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CBD for Hangovers: Does It Work?

A pounding headache, fatigue, dehydration, excessive thirst, nausea, stomach pain, vertigo, and sensitivity to light and sound — these are just some of the symptoms of the previous night’s alcohol-fueled merriment. Most people will get hung over at least once in their life, and some hangovers are so awful that people swear they’ll never get hammered again. 

Hangover cures range from the common “hair of the dog” and drinking lots of fluids to the weird ones, such as pickle juice and sardines on toast. Some evidence suggests that CBD might also be effective in easing hangover symptoms. Read on to find out if it’s worth a try. 

cbd for hangovers: does it work

Why do you get a hangover?

Regardless of your high tolerance for alcohol, too much alcohol intake is bound to make you feel awful the next day, and will make you pretty much inefficient, if not completely non-functioning. What’s “too much” is relative, of course; especially if you’re a frequent drinker, you should know your limit and quit when you reach it. 

Hangover symptoms usually begin around 12 hours after your alcohol binge, when your blood alcohol content (BAC) drops to zero. There are a variety of factors that typically lead to a hangover:

  • Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more frequently which, in turn, leads to dehydration. Dehydration is often accompanied by thirst and lightheadedness. 
  • Alcohol increases levels of acid in your stomach, which can lead to stomach irritation, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. 
  • Alcohol can cause your blood sugar to dip too low, which often leads to fatigue, shakiness, moodiness, and weakness. 
  • Alcohol dilates the blood vessels, which usually causes headaches. 
  • Alcohol can cause disrupted sleep, causing grogginess and tiredness the next day. 
  • Dark liquors are more likely to cause a hangover because they contain congeners — ingredients used as flavoring in many types of alcoholic drinks. 
  • Drinking on an empty stomach leads to faster absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

cbd for hangovers: does it work

CBD for Hangover

Some hangover symptoms are mild and can be easily managed, such as by taking an over-the-counter pain-reliever for a hangover headache. Other symptoms may feel as if you’re being punished for knowing better but still drinking way too fast and way too much. 

If you’re willing to wait it out, your hangover will eventually go away on its own. But keep in mind that you may have to bear the unpleasantness for up to 24 hours. Or you can try CBD to help ease your hangover misery. 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the primary compounds in cannabis that makes this plant the wonder of nature that it is. Cannabis refers to both to marijuana and hemp and as luck would have it, CBD is present in higher amounts in hemp — which only contains trace amounts of THC and, therefore, does not cause euphoria. 

The wonders of cannabis and how its beneficial compounds affect the body have yet to be fully understood, but available evidence has revealed that CBD may have several beneficial properties that can address some of the symptoms of a hangover. 

Anti-inflammatory Properties

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may affect the body in much the same way that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do — by providing relief from aches and pains. You may be able to ease your hangover headache by taking the recommended drops of CBD oil or tincture, or consuming some CBD edibles. 

Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E, neutralize free radicals in the body. When your liver metabolizes alcohol, one of the byproducts are free radicals. CBD’s antioxidant properties may help clear the body of these toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism much more quickly. 

Calming Properties 

As alcohol passes through your stomach, it irritates the stomach lining and increases the production of stomach acids. CBD may help calm a queasy stomach after your night of binging. 

As of yet, there are no studies on CBD as a hangover cure. But as hangovers often present as different symptoms, using CBD to help manage some of these symptoms may also help your body recover more quickly. 

Ideally, you can give CBD a try to ease your hangover symptoms if you already know the dosage that works for you, i.e., you’ve already dosed with CBD before. CBD newbies may have to do some trial-and-error to find the right dosage that gives them the desired results, and this usually takes up to a few weeks; your hangover will only last about 24 hours, so there’s no time for experimentation with different doses. If you are new to CBD and still want to give it a go, remember that the rule of thumb is to start low and slowly. 

Final Thoughts

Getting hammered can be a lot of fun; but the punishment of a bad hangover the next day often makes the fun not worth it at all. The internet provides an impressive list of hangover cures, and you should add CBD as one of your go-to post-alcohol binge therapeutic regimen.