Sometime around our mid-to-late 20s, we pass a point of no return. The change, kind of like puberty, may take effect gradually. Or it may smack you right in the face like the wall that appears out of nowhere when you’ve had one too much tequila.

However subtle or dramatic its emergence, the effects are palpable and permanent. Along with the appearance of wrinkles and gray hairs, a genuine interest in small kitchen appliances, and a penchant for staying in (quarantine notwithstanding), you’ll also find hangovers have gone from a laughable inconvenience to days-long submergence in a murky pit of existential and physical suffering.

Where once you could pound a few vodka Red Bulls and a couple of shots in an evening out, you’re now wary of more than a single glass of wine. Turning your back on alcohol, the beverage that’s imbued you with the confidence of a dozen Beyonce’s and fueled at least as many memorable (or almost-memorable) adventures, may seem like shutting the door on the tomb of youth. But it’s also an opportunity to start a new and healthier chapter. And taking CBD (cannabidiol) may make the transition a little easier. 

Here are a few reasons to consider replacing alcohol with CBD. 

Nutritionists suggest some alcohol, like red wine, can provide specific health benefits if consumed in moderation. But there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence that anything beyond the occasional glass is bad news. This is particularly true for anyone with underlying health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular, renal, or digestive concerns or mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. 

CBD, like red wine, contains antioxidants. The upside of CBD, however, is it has next to no risk of side effects. Research indicates CBD can support overall mental and physical wellness, including a healthy immune system, regular sleep patterns, and balanced emotions. Furthermore, whereas alcohol causes inflammation, CBD is an anti-inflammatory compound. This is particularly important for people with inflammatory conditions, including autoimmune diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, and allergies. 

 

CBD Can Keep Stress in Check 

How many movies have you seen where the protagonist, or one of their BFFs, takes a shot or a swig of some stiff beverage before finally approaching their crush, belting Kelly Clarkson in a powerful post-breakup karaoke moment, telling their duplicitous frenemies what they really think, or (insert pivotal plot point here)? Most likely, quite a few. The truth is most of us are not naturally gifted social butterflies, and some of us are, well, quite the opposite, beleaguered with some degree of social or general anxiety that makes talking to people, or even just being around other humans, challenging. Enter alcohol, the great social lubricant. 

While Hollywood and experience do not lie in that alcohol can assuage some social anxieties, it’s conveniently easy to forget how quickly conversations can turn from easygoing to embarrassing when alcohol is involved. 

Fortunately, research shows CBD can help to maintain a measured stress response and emotional equilibrium, making it a helpful tool for people with anxiety disorders and others who experience excessive stress. And because CBD is not inebriating, it won’t increase your risk of oversharing, overstepping, or any other cringe-worthy social faux pas. 

No More Hangovers 

Unlike alcohol (or marijuana, for that matter) CBD doesn’t impede cognition or judgment. It doesn’t produce any sort of hangover either. A hangover, fundamentally, results from dehydration and the toxic effect of alcohol on the body. While many doctors, scientists, and amateur dorm room chemists have tried, there is no real cure for a hangover besides not getting one in the first place. And, as we discussed, the older you get, the more unavoidable they become. 

CBD, which is not dehydrating or toxic, carries no risk of a hangover. And the risk of any side effect at all is quite low. If you do have an adverse reaction, it’s likely to be dry mouth, diarrhea, drowsiness, or reduced appetite. Personally, I’d take that risk over the almost surefire chance of a splitting headache, ravenous desire to shame-eat any greasy and salty foods within reach, and a sinkhole of depression any day, but that’s just me. Importantly for anyone who wants to cut back without becoming teetotal, research shows that while CBD cannot “cure” a hangover, nor is it a magic bullet to prevent one, its anti-inflammatory properties may help to mitigate some effects of oxidative stress caused by alcohol. Therefore, it might reduce both certain hangover symptoms, like body aches, as well as long-term damage. 

CBD Doesn’t Cause Weight Gain 

It’s no secret alcohol is not a diet-friendly beverage. Sure, like anything, it may be fine in moderation. But honestly, especially around the holidays, most of us are not enjoying one glass of red wine or a single ultra-dry martini with Saturday night dinner. Alcohol, just like Christmas cookies or potato chips, is filled with empty calories. Worse yet, it can cause a spike in blood sugar that may cause cravings (and the inevitable crash), prompting us to snack even harder on not-so-diet-friendly foods. 

CBD, to the contrary, can help us maintain a healthy appetite and blood sugar levels. Instead of throwing our hormones out of whack, it can keep insulin and glucagon in check, preventing blood sugar spikes and reducing the risk of falling off the wagon straight into a barrel of soft pretzels and takeout. 

Ready to Try CBD? 

If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of going dry, even for 30 days, check out this article.

For more information on CBD and how it affects the brain and body, check out this blog post. If you’re ready to give it a try, click here to shop. The perfect product for you will depend upon your needs, but as a good replacement for alcohol, we might recommend Bespoke 3C or Serenity to start.