STORIES

I Got Drunk and Took CBD for my Hangover

By Andrew Ward on October 24, 2018

The majority of conversations around cannabidiol (CBD) push beyond general inquiry or definition. Thanks to continuing education, public awareness is skyrocketing. The word is out: CBD can improve the lives of patients, and do just as much for recreational users. CBD oil is employed by a range of individuals from athletes with pain to children with epilepsy to traumatized veterans to everyday people looking to feel good without psychoactive effects. 

CBD product lines expanded as the market opened up, offering a range of consumption methods that mirror THC-based products. Topicals allow for isolated treatment, while gummy edibles can be found in bodegas in Queens as often as in dispensaries in Venice Beach. In markets where adult use is still prohibited, vape cartridges are prominent. There’s even niche products ranging from smoothie supplements to intimate adult products. Regardless of how CBD is consumed, lab-verified products can relieve a number of painful conditions and afflictions a person may encounter. 

With the perceived benefits of these effects on our health, many people are turning to CBD to ease their hangover pain. But does it work? To find out, this brave writer took on the challenge to get drunk and consume only CBD products the following morning to see just how effective CBD can be on the body.

Phase One: Getting Drunk

With my declined tolerance and the exhaustion of two three-hour drives sandwiched between a three-hour hike in a Pennsylvania ghost town, I hit the town for a friend’s birthday party. At a karaoke joint near Koreatown, rounds of beers from a tap were interspersed with shots of whiskey, tequila and pulls from a cartridge full of Sunset OG. Soon enough, memories of the night became lost in my faulty brain functions.

At some point, I began time traveling, as comedy great Dave Attell would call it. Others may call it falling asleep in the back of an Uber and waking up with a beer in your friend’s Brooklyn bathroom while taking photos you won’t want to have in the morning. This scientific study was going swimmingly. The drinking portion of the test concluded around 1:54 a.m. (according to Uber receipts, not personal recollection).

Phase Two: CBD Help Me Please

Waking up the next morning, I began the second, more hellish portion of the study. Wearing pants from the night before and nothing else, I woke around 8 a.m. to the usual mixed bag of terrible feelings a hangover brings. My pain lived mostly in my head and general motor functions. I had shaky hands and slow brain performance. My stomach appeared settled, though I was slightly hungry.

At 8:30 a.m., I took the first drop from my full spectrum hemp-infused CBD oil, totaling 500mg. For each of the following three hours, I would take the same sized drop right around half past each hour. As time passed I still felt noticeably hungover but nowhere near the original pain. At 11 a.m., I took my last CBD product of the day, a 5mg cup of CBD nano-sized coffee. In all, by the afternoon, I felt just about my normal self, and I had two glasses of water and a small meal of a banana and string cheese before stepping out in the world as a sober human once again. 

I noticed improvements to my head and hands after each dosage. Two of the major areas affected by a hangover appeared to have improved, leaving me only with a significant case of lethargy. However, like anyone who has had a few hangovers can attest, not every experience is the same. While red wine and champagne may cause migraines one night, it could be a couple of cheap beers that do it on another. Sometimes it’s more stomach than head pain. With countless other elements in play, the impact of CBD on hangovers requires a more thorough investigation than one night and one person. Regardless, this writer is intrigued enough to take CBD oil the next time a hangover is imminent.

Numerous anecdotal experiences like the one above exist online and in the CBD community, providing some glimpse into its efficacy. Still, while tests studying the effects of CBD on a range of bodily functions and pains are available, there is no conclusive analysis looking into hangovers, though many common symptoms have been at the center of other studies. A 2016 study of two Colorado medical cannabis clinics found that cannabis reduced migraine frequency, while a 2017 analysis concluded that cannabis will likely emerge as a potential treatment for some patients suffering from headache-related issues. 

When discussing the stomach, a cannabinoid analysis in 2011 considered CBD a special case that suppressed vomiting, in addition to addressing a number of other bodily concerns. Another study found that CBD seemed to reduce intestinal inflammation, while a 2013 review considered CBD a "very promising compound." The latter report went on to state, "Now it is evident that this compound may interact at extra-cannabinoid system receptor sites, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. This strategic interaction makes CBD as a potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-[Inflammatory Bowel Disease] drugs."

The studies surrounding the efficacy of CBD may be applicable to hangovers, but don’t address the topic head-on. It's often noted that a hangover is best cured by sleep, rehydration and nutrients. Adding CBD to the equation enhances what could be considered the entourage effect needed to combat a wild night on the town, considering there’s plenty of merit to CBD’s impact on its own. 

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