Everyone has their own special remedy for a hangover. Some people swear by Pedialyte and Gatorade or cherry tomatoes with milk. Others prefer pickle juice or a greasy burger. We have no doubt your hangover cure of choice works well, but there may be an alternative remedy that might be even easier than trying to stomach cherry tomatoes with a glass of milk. Can CBD help alleviate hangover symptoms? In this post we’ll be exploring CBD as a potential remedy for hangovers.
Hangover: About & Causes
Hangovers are a collection of signs and symptoms that range from uncomfortable to downright painful depending on the person and the level of alcohol consumption among other factors. Everyone knows hangovers are caused by an over-consumption of alcohol, but not everyone knows how drinking leads to the symptoms experienced with a hangover.
Ethanol (the alcohol in your drink) is a toxic chemical for your body that acts as a diuretic. What this means is that alcohol inhibits the body’s release of a hormone called vasopressin. Vasopressin tells your kidneys to reabsorb water rather than flush it out through the bladder. When vasopressin release is suppressed, the kidneys release more water, which creates a dehydrating effect. Dehydration is the main culprit for many hangover symptoms, but other symptoms arise from the changes in the body as it works to eliminate the toxins as quickly as possible.
Hangover symptoms will disappear on their own, but can take up to 24 hours to do so. Symptoms can typically be eliminated faster with proper care and attention.
Symptoms of a Hangover & CBD’s Potential Role
As previously mentioned, alcohol is a diuretic. When alcohol causes fluid to move through the kidneys to produce urine, the process also flushes out some electrolytes such as magnesium, sodium, and potassium from the bloodstream into the urine. The combination of dehydration and nutrient deficiencies can produce splitting headaches, as well as brain fog.
Can CBD Cure a Hangover Headache?
Dehydration causes an inflammatory response in the structures that surround your brain, which results in the pain you end up feeling in your head. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, CBD could have a positive effect in reducing the aches and pains induced with a hangover.
A rise in alcohol levels in the bloodstream can set off an alarm in the portion of the brainstem known as the vomiting center (the part of the brain responsible for controlling nausea and vomiting). The vomiting center can trigger contractions in the smooth muscles lining the digestive tract to expel substances via vomiting. This action can prevent the absorption of toxic substances into the bloodstream.
Alcohol can also cause your stomach to produce more acid, which delays digestion and can lead to feelings of nausea.
Can CBD Cure Hangover Nausea?
Unfortunately, CBD can’t do much to prevent or remedy the effects of alcohol on stomach acid. However, CBD may be able to indirectly alleviate nausea symptoms through its effects on serotonin in the brainstem.
CBD acts upon CBD1 and CBD2 located throughout the body as part of the endocannabinoid system. Coincidentally, the vomiting center is regulated in part by that same endocannabinoid system. Research has shown that CBD indirectly exerts anti-nausea effects by activating the 5HT-1A receptors (otherwise known as the serotonin receptors) in the brainstem. Activation of these receptors is believed to lower the release of 5-HT (serotonin), which then reduces the sensation of nausea and the urge to vomit. Therefore, CBD may be able to indirectly help with hangover induced nausea.
The fatigue associated with hangovers is often due to low blood blood sugar levels. Many wines, beers, and cocktails are high in sugar. It may seem counterintuitive that drinks high in sugar cause low blood sugar levels, but the reason is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas as blood sugar levels rise. The job of insulin is to transfer sugar into cells where it can be used to produce energy for the body. Insulin reduces the amount of sugar in the bloodstream as it transfers sugar into cells. Thus, when we stop taking in simple sugars after a spike, there is a point where blood sugar levels crash for a period of time. The crash normally happens in your sleep, which can leave you feeling fatigued the following morning.
Can CBD Cure Hangover Fatigue?
There isn’t much CBD can do for your blood sugar levels in the short-term. However, prolonged use of CBD may help to protect the body from the negative effects alcohol has on blood sugar levels. Chronic alcohol use can cause frequent spikes and drops in blood sugar levels, which can lead to insulin sensitivities over time. One particular study found that cannabinoids can reduce insulin resistance by up to 17%. Regular consumption of CBD could provide long-term protective effects for your blood sugar levels.
Dehydration is a symptom that comes as a direct result of alcohol being a diuretic. Naturally, when you’re excreting more water than you’re taking in, the result will be dehydration. Dehydration would be the reason you may wake up dry-mouthed, lightheaded, and/or dizzy after a night of drinking.
Can CBD Cure Hangover Dehydration?
CBD can’t really do anything for dehydration and it has little to do with urine production. The best cure for dehydration is to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to offset the fluid loss caused by alcohol consumption.
Anxiety & Depression
There is some truth to alcohol being able to reduce stress. In fact, small amounts of alcohol can induce similar effects to anti-anxiety medications. However, excessive alcohol consumption can actually cause you to be more anxious and depressed. Alcohol changes the level of serotonin, cortisol and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety and depression.
Can CBD Cure Post-Drinking Anxiety & Depression?
Fortunately, the anxiolytic effects of CBD have been found to be similar to those of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. As previously mentioned, CBD interacts with the 5HT-1A receptors to regulate anxiety and fear. CBD can help maintain your cortisol levels and ease your brain’s response to stress.
CBD May Be An Effective Treatment For Long-Term Alcoholism
In addition to having short-term benefits for nights of excessive drinking, CBD has also been shown to potentially have long-term benefits for alcohol addicts. Through CBD’s effects on neurotransmitters like dopamine, cannabidiol can provide relief from addictive behaviors.
Drugs like alcohol stimulate the brain’s reward system, resulting in an imbalance of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Long-term use of alcohol can leave the brain in a state of hyperactivity, which creates a neurochemical need for alcohol.
CBD’s interactions with the endocannabinoid system can help to rewire the brain’s reward system to reduce cravings for alcohol among alcoholics.
Explore CBD For Yourself
It’s one thing to read about what CBD could potentially do for you. It’s another to experience what CBD does for you personally. If you’re interested in exploring CBD for hangovers, feel free to browse our CBD shop.
At Green Wellness Life, we are not doctors. We can’t diagnose, treat, or prescribe any ailments. Nevertheless, we do report on scientific studies and customer testimonials to keep readers informed on CBD and the potential of CBD oil. If you have any questions about what CBD can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (888) 772-7875 or filling out a contact form.