Health & Wellness

CBD May Cure That Hangover

By Anna McGeehan
Jon Tyson/Unsplash

Luke Bryan sang about one. Bradley Cooper starred in one. And we’ve all probably woken up with one. Yes, we’re talking about hangovers.

Whether you actually woke up in your rocking chair (as the classic country song goes), you had to retrace your steps from a raucous night out, or you’ve suffered the consequences of a glass of wine or four, no judgment, we’ve all been there.

Fortunately, the occasional night of imbibing won’t leave lasting effects, and your hangover symptoms are likely to fade in a few hours (the same cannot be said for chronic alcohol consumption, of course).

However, the unfortunate point remains that the more your drink, the more pronounced your hangover is likely to be. So let’s examine some options for mediating the inevitable headache, including everything from the tried and true Advil to some newer remedies such as cannabidiol oil.

What Is A Hangover, Exactly?

Despite their prevalence, scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes hangovers, physiologically speaking at least.

At a high level, a hangover is your body’s response to complex chemical imbalances such as dehydration, enzyme conversion, excess cytokine production (which can cause inflammatory responses such as headaches or nausea), and elevated acetaldehyde levels (a toxic byproduct that’s produced as our body metabolizes alcohol).

Put more simply, you likely know a hangover when you see it (or, more accurately, feel it). Classic hangover symptoms include:

  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Moodiness
  • Inattention

What Are Common Hangover Cures?

We all have our “go to” hangover cures, whether it’s coconut water, coffee, Advil, or a trip to a favorite greasy spoon. The reality, however, is that few hangover treatments have gone through any scientific review, so basic steps like sleep, hydration, and consuming complex carbohydrates to increase blood sugar levels are likely a good course of action.

However, given what we know about hangovers and the associated symptoms, more and more people are turning to CBD products for corrective relief.

It makes sense too. CBD is known to help attenuate pain, ease inflammation, relieve nausea, and manage anxiety, all of which sound like the worst hangover imaginable.

Is CBD The New Coconut Water?

Not quite, but it certainly has potential.

Remember, there is a considerable lack of scientific evidence linking CBD to hangover relief, and the few studies that do exist tend to focus on CBD’s effects on alcoholism and addiction. However, given pure CBD’s safe profile and growing anecdotal support, it might be worth looking into.

Consider, for example, why you might be reaching for that coconut water in the first place. It’s likely because you’re dehydrated, and one of the quickest ways to ease a hangover is to replenish liquids and electrolytes. Since CBD is a known neuroprotectant and antioxidant, consuming cannabidiol in the morning might add some much-needed vitamins back into your body and help flush out those hangover-inducing toxins like acetaldehyde.

Another potential bright spot? Headache relief. CBD is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and researchers are optimistic in its ability to help treat conditions like joint inflammation and arthritis pain. Scientists have so far focused more intently on the role of cannabis in treating headaches, finding “sufficient anecdotal and preliminary results,” but similar pain relief effects might be possible from other cannabinoids such as CBD.

Finally, there just might be hope for that dreaded, never-ending wave of nausea. Cannabinoids are known to have anti-emetic effects, meaning there’s potential to help ease that upset stomach and other undesirable symptoms. For example, a 2011 review of pre-clinical and clinical trials found that CBD effectively treated nausea and vomiting, particularly in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

How Do I Know What To Take?

If you are interested in trying CBD for hangover relief, remember that your best bet is to look for products made with pure cannabidiol oil. The more processed and refined the product, the less effective it might be.

With that in mind, you are in luck; CBD-infused products are seemingly everywhere these days, and there’s a little something for everyone.

Beverages like cold brew coffees, teas, or CBD-infused water might offer some much-needed hydration while delivering detoxifying benefits. Plus, the trendy and unique flavor profiles like matcha, hibiscus, and chai might help take your mind off last night’s margaritas.

If your stomach is grumbling, you might check out a few of the CBD eateries that are popping up, though they’re mostly in larger cities. You’ll find CBD cookies, muffins, and toast, each of which can add that right balance of carbohydrates and nutrients to get your blood sugar back in line.

Whether you eat or drink your CBD, you’re likely to get the added benefit of what’s known as a body high (akin to a relaxing bath) that might help ease any tension or anxiety.

If you do decide to treat your hangover with CBD, remember that the market is largely unregulated and there are no consistent dosing guidelines. While a refreshing CBD-infused sparkling water will probably get you back up on your feet, moderation (just like the consumption of alcohol itself) is key until scientific evidence catches up with the CBD market.

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