After a skinful, the day after the night before can leave you questioning if it was all even worth it. The hangover is a sacrifice we sometimes make to enjoy ourselves a little too much, but can CBD now provide the cure for the hangover?
If you’re looking for that hangover cure, everyone has their own tips and tricks to get them through it. From a munch on some bread to a mid-noon siesta, it can be hard to tell fact from fiction on what works.
But what is the best cure for a hangover, and can CBD help? If you’re looking for a natural remedy then using CBD for that headache and alcohol shakes could be the answer.
We’re here to jump into the science of the hangover, outlining the symptoms, cures, research, and answering the question ‘how can CBD help hangovers?’.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. It sits beside many other cannabinoids that have also been identified, such as THC.
THC, CBD, and the other cannabinoids all work with the body’s systems to bring a bounty of beneficial effects. The endocannabinoid system (ECS), in particular, has receptors that directly interact with these compounds throughout the body.
CBD is a non-psychoactive element, unlike THC, which has given it a much smoother route with licences and laws compared to its psychoactive sibling. Now, legal CBD products can be found almost anywhere across Europe, the Americas, and more.
What is a hangover, and what are the symptoms?
Before we look at what CBD can do for hangovers, first, we need to find out what they are. A hangover is not directly caused by alcohol itself but is instead the body trying to flush out the toxins that come with it.
During this process the kidneys go into overdrive, increasing urination and causing the dehydration (or diuretic effect) that makes us feel the full force of those hangover symptoms.
Alcohol also activates a region of the brain fittingly called the ‘vomiting centre’, making you want to empty your stomach to prevent more toxins from entering. This can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, indigestion, and nausea.
So, what are the main symptoms of a hangover?
As mentioned, dehydration is in fact the main reason you’re feeling a little worse for wear after a drink and is probably why you’re suffering from headaches, dizziness, and thirst.
Another symptom of hangovers is the anxiety that comes after a drink, commonly known as ‘hangxiety’.
Alcohol can lead to increased anxiety in some people, with one study published in 2012 finding that 7.4% of those suffering a hangover experience anxiety as a post hangover symptom.
Caused by stomach irritation and increased acid from the alcohol, it is linked to symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Alcohol affects the body’s electrolyte balance, which can lead to headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
Immune system effects
Alcohol can inhibit the effectiveness of your immune system, increasing the risk of nausea, a decreased appetite, and an inability to concentrate.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Drinking limits the production of sugar in the body, causing fatigue, dizziness, and irritability.
Dilated blood vessels (vasodilation)
Blood vessels dilate when drinking which is linked to headaches and the typical rosy cheeks.
Drinking prevents high-quality sleep and can cause you to wake up throughout the night, making you feel drowsy the next day.
Top 6 hangover cures
1. Hair of the dog
Alcohol, like other drugs, can leave us with withdrawal symptoms after a heavy drink. Though it isn’t advised, the science does back the idea a next day bev might make you feel better.
Be aware, though, that this could only be making the hangover symptoms even worse further down the, now very wobbly, line.
2. Drink fluids
As mentioned, the biggest enemy that stands between you and a great Sunday morning is dehydration.
Keeping yourself hydrated couldn’t be easier, and is obviously key to combat the symptoms of dehydration, so don’t forget to drink water during the night out and have some ready the next day.
3. Eat carbohydrates
Carbs can counteract some of the symptoms such as the fatigue and headaches that come when the brain doesn’t have enough fuel, so make food a pit-stop whenever you can.
It’s true that bread really can help the hangover.
4. Avoid darker-coloured alcoholic drinks
Chemicals called congeners can cause more intense hangovers and tend to be found in darker drinks such as red wine, bourbon, and whiskey.
So, if you’re normally wild for whiskey but worried about the next day, take inspiration from Darth Vader and think about your place on the dark side.
Clear liquors such as vodka and gin contain much lower congener concentrations (if any at all) and are linked to reduced hangover symptoms.
5. Drinking tea or coffee
If you don’t want to waste the day feeling dazed, the stimulant effects of caffeine can help with sleepiness and give you the needed kick into action. Keep in mind coffee can also dehydrate the body, so don’t forget the fluids.
6. B Vitamins and zinc
Diet strikes again, and it’s advised that you consume food and drinks that are high in zinc and B vitamins. Those who do so generally report significantly reduced hangovers.
How CBD can help with a hangover
Is CBD good for a hangover? Does CBD cure a hangover? Will CBD oil help with a hangover? We’re here to answer these questions, and more.
Here are some of the best benefits CBD can bring for a hangover:
Reduced nausea & vomiting
CBD can help nausea and vomiting thanks to the ‘vomiting centre’ we mentioned earlier being in part regulated by the endocannabinoid system, specifically the CB1 receptors.
Serotonin and opioid systems of the body also play their part, and research suggests CBD has anti-nausea effects by activating serotonin receptors in the brainstem.
This lowers the release of serotonin and blocks the sensation of nausea and urge to vomit.
Reduced anxiety & improved sleep
The dreaded hangover anxiety, or ‘hangxiety’, is a real fear that leaves some unable to leave the house.
This is where CBD comes in, as it acts with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) and the serotonin 5-HT1A receptors to regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviours.
The calming effects of CBD also appear to benefit the bedroom, specifically to increase total sleep time and REM sleep latency.
Relief from inflammation and headaches
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of the hangover and are often caused by inflammation, which perfectly matches the power of CBD as it’s an effective anti-inflammatory, and could be great in aiding that hangover recovery.
More than just joints, as our ECS has receptors all over the body the benefits aren’t limited to one area.
Needing a productive power boost? Then CBD can help, as studies suggest it interacts with dopamine receptors that have a direct impact on memory and focus.
It could also improve reflexes, response time, and general brain function. So, if you have CBD for your hangover, there’s really no excuse for letting a few Netflix episodes slip into your to-do list.
What are the benefits of CBD for alcoholism?
Looking past just the hangover, CBD can also be great for helping with longer-term issues that can come from alcohol. For example, CBD reduces cravings and can reduce the pleasure in the brain that comes with certain drugs.
Early results show that CBD can also help with withdrawal symptoms and control liver damage, acts as an antioxidant and can protect cells from toxicity by reversing the process in the brain.
For more details, take a look at our blog post on CBD and alcohol.
What does the research say?
Every aspect of CBD studies is on the move, so it’s important to keep up to date on the facts and figures. Though a great deal of research still needs to be done, the early results look promising in many fields and provide the evidence for CBD’s claims.
Research in the British Journal of Pharmacology shows the role of CBD in interacting with the serotonin and opioid systems to bring anti-nausea effects.
According to the study, “considerable evidence demonstrates that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system regulates nausea and vomiting in humans and other animals”.
A 2016 study in Translational Psychiatry demonstrates the interaction between CBD and dopamine receptors, which are known to influence memory and focus and in humans and animals. Also, in this example alleviating the symptoms of schizophrenia.
This 2010 comparative study backs the claim that the congeners present in darker drinks make for a more severe hangover.
A 2019 study backs claim on the benefits of using CBD treatment to aid anxiety and sleep (among other ailments), pointing towards the calming effects in the central nervous system.
A 2015 review on CBD and the regulation of fear and anxiety-induced behaviours. Although it points the lack of research, it states that “current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders”.
A 2011 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology researching CBD and anxiety relief for SAD sufferers. It found CBD can reduce anxiety in SAD and related this to its activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.
How to use CBD for a hangover
How much CBD to cure a hangover? As a newbie to CBD, it can be difficult to know the dose, but the rule of thumb is start small and build up.
Adjusting for weight, a low dose for someone who’s 45kg could be around 10mg, and someone 110kg would require around 25mg.
Of course, for whatever reason you’re taking CBD, the dose also depends on the severity of symptoms. Using CBD for a hangover, it’s recommended to take a low to medium dose, and increasing that if you really feel it needs it.
With CBD products they all enter the body at different speeds, so if you’re looking for a more quick fix then CBD drops will give you the faster reaction you’re looking for.
Why use Hempika CBD products?
With CBD products trust is everything. So much out there simply isn’t what it says on the tin, and it’s common for consumers to get conned into buying something that does not contain the CBD levels promised, for example.
Also, the importance of extraction is key. If products were found to have higher levels of THC than the legal limit, the customer is at risk of breaking the law or having adverse effects because they don’t know what they’re taking.
So, what’s the bottom line on using CBD for hangovers? Well, while it’s not the magic cure, it’s clear that CBD can play its role in helping you get through it.
CBD can work great to reduce some of the most common and unwanted symptoms, helping to reduce vomiting and nausea, as well as providing relief from headaches, anxiety, and improving concentration.
So, to really find the best hangover cure, make sure you use CBD alongside the top tips provided, and never waste another Sunday again.
Can I take CBD after drinking?
You can take CBD after drinking, and it can have many benefits to the body such as reduced alcohol craving and providing protective qualities to cells that protect against alcohol.
Is CBD good for hangovers?
CBD is good for hangovers, in particular with helping to reduce nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and headaches.
Can CBD prevent hangovers?
CBD can be used to prevent some symptoms of hangovers, especially when used long-term in a preventative way. For example, to help with symptoms of alcohol damage such as the imbalance of sugars in the body.
Can CBD cure hangovers?
While CBD alone might not be able to cure hangovers, it can be used as a great tool to reduce many symptoms. Using CBD alongside the other top tips, such as water and vitamins could have you feeling fresher than ever.