One of the first questions people ask when we talk generally about the benefits of CBD and headaches and migraines is whether it can be used as a miracle hangover cure? Whist getting through a hangover isn’t currently at the forefront of scientific research around CBD... there are certainly links that point in a positive direction – So we thought we’d explore them in this post.
Firstly, this is not a well-researched area, and secondly, your hangover is your body’s response to a poisonous substance – So, remedies for getting over it should also incorporate all the things we know, such as hydration.
What is a Hangover?
We all know that a hangover is caused by drinking too much alcohol. Everybody has a difference level of tolerance to alcohol, and so the severity of the hangover varies greatly – From a mild headache to an inability to get out of bed. But in general terms, the more you drink, the worse the morning after feels. Symptoms vary, however those most commonly reported include;
- Headaches, and in some cases an ache over the whole body
- Intense thirst and dry mouth
- Shakes, particularly in the hands
- Nausea, sickness, or diarrhoea
- Inability to focus
- Anxiety, irritability or even a mild depression
- Low tolerance to light or loud noises
Hangovers are caused primarily by alcohol, and to some degree the circumstances under which you drink alcohol. For example, many people who increase their water intake whilst drinking or eat a big meal will see a less severe result in the morning. So what actually causes the hangover?
- Alcohol dehydrates you – Making you visit the loo more often than you should.
- It interrupts your sleep - Even though it makes you feel sleepy, and often fall asleep very quickly, it prevents deep, high quality sleep.
- It impacts your stomach lining – Causing irritation and nausea.
- It dampens your immune system – It is believed that many symptoms are linked to a temporary change in the immune system, which is why if you feel unwell you should refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Brain inflammation – Overall inflammation of brain cells is triggered by alcohol, drinking can also cause our microbiomes to send inflammatory signals to our
Could CBD Help?
In preventative terms, there are many studies to suggest that CBD helps our bodies reach homeostasis; putting our immune system, brain function, mental wellbeing all in a better place to both deal with a hangover, and drinking alcohol as a whole. (Read more about CBD & Alcohol here)
In terms of helping to relieve the symptoms of the hangover, there is plenty of evidence to support CBDs potential:
- CBD is a known anti-inflammatory – Which can help restore the balance of inflammation in the body. This can help with the aches and pains, and potentially the brain-fuzziness.
- CBD helps you sleep – It promotes REM sleep, allowing a deeper, higher quality sleep to help you feel replenished the next morning.
- CBD helps with nausea - CBD has been highlighted in medical research as an effective treatment for all-cause nausea, meaning that regardless of the cause of nausea, it can potentially help treat the feeling of nausea itself.
- It supports the immune system - The components of the immune systems are scattered all over the body, as are our cannabinoid receptors. This means CBD can affect the immune system in many ways. Read more here.
- It helps with headaches & migraines – Perhaps the most relevant point here, CBD is very well documented for pain relief, particularly concerning headaches and migraines.
In summary, there is little evidence around the subject of CBD and Hangovers, however there is a lot of supporting evidence to suggest it should help. This of course should be alongside other key actions such as rehydrating, and getting good quality rest.
Prevention is always better than a cure, we’ve pooled some of the top tips available to minimise hangover symptoms;
- Drink plenty of water throughout the evening, and a large glass just before bed
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach
- Choose your drinks carefully, for example certain red wines are high in Tannins which contribute to headaches for many
- Drink less
If that ship has already sailed;
- Have a hearty breakfast – This can help increase your blood sugar levels
- Continue to drink plenty of water
- Go back to bed if you can
- Take an antacid such as Alka-Seltzer and pain relief such as paracetamol
- And of course, try CBD Oil, take 5-6 drops with your evening meal and your breakfast directly under the tongue for 60-90 seconds before you swallow, for the fastest and most consistent impact