Can You Fix Your Ugly Hangover with CBD?
Find Out + 3 CBD Hangover Recipes
You just opened your eyes and you immediately know you're in for it. You don't remember everything from last night just yet, but you know it's going to be a rough morning. You're going to feel like a dog turd stuck to the bottom of somebody's shoe.
But wait. You have some CBD in the house. And you've heard that it's good for everything from headaches to stomach problems to the blues. Can you cure your hangover with CBD? Will you be able to leave the house today and act like something like an upright citizen with the help of some hemp extract?
Just maybe. Let's take a look.
Crapulence. It's one of the most apt words in the English language. It means the physical consequences of overindulgence.
Other alternative terms for hangover are:
- the reckoning
- the pay back
- paying the bill
- the dawning horror
- carpenters in your head
- big head
- brown bottle flu
- crudo (SP).
Symptoms include: nausea, headache, unsteadiness, malaise, thirst, weakness, fatigue, brain fog, grouchiness, depression, anxiety and self-pity (optional). Sound familiar?
So what happened last night?
Well, you drank too much - Duh!
Well, here are four horsemen that deliver you a brutal beating from the inside out when you overindulge: Inflammation, Disrupted Sleep, Dehydration and Remorse. Later we'll see if CBD can vanquish these hangover supervillains.
The main culprit in all your suffering is inflammation caused by acetaldehyde.
When your liver metabolizes alcohol, the byproduct is acetaldehyde. It's a toxic chemical that stays in your body for a limited time (thank God) after you imbibe. The more alcohol (ethanol) you drink, the more acetaldehyde there is in your body when you wake up.
Since it's toxic, it causes an inflammatory response in your brain, stomach, pancreas and liver - and pretty much throughout your whole body. Ever wonder why you're so puffy and achy with a hangover?
Every cell in your body is up in arms over the presence of this nasty substance. No wonder you feel as low as whale poop.
If you get wasted, you might pass out and be unconscious for several hours but you're not really sleeping.
Alcohol interferes with REM sleep - which is the vital part of the sleep cycle that is restorative.
Furthermore, alcohol affects your brain stem which directly controls the respiratory system. Booze suppresses your breathing and can cause sleep apnea - which destroys your sleep without you even knowing it.
Alcohol makes you go pee pee.
It suppresses vasopressin - a hormone that regulates urine production. When vasopressin is reduced, your kidneys open the floodgates and your body doesn't retain enough water. You become dehydrated and your body is also flushed of vitamins and minerals - B,C, potassium, zinc and magnesium - affecting even more bodily functions.
On top of all the physical symptoms, drinking in excess can cause you to feel like a first class shitheel. It can create or worsen emotional problems.
If you drink to cope with issues like anxiety or depression, they will be considerably worse when you open your eyes in the morning.
Even if you are celebrating, you will likely wake up with your old buddies, regret and remorse.
Your body and mind are one. You can't punish one without hurting the other.
"Alright already! I get it. I'm never gonna drink again (wink wink). Just tell me if CBD can cure this awful hangover."
OK, here goes...
How to Cure Symptoms of a Hangover with CBD
You've probably heard that CBD can help with everything from MS to menstrual cramps. And you're thinking "How can it work on so many things?"
Well, CBD doesn't work directly on each issue. It feeds the endocannabinoid system - which affects pretty much every cell in your body.
It is the moderator of all your other systems - your endocrine system (hormones), your digestive system, your nervous system, your immune system, your renal system, etc.
The endocannabinoid system's job is to regulate and balance all the other systems in your body and CBD (and other cannabinoids) is its fuel. That's why you can address so many symptoms of a hangover with CBD all at once.
Let's take a look one by one.
CBD and Inflammation from a Hangover
When you are injured - either from outside or from within (toxins from booze) your body sends an army of signalling molecules to the affected area(s). These are called cytokines.
Cytokines are messaging proteins that tell your cells they are under attack and cause them to react - the end result is inflammation, pain or fever. In other words you feel really crappy.
Inflammation is the root cause of most symptoms of a hangover - headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound.
CBD seems to work on inflammation by suppressing cytokine production in the body.
So CBD can ease the pain and malaise of a hangover by reducing your body's inflammatory response.
In other words - you'll feel a lot less crappy if you take some CBD the morning after.
CBD and Disrupted Sleep from Intoxication
The studies and anecdotal evidence on CBD and sleep are starting to mount. And it appears that CBD can help counteract disrupted sleep in a several ways.
CBD seems to promote your day/night or circadian rhythms. It strengthens the overall wake/sleep cycle of your body.
Furthermore, it also may help with the 90-minute sleep cycles that you go through during the course of a good night's rest - consequently allowing for the most restorative part - REM sleep.
CBD has been shown to increase the production of GABA which increases you levels of serotonin - reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
And if you are using a full-spectrum CBD hemp extract, it probably contains the terpenes myrcene and linalool. These compounds are well known for their sedative effects.
Fix Nausea from Hangovers with CBD
As noted above, you have cannabinoids receptors throughout you digestive systems. CBD may help reduce the inflammation in your stomach that makes you queasy - less likely to barf.
CBD and the Remorse of Overindulgence
Nobody wakes up happy with a brutal hangover. Aside from all the physical issues, remorse, regret and depression are likely making you feel somewhere between blue and black.
Fortunately CBD seems to work very much like a class of drugs called SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as Prozac. It basically allows the brain to receive more serotonin, the happiness molecule. More serotonin will make you less grumpy.
It might even lessen your embarrassment about all the stupid things you said and did last night. This is an overlooked way that you can ease your hangover with CBD.
OK, well CBD is not going to help with being dehydrated. But if you swallow a couple of CBD capsules with a glass of water before you pass out, it might help - the water, that is.
That leads us to our next topic.
Can You Prevent a Hangover with CBD?
So, you've had a few and you want to avoid paying the price tomorrow morning. Can taking some CBD the night before help? Let's see.
CBD and Alcohol
Until party-pooping local health departments stepped in , CBD cocktails were all the rage. But - as with many other drugs - very few clinical studies have been done on the interaction between CBD and alcohol.
However, in general, CBD and other cannabinoids have an amplifying effect on many drugs. In fact, one study from 1979 noted higher impairment when the subjects were given CBD. They were given 200 mg - which is a lot. Most normal doses are from 10 - 20 mg. And people who suffer from insomnia regularly take 50 - 100 mg at night. So it's no wonder the participants in this study were drowsy and woozy.
But, the most important thing to know is that mixing alcohol and CBD is not like mixing booze and sleeping pills.
Alcohol and other depressants work directly on the brain stem which controls breathing and heart rate. CBD does not directly affect the central nervous system, so there is no danger of overdosing if you mix it with alcohol.
Furthermore, CBD can protect you from cellular damage if you overdo it. In a study from 2013, lab rats suffered significantly less neurodegeneration when given CBD along with alcohol.
So maybe you won't feel like a sewer rat when you wake up. It's looking like if you take action the night before, can at least reduce hangover symptoms with CBD.
CBD and Compulsive Behavior
But taking CBD may help reduce your hangover in another, unexpected way.
Recent studies on CBD's effect on depression, anxiety and addiction have been very promising. If you drink too much because of one of these reasons, taking CBD before a night on the town, may improve your emotional state and reduce your consumption of alcohol - thereby reducing your hangover.
So if you are looking to help prevent or lessen a hangover, you might want to take some CBD an hour before consuming and some again right before bed.
To sum up - There are several ways that CBD may help cure hangovers:
- Reducing the inflammatory response that causes headache, malaise, sensitivity to light and sound etc.
- Promoting better, deeper sleep
- Reducing digestive distress
- Protecting against cellular damage
- Alleviating depressing remorse
- Attenuating emotional and addictive consumption of alcohol
When, What Kind and How Much CBD to Take for Hangovers
OK, we have a pretty good overall idea of all the ways CBD can help alleviate crapulence. Now we get into the nitty gritty. What is the most strategic way to take CBD so you don't feel like you spent the night face down in the gutter - even if you actually did.
There are two times that you can to help prevent a hangover with CBD: Before you start drinking and before bed.
If you drink for emotional reasons and have a habit of overdoing it, you might want to take 10 mg - 20 mg of water soluble CBD an hour before you start drinking. It should help lessen your urge to compulsively pound them back.
And, in order to improve your sleep and head off some of that inevitable inflammation, take 30 mg - 50 mg (depending on your size) of full spectrum hemp extract with a glass of water before you flop down.
Hangovers generally have phases: waking, morning low, feeling better, afternoon wall
When you wake up, you want to get that CBD into your body ASAP. The fastest way is to grab your vape pen and start puffing. It might not be want you really feel like doing first thing, but inhaling put CBD into your system immediately. Alternatively you can use a dropper full of sublingual tincture - as long as it's water soluble.
Once you wash your face with some hemp scrub and brush your teeth with CBD toothpaste, it's time to fight that inflammation and dehydration and try to head off the worst phase of the hangover.
About an hour after you wake up, you are at the lowest point of your hangover. It's not a good place.
You've seen the suggestions for water-soluble CBD above. That's because hemp extract is oil-based and in its natural state it doesn't absorb very well into your body. So it's always recommended that you take CBD/hemp products that have been processed for better bioavailability.
Anyway, throughout the course of the morning, you probably want to get 30 mg - 50 mg of CBD in ya to fight the slow burn that's going on inside your cells. You can do this in any number of ways, but it's a good idea to take a few capsules with a nice, big glass of cold water. Better yet - make yourself one of the tonics in the next section.
After a bit, make yourself some CBD coffee or tea and try to eat a decent breakfast that includes some fat - avocado and salmon are great, anti-inflammatory choices. Avocado toast with some CBD tea or coffee - perfect. Or maybe a CBD bloody Mary - see next section.
With bad hangovers, you might be feeling OK but then mid-afternoon you hit a wall and you absolutely have to take a nap.
If - God forbid - you have to work, you are going to have to make it through the afternoon wall with CBD coffee or tea.
Or if you're home, take 10 mg of full spectrum CBD and take a nap. You will wake up a new person.
Other Tips About CBD and Hangovers
If you have decided treat your hangover with CBD, there are some things you should keep in mind.
- Try to avoid using other pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen - they are hard on your liver and kidneys and we really don't know how they interact with CBD just yet.
- Don't drink grapefruit juice - you body uses the same liver enzymes to metabolize CBD. Your liver's got enough work to do, thanks.
- Eat and drink a lot anti-inflammatory foods - chocolate, raw nuts, avocado, olives, coconut oil, cold water fish, rosemary, lemon juice, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, green tea, dark, leafy greens - all these pair nicely with hemp extract to set you right.
- Use hair of the dog sparingly - If you absolutely must, but keep in mind that alcohol and CBD can make you sleepy - don't drive or get on your riding mower.
CBD Recipes for Hangovers
CBD First Aid Tonic
Here's a tonic that will hydrate you and address the inflammation ravishing your body. It's not delicious, but it's effective.
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon of ginger - ground fresh or powdered
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ml of water soluble CBD hemp extract
8 -12 oz water
Mix lemon juice, ginger and cayenne pepper thoroughly. Add 8 - 12 oz of cold water. Stir and drink it down.
This tomato drink is packed with nutrients and anti-inflammatory foods. Add vodka - if you must
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ml water soluble CBD/hemp extract
1/8 teaspoon powdered sage
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
5 - 10 shakes of bitters
1 sprig of rosemary (garnish)
3 olives (garnish)
10 oz tomato juice
vodka - optional
Shake all the ingredients with ices until well mixed. Garnich with olives and rosemary - chew on the rosemary leaves.
This national drink of India will realign your f*cked up chakras.
6 oz of strong black tea
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
Stevia or monk fruit sweetener
1 ml CBD/hemp extract
8 oz. of full fat coconut or almond milk
Squirt the CBD into the bottom of a heat resistant mug or glass. Preheat the coconut or almond milk in the microwave. In a small pot, bring the black tea to a low boil and stir while adding the remaining ingredients. Add coconut/almond milk, heat to just below boiling. Sweeten to taste then pour into the glass.
As you can see, CBD could be your new best friend when it comes to hangover prevention and relief. It won't hold your hair back for you when you barf, but it has the ability to address a much of the havoc that overconsumption delivers upon you.
Everyone's reaction to CBD is a little different, so experiment with varying doses and find what works for you.
And party on!