CBD For Hangover 2021: Does It Help? Using CBD Oil For Hangover

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Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

CBD For Hangover

It goes without saying that too much alcohol gives you a hangover. But how does CBD help cure hangovers? Well, to understand that, you should know everything about hangovers in order to understand how exactly CBD works on hangovers. Although there are several factors involved in a hangover, the major culprit has to be alcohol. Alcohol causes dehydration which in turn causes symptoms of a hangover.

Hangovers may give you headaches, dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, and nausea. But it wreaks havoc on our body with many adverse effects. Adverse effects such as dehydration, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) effects like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, immune system effects, low blood sugar levels

Many people have their hangover cure, such as a hearty breakfast, greasy burger, pickles, or simply drinking water. But now, the trend is CBD for hangover relief. However, there seems to be a lot of hype about CBD for hangovers. To find out the answers to all your doubts on how CBD can be a cure for a hangover? Read further to know about the symptoms of a hangover to CBD for hangovers. 

Top 3 Best CBD Oils for Hangover

  • Spruce CBD – Full-spectrum CBD oil
  • CBDPure – For mood improvement
  • CBDfx– Contains blend of calming terpenes

Can CBD Help A Hangover?

CBD has been used for hangovers for ages. We all know that CBD acts on our endocannabinoid system, with two major receptor sites CB1 and CB2. to activate these receptors we need cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced in the body but cannabinoids are found in cannabis plants. 

Now let us know the relation between consuming alcohol and the endocannabinoid system.

Many hangover symptoms are similar to the symptoms of imbalances in the endocannabinoid system[1] such as pain, anxiety, and digestive tract issues like irritable bowel syndrome. Hence restoring the balance in the body’s endocannabinoid system can reduce the hangover symptoms. This also goes to say that consuming even smaller amounts of alcohol can have effects on the body’s endocannabinoid system[2]. 

The science-based studies have paved the way to the CBD’s effects on physical and mental health in humans. Until recent times, it was believed that THC in the cannabis plant helped cure a hangover due to its powerful intoxication effects. Unlike THC, CBD does not give you a high and is safe to consume for hangovers.

How CBD Can Help with Hangover Symptoms?

To know about all the benefits CBD offers in treating hangovers, let us first know the symptoms and how the symptoms affect us.

CBD Can Help Fight The Symptoms Of Dehydration

Alcohol consumption can cause serious dehydration. and dehydration is the first and most important thing in a hangover. However, research[3] believes that these symptoms are the result of a serious imbalance in the endocannabinoid system. Alcohol is a diuretic and fluid loss can not only cause dehydration but also trigger the body’s inflammatory response. And CBD is known to reduce inflammation. 

Studies[4] have reported that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory compound and the best part is CBD does not interact adversely with alcohol. And unlike the anti-inflammatory drugs, CBD doesn’t cause liver toxicity.

CBD Can Aid In Nausea And Vomiting

CBD has been in use for a long time in treating nausea. It is popular for its antiemetic effects and is among the few substances that provide the level of support in treating both nausea symptoms and vomiting.

In recent times CBD is commonly prescribed along with chemotherapy to prevent nausea and vomiting which are a part of cancer treatment[5]. Similarly, CBD can be a great remedy for alcohol-induced nausea and vomiting. 

Coming to how it helps, in a nutshell, CBD gets the anti-nausea effects due to its effects on the serotonin receptors in our brain stem. Furthermore, boosting the endocannabinoid system can help in controlling nausea whereas blocking the body’s endocannabinoid system can make you nauseated.

Although THC offers the best effects in controlling nausea. Studies[6] concluded that the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis plants, CBD, also inhibits both nausea and vomiting in a limited dose range.

CBD Can Regulate The Blood Sugar Levels

Some of the common hangover symptoms are irritability, tremors, lightheadedness, fatigue, and poor concentration. And these symptoms are due to low blood sugar levels. Alcohol can directly reduce blood sugar levels and put our bodies into a state of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is not having enough sugar in the blood to respond to the demands of our body. And hypoglycemia gets worse when consumed with alcoholic beverages and sugary foods.

CBD can be beneficial in controlling the blood sugar level rise but the effect is when used for the long term and not for the ones who occasionally drink alcohol. Chronic alcohol consumption has completely different consequences that are related to blood sugar which may be ideal for consuming CBD oil regularly. The frequent rise followed by a drop in blood sugar levels may over time lead to insulin sensitivities. 

Research on the effects of marijuana[7] on insulin resistance found that marijuana users had a 17% reduction in insulin resistance than non-marijuana users. 

CBD may protect the body from the negative effects of alcohol on our blood sugar levels. However, it has minor effects in the short term.

CBD Can Balance Our Mood

CBD is so largely popular for the effects it has on our minds and the way it makes us relax.. Symptoms of a hangover show up when there is increased cortisol (stress hormone) production in the body. Elevated levels of cortisol can give unstable moods and increased stress.

Irrespective of the cause, CBD with its anti-anxiety properties helps to fight all kinds of anxiety disorders. It also has antidepressant effects. CBD is a great option for treating generalized anxiety disorders[8], and in fact, works better than most anti-anxiety medications. 

One of the reasons is due to the CBD’s ability to act on serotonin receptors[9]. Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter that regulates our mood and feelings. By balancing the serotonin system, CBD helps fight the anxiety and depression caused by drinking alcohol

Benefits Of CBD In Treating Hangover

As mentioned above, CBD has many effects on different body mechanisms of the body. CBD has anti-anxiety effects, anti-depressant effects, antiemetic effects, and anti-inflammatory effects. It can reduce the symptoms of a hangover by controlling the symptoms. 

CBD helps with nausea, vomiting, regulates blood sugar levels, anxiety, and depression. It can calm the mind and relieve pain with its neuroprotective effects. Furthermore, its powerful antioxidant properties fight the free radicals and may aid in fighting the alcohol-related health issues caused by heavy drinking.

Animal studies[10] on chronic alcohol use disorder indicate that CBD can reduce overall consumption of alcohol levels by reducing the intake of ethanol and the motivation for ethanol, relapse, impulsivity, and anxiety. Apart from this, CBD also reduces lipid accumulation in the liver, stimulating autophagy, reducing oxidative stress, modulating inflammation, and inducing death in activated hepatic stellate cells. Furthermore, CBD reduces the brain damage related to alcohol, prevents neuronal loss with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties.

Risk & Side Effects

Currently, there are not enough studies to determine the effects of combining CBD and alcohol. Several animal and human studies have reported that CBD may decrease the side effects of alcohol. However, there is limited knowledge on whether combining CBD and alcohol causes adverse effects on health. 

In addition to this, these effects may vary between individuals, so this makes it difficult to determine whether mixing both affect all of them in similar ways. Moreover, most of the research conducted in recent times focuses on the effects of drinking alcohol in high amounts with CBD, instead of the effects of few alcoholic drinks. Effects of moderate and occasional consumption are not known. 

CBD and alcohol can intensify each other’s effects, so consuming both together in higher doses can cause sedation and sleepiness. However, most studies both on animals and humans reported that CBD protects from alcohol-induced cell damage and it also decreases blood alcohol concentration and its addiction along with withdrawal symptoms.

A study conducted on mice[11] reported that CBD may increase the risk of liver toxicity. However, some mice were given high amounts of CBD. Most of the research is based on animals that are put through high amounts of CBD and alcohol. Until the effects are studied more, it’s unclear about the safety when combined.

Hangover Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping and insomnia
  • Sluggishness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Mood changes
  • Racing heart
  • Losing concentration
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Cognitive function
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Depression, irritability, and anxiety
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Weakness and Fatigue 
  • Increased blood pressure and pulse rate
  • Red eyes 
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle aches 
  • Tremors
  • Sweating and dehydration

How To Use CBD Oil For Hangover?

CBD is available in various forms such as CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD capsules, vape juices, edibles, and topical products. CBD can be consumed through various methods. And the mode of drug administration plays a crucial role. The mode of delivery determines how effectively and quickly the CBD works in treating the underlying issue. The duration and the intensity of CBD effects will also depend on the mode of drug administration. And bioavailability of CBD depends on the method of administration of CBD. Read further to know about the various methods of consuming CBD and what works best.

Oral CBD capsules 

Consuming CBD orally makes it less bioavailable. Bioavailability is the amount of a drug or substance that is completely available, effectively absorbed, and used by the body. This goes to say that oral CBD is less effective and will need higher doses than any other form of it. It is recommended to start at a lower dose of 5mg. Data from many investigations[12] that included animal studies reported that the oral bioavailability of CBD to be as low as 13- 19%.

Sublingual CBD 

Taking CBD sublingually is one of the most effective and faster ways to feel the CBD’s effect. Sublingual absorption is when something is administered under the tongue. The substance is then directly absorbed into the bloodstream with the help of blood vessels present under the tongue. Hold the CBD product such as a tincture or the powder below the tongue and that is called sublingual administration of CBD. 

Sublingual absorption[13] is tops in the list of bioavailability as it has the highest rate of absorption when compared to any other form. CBD works at a faster rate in sublingual administration. Hence many people prefer CBD products that can be consumed sublingually as it adds more value to their purchase. Taking CBD sublingually shows effects in less than 60 seconds. This makes it a great option for instant relief from hangover headaches, migraines.

Inhaled CBD

Other popular ways of taking CBD by vaping or smoking. There are CBD products that have concentrated CBD which can be smoked or vaporized. Vaping or smoking CBD products will let the effects of CBD kick in no time. Whereas, CBD when ingested or edibles take longer to work due to the process of digestion and metabolism. 

You can buy cannabis with a high concentration of CBD and less THC and can be smoked like medical marijuana for its therapeutic benefits. However, it is impossible to calculate the dosage or amount while taking CBD through smoking.

Topical CBD

Topical CBD is not absorbed by the bloodstream. If it does, it will be in very minor quantities and hence topical CBD products are not effective in treating the symptoms of a hangover such as anxiety and depression. However, topical CBD products are useful for treating the aches and pains caused by hangovers. Use topical CBD lotions, salves, creams, balms on the desired area and rub gently and they will serve the purpose of reducing pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. Recent studies[14] have proven that CBD can help treat various health issues including the symptoms of a hangover. 

Can CBD help with hangovers?

Hangovers occur with an array of symptoms such as headache, anxiety, low blood sugar levels, nausea, and vomiting. These hangover symptoms can be treated with CBD.

What risks does CBD pose?

There is no clear research on the side effects of CBD. Studies show that CBD when consumed with alcoholic drinks can cause sedation and sleepiness. There are no serious side effects.


+ 14 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

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Written by:

Dr. Lakshmi Vemuri

Medically reviewed by:

Lakshmi Vemuri holds a bachelor’s degree in Dentistry. She is also a published author of several Food and Wellness books. Lakshmi has a profound interest in alternative medicines, various forms of physical exercise, mental health, diets, and new inventions in medical sciences. Besides being a dentist, Lakshmi is passionate about gardening and is an environmental enthusiast

Medically reviewed by:

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
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