CBD Instead of Alcohol: Why CBD Mocktails Will Replace Alcohol

Alcohol is a recreational drug that has long been associated with a number of negative side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, impaired reflexes and nausea, as well as long-term health effects, including liver damage, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and cognitive impairment. In total, alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including depression. Indeed, as alcohol triggers the release of chemicals that make us feel more content and less sensitive to pain, and chronic alcohol use can lead to longer-term changes in brain structure that make it harder to stop, it can be an addictive substance for lots of us. In England alone, there are an estimated 602,391 dependent drinkers, of which just 18% are receiving treatment.

For these reasons, amongst others, lots of people are choosing to go sober — whether to battle addiction, improve physical and mental health, or to find a healthier way to cope with stress or pain. 

This is where Cannabidiol (CBD) comes in. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant that has become a popular, natural alternative to alcohol for those looking to go sober. CBD doesn’t produce mind-altering effects, and is not thought to cause major unpleasant side effects, but is associated with potential relief for certain conditions, like stress and pain. CBD can also be consumed in many different forms, including oil, creams and balms, and drinks and edibles.

Let’s look in more detail at the difference between the two.  

The Differences Between CBD & Alcohol

Intoxication 

A report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that CBD does not induce major side effects, does not get you high, and is not associated with abuse potential. Furthermore, CBD is a non-intoxicating substance, which means it shouldn’t impair your ability to function or make good decisions, reducing your risk of accidents and injuries. 

This is unlike alcohol, which is an intoxicating substance, and is responsible for more than 1 in 10 visits to accident and emergency (A&E) departments because of alcohol-related illnesses, accidents and injuries. 

Anxiety and Stress 

For lots of people, drinking alcohol is a way to relax when you’re stressed. However, as well as alcohol being a depressant, evidence shows that drinking more than the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines of 14 units a week can make feelings of stress harder to deal with. In short, we know that drinking alcohol to relieve stress doesn’t work in the long term.

On the other hand, research suggests that CBD can help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and stress. One 2015 study found that current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, and 2019 research found that CBD reduced anxiety symptoms in a simulated public speaking test. In a more recent 2020 study, researchers evaluated CBD’s effects on 397 adults living in New Zealand. The study participants received medical CBD prescriptions for various ailments, including non-cancer pain, neurological symptoms, and mental health symptoms, and all groups reported improvements in their overall quality of life after 3 weeks of CBD treatment. Indeed, we know that 51% of U.S. adults who use CBD do so to help alleviate their anxiety, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 adults.’

Pain

Research also suggests that CBD might have anti-inflammatory properties for managing pain and discomfort. Although inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, chronic inflammation can contribute to a wide range of conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. In alleviating inflammation then, it’s thought that CBD might be able to reduce pain and improve mobility in people with chronic pain conditions.

CBD has also been found to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating a wide range of physiological processes, including pain perception. By interacting with this system, CBD might be able to reduce the perception of pain.

In low to moderate doses, alcohol can act as a mild pain reliever. However, the use of alcohol as a pain management tool is not without risks. Chronic use can lead to physical and psychological dependence, and excessive consumption can lead to a whole range of uncomfortable and life-threatening side effects. Not to mention that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. 

Addiction

Despite having potential therapeutic benefits, such as the relief of stress and pain, CBD is not considered to be addictive. This means that it can be used on an as-needed basis, without the concern of developing a dependence. As an additional benefit, some research has suggested that CBD could be helpful for people with alcohol addiction, as it might help to reduce certain withdrawal symptoms. 

CBD Mocktails 

CBD mocktails are non-alcohol beverages made by infusing CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp and cannabis, into various cocktail ingredients. This adds a unique twist to classic cocktail recipes, and is the ideal option for people who want to experience the non-psychoactive benefits of CBD, but don’t want to consume alcohol. 

It’s not too different from making a regular cocktail. Simply shake together your usual cocktail ingredients, and then add a drop of CBD oil (or your desired dosage), and stir to finish. One of our personal favourites is a CBD Margarita Mocktail. You’ll need:

  • 2 oz of lime or Orange juice
  • 1 oz of honey syrup
  • 1/4 oz of CBD oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ice cubes

Instructions:

  1. In a shaker, combine lime juice, honey syrup, and salt.
  2. Shake well with ice and strain into a glass filled with ice.
  3. Add CBD oil and give it a quick stir.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.
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Want to try making them at home? Get Healthy, Not High with CBD-licious recipes from best-selling author Stacy Rae, combined with our award-winning CBD oil. Check out the book: In the Kitchen with the CBD Recipe Guru: More Than 60 Delicious Foods Without the High, and navigate to the Quench Your Thirst section for some great recipes. 

Dr Carol Gemberling Stewart (DNP, GNP, FNP), describes the Red Wine Cranberry Cooler as her “favourite go-to beverage for enjoyment and relaxation. It’s yummy and healthy since it’s loaded with double antioxidants, which can help fight age-related damage to the body.” Find out more about Dr Carol, who has over three decades of experience as an educator of nurse practitioners and nurses, and who believes that there is a place for integrative, nonpharmacologic therapeutic options when managing a variety of acute and chronic medical and mental health conditions, on the CBD Guru’s website. 

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