CBD for hangover: can it help you to make it through?

“Hangover cures” is one of the most searched terms on Google and just about every other search engine. Unfortunately, not every cure that you come across on the internet works, and hangover cures are no exception to this rule. Even though CBD is not an exact hangover solution, credible scientific evidence suggests that it can mitigate some symptoms of hangovers.

Why Do We Get Hangovers?

Several factors can lead to hangovers—which we’ll briefly discuss in this section.

The role of dehydration in a hangover

Dehydration is one of the main reasons why we get hangovers.

Alcohol is a diuretic. Diuretics help our bodies get rid of extra fluid and salt. But in the case of alcohol, they do a little too well, meaning they make you pee excessively. Simply put, if you don’t stay hydrated when drinking alcohol, chances are high that you will become severely dehydrated! So don’t be surprised if you feel headaches, nausea, and fatigue after drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage.

Alcohol irritates your gastrointestinal system

Key gastrointestinal manifestations of a hangover are also a direct consequence of alcohol consumption. Booze irritates the digestive lining and makes your digestive tract produce more acid.

This is what leads to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Alcohol drains your electrolytes

Alcohol can also drain your body of electrolytes. These chemical messengers allow our cells to communicate effectively. When our bodies are deficient in electrolytes, headaches, irritability, and physical weakness are common.

What causes the unpleasant effects of a hangover?

Our body breaks down the alcohol we consume into various components.

Acetaldehyde is one of these components. This rather reactive compound must undergo many catabolic reactions to be appropriately excreted from the body.

While this happens, acetaldehyde exerts its toxic effects on our bodies. And that’s why hangovers feel so terrible!

How does Alcohol Affect your Endocannabinoid System?

Could cannabis help to mitigate the effects of a hangover?

To answer this question, we have to go deeper into the workings of the endocannabinoid system.

The role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS)

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a vital role in our body. Its influence spreads from metabolic processes to how we tackle pain, anxiety, and stress. Two critical receptors in this system include CB1 and CB2. The triggering molecules for these receptors are called endocannabinoids and cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced by our body, whereas cannabinoids come from sources like the cannabis plant.

The role of the ECS in hangovers

One theory that explains why cannabis helps with hangovers is that THC has a strong effect on the workings of the endocannabinoid system. It leads to effects like relaxation and nausea reduction.

But wait a minute, why are we talking about this anyway?

Well, we know that alcohol is responsible for many unfortunate effects in the endocannabinoid system. Indulge too much in alcohol, and you will suffer from problems in the ECS! Recent research suggests that even short-term alcohol use can have severe effects on the ECS.

Restoring ECS balance can help overcome the hangover symptoms that we have mentioned, and CBD can clearly help you with that.

Hangover Symptoms that CBD Can Help With

  • CBD Reduces The Nausea Caused By Hangovers

Antiemetics are drugs that are really effective in relieving nausea and vomiting. Those of you who suffer from motion sickness may have already used an antiemetic. Why are we talking about antiemetics here? Because hangover causes similar problems to motion sickness and cannabis is an excellent antiemetic substance! For example, cancer patients find relief from intense nausea and vomiting when taking marijuana.

CBD also has plenty of similar benefits. According to experts, consuming the whole cannabis plant gives you some of the best results. But if you are wary of marijuana’s intoxicating effects, you can opt for CBD instead and get similar results.

  • CBD Helps Relieve Migraines

Hangover migraines are not fun. But CBD might help you get rid of them.

A 2016 study showed that medical cannabis has the potential to reduce migraines significantly. A similar study (2018) also suggests that cannabis can be effective against migraines.

While we wait for more research on that topic, cannabis does seem to be a viable option for relieving migraines.

  • CBD Reduces Stress And Anxiety Caused by Hangovers

The American Psychological Association’s defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” These are common symptoms to experience during a hangover.

CBD has already shown its merits in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBD was effective in rat model experiments. Similarly, promising results were observed in the studies that evaluated CBD’s effect on social anxiety and PTSD.

We are waiting for more research on this, but here’s what we know about how it works: our brain has specific receptors which CBD molecules can bind to. Once this binding occurs, CBD molecules stimulate signaling pathways which ultimately reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. Cannabinoid receptors are the subject of a lot of research right now—so we can expect a lot more insights soon!

What is the Best CBD Dosage for Hangovers?

Dosage is always an essential question whenever we talk about cannabis products. CBD products are no exception. Starting with a dose of around 5 mg is highly recommended for hangovers; you can always amp it up later.

However, the dose you should take is influenced by a few factors. The most important one is the method of consumption. A few routes via which CBD is consumed usually include:

 

Oral Orally consumed CBD has very low bioavailability. Bioavailability describes the amount of a substance efficiently absorbed and utilized by our body. If you take CBD orally (capsules for example), you will have to take more to observe its effects. It’s not the best choice to ease hangover symptoms fast.
Sublingual Sublingual CBD consumption has high bioavailability. It allows an absorption via the sublingual mucous membranes. The CBD molecules diffuse through the bloodstream and the cells of your body. Unlike oral administration or ingestion, CBD does not go through the digestive system or the liver, which is why it works faster.
Vapor Vaping is the most efficient method of consuming CBD. It sends CBD to your bloodstream through the lungs and creates an instant effect. It’s likely your best bet to ease hangover symptoms as quickly as possible.
Topical CBD can be used topically as well; you can apply it in the form of a cream or salve. It works very fast and has high bioavailability. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many topical CBD products on the market today.

 

How Can You Enhance The Effects Of CBD For Hangovers?

  • Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids is one way of overcoming hangovers. The diuretic nature of alcohol is the reason why vasopressin release is inhibited. Vasopressin is the hormone that is responsible for decreasing the urine volume produced by our kidneys. As more and more fluid leaves our body, it becomes essential to rehydrate. Otherwise, you will find it very hard to shrug off the effects of a hangover. Rehydrating yourself becomes even more critical if you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. So make sure you are sipping enough water to give yourself a decent chance of recovering soon!

  • Get Enough Sleep

Research shows that alcohol consumption can interfere with our sleep duration. Poor sleep is often associated with worsening hangovers. We know some of you are a little surprised, and we get the shock! Yes, alcohol can promote sleep initially. However, if you consume alcohol excessively, it can really disrupt your sleep patterns. It is also important to mention that with lack of sleep come other symptoms of a hangover, for example, fatigue and headaches. So by getting a good night’s sleep, you will give your body a great chance to recover from most of the unplesant symptoms associated with hangovers.

  • Eat Carbs

Drinking can significantly lower your blood sugar levels. And when that happens, you will feel some effects in the form of fatigue and headaches. What exacerbates the situation is the fact that people forget to eat when they are drunk. As a result, sugar levels dip even more!

Simply eating any kind of carb-heavy food can restore your sugar levels and help with the symptoms of hangovers.

  • Use Supplements

We are waiting for more evidence on this one, but supplements have shown promising results in mitigating symptoms of hangovers. Some of the popular ones are ginger, borage oil, and prickly pear. Red ginseng has also shown promising results because it reduces blood alcohol levels. These supplements work like a charm if you are feeling nauseous.

Conclusion

So there you are. Cannabis generally and CBD specifically is fast becoming a popular choice for getting over hangovers. Scientific studies, some of which we have shared in this article, suggest that CBD can become the number one choice for making it through hangovers. The gift of cannabis keeps on giving!

Have you ever used CBD for hangovers? This might be the time to give it a go!

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