With CBD increasing in popularity, it seems people are starting to mix it with everything. From CBD-infused coffee to smoothies to baked goods to salad dressings, CBD could quite possibly be the most versatile player in the health and wellness world.

Alcohol manufacturers and bars have also jumped on the bandwagon by creating CBD-infused shots, beers, and other beverages. With summer in full swing, maybe you’ve even considered making that refreshing beer or cocktail all the more relaxing with a dose of CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD), if you aren’t already in the know, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more popular cannabinoid cousin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce any psychoactive properties or cause the high that’s often associated with marijuana use.

Bounds of research surrounding CBD suggest that it may offer a seemingly unlimited variety of health benefits, including aiding in pain management, reducing anxiety and stress, and even boosting your mood. The therapeutic effects of CBD have made it a popular option for many people who wish to unwind and relax without the mind-altering effects of smoking marijuana. For many, alcohol also works to take that edge off.

But what happens when you mix CBD with alcohol? And can CBD thwart any alcohol-related damage?

To answer these questions, let’s explore some pros and cons of CBD in relation to alcohol:

CBD can protect the liver from alcohol-induced damage Alcohol and CBD can intensify each other’s effects, resulting in higher levels of sedation and intoxication
CBD can facilitate decreased alcohol consumption
CBD can reduce neurodegeneration (loss of structure/function of the neurons) associated with alcohol consumption
CBD can reduce alcohol-related brain damage

Based on current (but slightly limited) research, it seems like the effects of CBD on alcohol-related health damage can be very positive. However, there really isn’t enough research to prove any positive or negative interactions between alcohol and CBD, especially in the long-term.

But what about THC?

The real concern arises when THC is mixed with alcohol. Alcohol can significantly increase THC levels in the blood, creating higher risks for overdosing. If you aren’t already aware, it’s also important to note that that combining alcohol with any drug will intensify the side effects that occur with that particular drug. Cannabis, as well know, has numerous side effects. These can include anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia and other concerning issues.

So, if you’re planning on mixing yourself a CBD beverage, we recommend that you ensure there are no traces of THC in your CBD product. It’s also important to keep the doses low and see how your body reacts before increasing the CBD dosage in your drinks. Taking a cautious approach can help prevent any short-term effects – it’s the long-term effects of CBD cocktails that remains a big question mark.