Have you ever woke up the day after a few too many drinks to what feels like the worst hangover you have ever had? In these times of desperation, we look for things to soothe the discomfort and help alleviate the hangover issues as quickly as possible. There have been many tactics and traditions for helping hangovers from eating greasy foods to just sweating it out. Now there is another way to approach hangovers: CBD. How does CBD beat hangovers? Well, first let’s look at what a hangover really is.
What is a Hangover?
When we drink alcohol, our body absorbs the alcohol and breaks it down into different components. One of these components is acetaldehyde, which is part of a group of chemicals referred to as aldehydes. This compound happens to be extremely toxic and reactive when interacting with our body and is the cause of the undesirable feelings you experience when suffering from a hangover. The toxicity of the compound causes our body to go through several reactions required to break down this toxic compound and excrete it properly. During this process, our body is redirecting large amounts of energy and resources to the metabolism process while the acetaldehyde is making you suffer from several symptoms. Alcohol is very toxic, so when we drink, we are putting our body under stress by forcing it to adapt to an influx of toxic compounds to excrete it as soon as possible.
Effects from Hangovers
If you are over the age of 21, then you probably know what a hangover feels like, but if you don’t, here are some of the issues that create those unwanted symptoms those experiencing a hangover must deal with:
- Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic which can make us become dehydrated due to high frequency of urination, especially if we aren’t staying hydrated with plenty of fluids. The dehydration can cause us to have headaches and fatigue.
- Nausea & Vomiting: Alcohol sets off an alarm to the vomiting center in our brain when the alcohol levels rise in our blood stream. Our body begins to contract muscles in order to expel any alcohol left over in our stomach before it can be absorbed into the blood stream, in an effort to avoid absorbing the toxic substances that alcohol breaks down into. Alcohol also makes our stomachs produce more acid, which can lead to these symptoms, as well as heartburn and abdominal pain.
- Electrolyte Deficiency: Alcohol also saps our body of important chemical messengers called electrolytes. These messengers are what our body uses for our cells to communicate effectively. This lack of electrolytes is what causes those unwanted symptoms like physical weakness, irritability and similar symptoms to dehydration like headaches.
- Low Blood Sugar: Alcohol causes low blood sugar directly leading us to a state of hypoglycemia. Our body has a spike in insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas, which works to transfer the sugar to cells that can use that sugar for energy. The insulin works quickly, and our bodies work its way back to balance which causes a rebound that leads us to a crash. This crash is the reason we feel irritated and fatigued while enduring a hangover.
- Anxiety & Irritability: Alcohol can imbalance our serotonin system and increase cortisol production which can lead us to mood instability and high levels of stress.
How Does CBD Help Hangovers?
CBD has plenty of benefits that work into its ability to fight our nasty hangovers. First, CBD works to combat tension, which is the cause of our headaches while hanging. CBD can also counter nauseous feelings due to its effects on serotonin in the brain. As mentioned before, when we ingest alcohol it sends off the warning signal in our brain to make us vomit to prevent our bodies from absorbing anymore toxic compounds. This vomiting center happens to be regulated by our endocannabinoid system, particularly our CB1 receptors. This interaction leads to the indirect activation of 5HT-1A receptors located in the brainstem. These receptors are also known as serotonin receptors. This activation of receptors leads to the decreased release of 5-HT or serotonin and helps to block the sensation of nausea, as well as the urge to puke out everything in our stomach.
CBD has the amazing benefits of tackling anxious feelings and helping to combat stress, while assisting in balancing our mood. This can be a great reason to use CBD as well when experiencing a hangover because of the high stress levels that our body endures through the metabolism of the alcohol. Taking CBD helps to balance our serotonin system as well, aiding us in regulating our mood and irritability.
CBD is good to take regardless of if you have a hangover or not. But the best way to fight a hangover would be through consistent use of CBD, even before you drink, as well as hydrating and of course, not drinking too much! If you want to party like a rockstar, just make sure you hydrate like an athlete and take CBD regularly. Do yourself a favor though and just don’t drink to excess and save your body the stress!
FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.