Research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) could help decrease alcohol consumption and reduce alcohol-related liver damage from alcohol use disorder (AUD).
AUD is a condition in which a person has a need to drink alcohol even if doing so negatively affects their life. In 2019,
AUD can cause alcohol-related liver disease, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It can also lead to emotional, interpersonal, and financial difficulties. Despite this, only about 7.2% of people with AUD receive treatment in any given year.
Although the research is in its early stages, using CBD for AUD intervention looks promising.
This article explains what CBD is and looks at how it may help reduce alcohol consumption and AUD-related conditions.
Visit our CBD hub to learn more about this substance.
Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.
CBD is one of the many active compounds present in cannabis. It is different than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that causes euphoria or a “high.” People who use CBD are unlikely to experience a high.
Learn about the differences between CBD and THC here.
- providing antioxidant capabilities
- regulating the immune system
- reducing anxiety
- preventing seizures
- reducing inflammation
Research on whether CBD can decrease alcohol consumption in humans is limited.
The research into using CBD as a treatment for AUD is in its early stages. Some
However, researchers are still considering several factors that may help establish effective procedures for using CBD for AUD treatment. The questions that they are looking to answer
- What dosage of CBD is most effective?
- How long should the treatment last?
- What is the best way to administer CBD?
- What formulation of CBD is most effective?
Learn more about alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Other animal studies have shown that CBD can
However, researchers need to conduct more studies involving people to check whether these findings are applicable to humans.
- improving liver damage due to excessive drinking
- inhibiting inflammatory responses
- limiting the buildup of fat in the liver
According to the
- feeling very drowsy or sleepy
- having difficulty coordinating their body and their senses
- losing track of time
People should never drink alcohol, use CBD, or both before performing activities that require focus and attention and have the potential to cause harm, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.
Research indicates that CBD is
Additionally, this substance can have short-term side effects, such as drowsiness or lightheadedness. It may sometimes cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea.
CBD also has the potential to
Before using CBD, a person should consult a doctor. This professional can review their general physical condition and make sure that they are not using any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or supplements that might interact with CBD.
Many studies indicate that CBD is
Other researchers note that CBD has an “
Healthcare professionals often use a
- drinking more, or for longer, than intended
- trying unsuccessfully to stop or reduce their drinking
- spending much of their time either drinking or recovering from alcohol use
- experiencing a powerful need for a drink
- finding that drinking interferes with important parts of their life, such as family, work, or school
- continuing to drink even though it causes issues with family or friends
- cutting back on activities they previously enjoyed to drink instead
- getting into dangerous situations after drinking
- continuing to drink even though it interferes with their physical or mental health
- having withdrawal symptoms when alcohol wears off, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, and sweating
Learn how to help someone with AUD.
Anyone who is concerned about the amount of alcohol they consume or the effect the alcohol is having on their life should discuss alcohol use with a healthcare professional.
Healthcare professionals can work with a person to outline a treatment strategy that can help reduce the amount of alcohol they consume and reduce the risk of long lasting adverse effects.
Alcohol use disorder affects many people aged 12 years and older in the U.S.
Although there is only limited research involving humans, animal studies and early investigations suggest that CBD is a promising treatment for AUD. CBD may help lower alcohol cravings and reduce alcohol consumption.