibles offer another choice allowing you to control the dosage. Candies, for example, let you dose discretely through the day. However, edibles are also metabolized through the liver which could tax the liver while it is handling the alcohol.
- CBD oil administered under the tongue remains the best option. Administered sub-lingually, the oil enters the bloodstream through the delicate tissues and smooth muscle of the mouth, gums, and esophagus. But for this, you need as pure a CBD oil as you can find. You might research Genco Pura, PureKana, or old reliable Charlotte’s Web.
What you don’t want to do
You don’t want to trade one set of side-effects for another. So, if you opt to soothe your hangover with CBD, you’ll want to check its quality and dosage. Where legalized, labeling will help, but there is still no national standard for either. When buying online, you should take the time to research origin, testing, and dosage as well as comparing prices. But, once again, moderation in consumption is your best practice.