Hangovers… we’ve all been there. And even though the debilitating symptoms make us swear never to drink again, we always seem to forget that pledge soon after.
Ever since the beginning of drinking time, people have been searching for a magic cure that can relieve us from hangover symptoms.
Of course, avoiding drinking is the only real cure… but if you’re reading this article, it’s probably too late.
So could CBD help to reduce a hangover? Let’s find out.
What Is A Hangover / Why Do We Get Hangovers?
Hangovers are essentially the result of alcohol – a toxic substance – having negative effects on the body. These negative effects create symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and headaches which are all pretty unpleasant to deal with. And, these symptoms can last all day long.
Why Alcohol Causes Nausea/Vomiting
When we drink alcohol, it enters the bloodstream and causes our alcohol levels to rise. And when this happens, the body wants to protect itself, since alcohol is a toxic substance and too much of it can kill you.
So, it tells the vomiting centre in the brain to take action. It will attempt to make you throw up in order to reduce the amount of alcohol that gets absorbed from the stomach into the bloodstream.
This mostly happens on the night of drinking, but can continue into the morning too depending on how much you have drunk.
Why Alcohol Causes Dehydration
Some of the most common hangover symptoms include a dry mouth, headache, and tiredness. This is all predominantly caused by dehydration.
Alcohol is a ‘diuretic’. This basically means that it makes you urinate a lot more than you would usually. If you’re familiar with constantly needing to pop to the toilet when you’re drinking alcohol, then you probably already know this.
The reason alcohol does this is because the body wants to remove it from your bloodstream as quickly as possible, since it’s a toxic substance.
The problem with this is it often means you are losing a lot more water than you are consuming. So, you’ll become dehydrated very quickly. And this will often continue through to the following day, as your body will not magically rehydrate itself overnight, unfortunately.
Not only will dehydration cause a dry mouth, dizziness, and headaches, but it can also lead to mineral deficiencies. Your body will flush out minerals like magnesium, sodium, and potassium, which can cause muscle aches, pains, cramps, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Alcohol Causes Low Blood Sugar Levels
Lastly, alcohol creates low blood sugar levels in the body. This can lead to symptoms like irritability, shakiness, light-headedness, a lack of concentration, and more.
This is because it directly lowers the levels of sugar in the blood, meaning there isn’t enough for your organs to use and function properly.
Can CBD Help Reduce Symptoms of a Hangover?
So, now that we understand what the symptoms of a hangover are and why they happen, we can begin to understand whether or not CBD could help.
Can CBD Help With Alcohol-Induced Nausea & Vomiting?
The main area where CBD may be able to help with hangovers is nausea and vomiting.
The endocannabinoid system in the body is partly responsible for controlling the vomiting centre of the brain. This means that using CBD can help to activate serotonin receptors, in turn reducing the release of serotonin into the vomiting centre of the brain.
In simpler terms, CBD can help to block feelings of nausea and the urge to vomit.
Can CBD Help With Alcohol-Induced Dehydration?
CBD is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects. This means that it could help to reduce the muscle aches and pains caused by dehydration and mineral deficiencies…
… But, it won’t have any effect on dehydration itself. There is only one real cure here – drink lots of water! Ideally, you should be doing this on the night of drinking alcohol. Try to have one glass of water between every alcoholic drink, and you’ll feel a million times better the following day.
Can CBD Help With Alcohol-Induced Low Blood Sugar?
CBD is thought to have clear benefits for our blood sugar levels, but this only really has long-term applications.
In other words, taking CBD every day over a longer period of time could improve your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and protect you from these effects when you drink…
… But, it won’t help in the short term. Unfortunately, you can’t take CBD just once and see your blood sugar levels rise back to normal.
The best thing you can do to combat alcohol-induced low blood sugar is to eat foods high in carbohydrates and protein (ideally before/during drinking alcohol) and avoid sugary foods and drinks.
The Best Way To Take CBD For A Hangover
If you have a hangover, you are probably looking for fast-acting relief. In this case, we would recommend using a CBD tincture or e-liquid as these get into the bloodstream much more quickly than edibles.
CBD e-liquids are the fastest-acting form of CBD, but you will need an e-cigarette to use them.
If using a CBD tincture for the first time, you should start with a smaller dose (5-10mg) and gradually increase this if you feel you need more.
And don’t forget to drink plenty of water, eat some high-carb, high-protein foods, and avoid too much sugar. Not only will this help to regulate your blood sugar levels and increase your vitamins and minerals, but it will also help the CBD to absorb into your bloodstream better.