With hangovers being the plight of all humanity, people are constantly looking for ways to escape this debilitating punishment. And this uneven battle might be yet another arena in which CBD shines.
Before we get into the ways CBD can curb hangovers, let’s first examine what causes them, beyond the obvious one, of course.
Dilation of the Blood Vessels
Alcohol makes the heart race, increasing blood flow and blood pressure. To cope with all the extra traffic, our blood vessels dilate. The next day, however, when alcohol’s effects have worn out, our blood vessels go back to normal, which causes blood to get clogged in certain places in our head that become pain epicenters.
Low Blood Sugar + Dehydration
Our body treats alcohol as poison, with the liver working to flush it out of our system. In doing that, our body releases insulin, which as you may know, brings our blood sugar levels down. This is why you don’t have energy after booze-fueled nights, even if you don’t have a hangover per se – your blood sugar is still low.
Additionally, the brutal dehydration, which is alcohol’s trademark toll, makes for a nasty combination with the low blood sugar that can leave you too weak to eve go drink some water.
As mentioned above, the body treats alcohol as poison, and for good reason. Alcohol is a catalyst for our stomach’s acid production, which is the reason why many people get heartburn when they drink, in addition to bloating, acid reflux, and even stomach ulcers.
Another defense mechanism that alcohol triggers in our body is its inflammatory responses. These responses work against our cognitive and motor skills, dampen our memories and vision, and also cause headaches the next day.
How CBD Alleviates Hangovers
CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects are one of its most celebrated trademarks. They have been documented in many studies that matched them against scarier foes even than hangovers.
Nausea is one of hangover’s worst side-effects, as it can prevent us from treating the others, like severe dehydration and hunger.
Luckily, CBD is quite effective in curbing nausea, which is one of the main reasons why cancer patients rely on the compound for respite. This ability is attributed to 5-HT1A, which is a monoamine neurotransmitter that CBD directly activates.
Antioxidant and Neuroprotector
We’ve discussed CBD’s neuroprotective and antioxidative properties as they relate to anti-aging in length, but they are also very relevant to hangovers and especially to the compound damage that drinking generates over time.
Being an antioxidant, CBD directly negates some of the oxidative stress, caused by alcohol, giving free radicals their missing electron. And as a neuroprotector, it softens alcohol’s hit to our cognitive and motor skills.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Even though the following study has nothing to do with alcohol or hangovers, its findings suggest CBD has all the makings to be the ultimate hangover treatment, alleviating conditions like “myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways.” In addition to that, the researchers believe the compound has “great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications,” based on its ability to regulate glucose.
Throbbing headaches are easily hangovers’ scariest weapon, and CBD is great at disarming it. For starters, a prominent study, cannabis was found to decrease migraine headache frequency by more than 50%, with 39.7% of patients experiencing overall positive effects. Bear in mind that was actually cannabis, not concentrated CBD which at least in theory should reap much better results, given its inherently healing purpose and concentrated powers.
But you don’t even need to dig through the scientific journals to find proof of CBD’s healing powers against headaches. What stronger proof can there be than the wide embrace of the fighter community, in which migraines, concussions, and their long-term implications are the heaviest toll?
The fact that so many elite fighters hale CBD as a complete game-changer that makes pain killers obsolete speaks for itself, as does UFC’s new partnership with Aurora Cannabis “that is expected to significantly advance clinical research on the relationship between 100% hemp-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) products and athlete wellness and recovery.”
If CBD can help fighters recover from blows to the head, it can definitely help you recover from the ones of alcohol.