CBD use may be linked to decreased alcohol intake, new studies show
New research from the University of Colorado at Boulder, published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, shows that consumption of CBD-dominant cannabis may be linked to decreased alcohol consumption.
To test this, the researchers looked at cannabis use in 120 subjects and compared cannabis use, which was mainly CBD-heavy, THC-heavy, or a mixture of both. This found that those who consumed CBD-dominant cannabis “drank fewer drinks per drinking day, had fewer alcohol consumption days, and fewer alcohol and cannabis co-consumption days than the other groups”. Those who consumed THC / CBD cannabis or only THC showed no decrease in alcohol consumption or a change in their drinking behavior.
“There is conflicting evidence about the effects of cannabis on alcohol consumption. Some studies suggest that cannabis is a substitute for alcohol, while others suggest that cannabis complements alcohol, thereby increasing alcohol consumption. Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown preclinical promise for reducing alcohol consumption, “the researchers said.” This study examined the effects of cannabis with different potencies of CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on alcohol consumption.
The authors also claimed that the results of decreased alcohol consumption “are in line with preclinical work suggesting that CBD may be linked to decreased alcohol consumption”. Other previous studies looking at CBD versus opiates, heroin, tobacco, and other controlled substances showed similar results.
They concluded, “The present study tentatively supports the assumption that plant-based CBD may be linked to reduced alcohol consumption in regular cannabis users, and suggests that regular cannabis users may be able to use higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC -Change the level of cannabis strains to reduce alcohol consumption. “
The study also requested that the cannabinoid content or composition of cannabis be examined when comparing alcohol and cannabis use, as this clearly makes a difference whether cannabis is CBD or THC heavy or not.
Reduced alcohol intake and cannabis use
This is not the first study of its kind examining the relationship between cannabis use and reduced alcohol consumption. The study’s co-authors published a similar research project published in the Addiction Journal in January that showed an inverse relationship between cannabis and alcohol use. Those who used chronic alcohol had less use on days when they did use cannabis.
This study, conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado State University, looked at 96 different subjects who used cannabis and also participated in an alcohol abuse treatment program. Their use declined on cannabis-use days, and this trend was consistent among those with heavy cannabis use and light cannabis use.
The research team claimed, “Across the sample as a whole, individuals drank approximately 29 percent fewer drinks and were 2.06 times less likely to have excessive alcohol on days when cannabis was used than on days when cannabis was not used. These patterns have been seen in men, women, and the rare and common cannabis use groups. “
“Heavy drinkers who are undergoing alcohol-reducing treatment and who also use cannabis appear to increase their cannabis use on days when they are reducing their alcohol consumption,” they concluded.
Commenting on the study, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano added, “Several previous studies looked at whether cannabis was more of a substitute for or a compliment to alcohol, and their results have been mixed. The results of this study are an important addition to this growing literature and provide strong evidence that cannabis can serve as an intervention for certain individuals looking to reduce their alcohol consumption. “
While more research is needed on this topic, previous data suggests that cannabis, especially CBD-dominant cannabis, can help with patterns of reduced alcohol consumption.