With Cannabidiol (CBD) growing in prominence, a lot of individuals tend to mix it with everything, including alcohol. The bar scene in Los Angeles is filled with CBD-infused cocktails while breweries are offering beer containing the cannabis compound, now increasingly known for its health benefits. Yet, is mixing alcohol CBD a good idea?

CBD is a cannabinoid with soothing effects, yet it is not like its psychoactive counterpart THC that could get you high. CBD is being sold in vape juice, edibles, oil, capsules, and, in many cases, alcohol.

Georgetown University Medical Center’s professor of neurology and biochemistry James Giordano said that the two substances – alcohol and CBD – may interact if taken within 4 to 8 hours of each other even if they are not mixed together in a drink.  This implies that you may experience a greater effect of the compound that you would without alcohol in case you take it after drinking alcohol with dinner and before going to bed.

Considering that both substances can relax you and reduce your inhibitions, their effects might be particularly strong and may endure for a longer period of time when mixed together.  Giordano said that while CBD makes you very mellow, lighthearted and chill, the alcohol may intensify it. For several folks, Giordano said that mixing it with CBD makes them quite sedated. As such, he does not advise mixing them.

Giordano explained that it is similar to other substances where you get yourself more into a problem, the more you increase the doses of either or both. Simply put, you might receive a potential effect that is stronger than their individual effect. In the same way, the intoxication level will be stronger: greater loss of inhibition, control, motor coordination, which eventually becomes problematic.

Ultimately, what kind of drunk you are will determine the effect of the combination on you. The expert said that if you are a violent or angry drunk, the CBD will disinhibit some of that, but if you are a happy drunk, the compound could make you even happier.

New York-based functional and integrative family medicine physician Soyona Rafatja, meanwhile, believe that there might actually be benefits from mixing the two substances. Research published in the journal Psychopharmacology discovered that individuals who take CBD capsules and drink alcohol had lower blood alcohol levels compared to those who drink alcohol alone.  Both groups reported experiencing the same impairments in motor coordination and cognition, though.  Another separate research in Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior found that mice had lower alcohol-induced neurodegeneration when a topical CBD gel is administered to them along with alcohol.

Other studies from Free Radical Biology & Medicine have also shown that mice that ingested alcohol 30 minutes after ingesting CBD tend to experience less alcohol-induced oxidative damage in the liver compared with those that did not ingest CBD. Experts believe that the results are quite telling even if the studies only involved animals. Dr. Rafatjah explained that alcohol reduces the degradation of damaged cells or autophagy in the liver that causes fatty liver or accumulation of fats in the liver, hepatitis, and inflammation.  CBD, on the other hand, does the opposite, encouraging regeneration of damaged, which eventually counteracts the effects of alcohol.

President of the medical cannabis practice InhaleMD and the Association of Cannabis Specialists, Jordan Tishler, meanwhile said that there is currently no sufficient studies to validate any interaction between the two substances. He is actually more concerned about individuals who mix THC with alcohol which could increase the level of the psychoactive compound in the blood by eight times.

Overall, experts cannot seem to agree yet on the effects of mixing CBD and alcohol.