How CBD-Infused Cocktails Will Make You Feel

There's a good chance you've seen or heard of a lotion, cosmetic product, or oral capsule with "CBD" printed on the label. But, what is CBD, really? And what's all the hype about? (We're glad you asked.)

According to Harvard, cannabidiol (aka CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical found in marijuana as well as an active ingredient in it. However, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the part of the weed that makes you high – CBD does not impair people mentally, via the CDC. Despite being regulated with differing severity across states, CBD is currently legal nationwide. This is largely due to the USDA's Farm Bill of 2018, which made the hemp plant legal in the U.S. According to the CDC, hemp is "any part of the cannabis sativa plant" that contains 0.3% THC or less. Since CBD can also be derived from hemp, this legislation more or less means CBD is here to stay. As of August 2022, CBD Oracle reported that 18% of the U.S. population had tried CBD by 2020, and the figures have been consistently increasing since.

Gourmet marijuana-infused dinners made headlines in 2016. Now, CBD oil is popularly infused into tea, coffee, and cocktails; cbdMD has even developed a water-soluble form of CBD oil that makes it easier to incorporate into drinks. Here's how CBD-infused cocktails will make you feel.

CBD's effect on the body

According to Dr. Abraham Benavides, M.D., via American Marijuana, even if you take a massive dose of CBD, you physically cannot get high because it doesn't contain any psychoactive compounds. As Benavides puts it, "[A] healthy person may say taking CBD feels like nothing – and that's likely true. Though, others seeking an additional, potentially useful way to feel better may find improvement using CBD." Indeed, per Dr. Brent A. Bauer, M.D., via the Mayo Clinic, CBD is actively being studied for its potential to treat anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and a range of neurological conditions.

CBD has already been proven effective as an anti-seizure and epilepsy treatment and approved by the FDA for these purposes. It may also ease insomnia and chronic pain, says Harvard. However, CBD isn't without a few drawbacks. Luckily, common side effects are minor, including dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, and affected appetite – which, according to seed purveyor DINAFEM, might sound familiar if you've ever smoked pot before.

What does it feel like when you mix CBD and alcohol?

It's not going to feel like taking an edible. Folks have been mixing caffeine and alcohol for ages with drinks like the espresso martini – which, incidentally, is having a moment right now. Combining alcohol and CBD isn't a far cry from the concept. It's arguably a largely tamer mashup considering the measurable effect caffeine has on the body compared to CBD.

When you mix alcohol and CBD, says Healthline, they may "amplify each other's effects." The alcohol provides an intoxicating quality, and the CBD adds an element of grounded calmness. It's a one-two of pleasure and peace. Scientifically, that makes sense since CBD lowers cortisol, the stress hormone, per Brit + Co. Bon Appétit compares the feeling of drinking a cocktail with 0.05 milligrams of CBD to that "first wave of sedation" felt when smoking pot, but without the loss of motor control or spatial awareness.

In one study from 1979, 10 participants were given 200 milligrams of CBD and 1 gram of alcohol for every 2.2 pounds of their body weight. Researchers found that, while CBD alone didn't produce any sedative or "high" feelings, alcohol mixed with CBD made participants feel more intoxicated more quickly. However, Healthline describes the findings as "outdated" and notes that the CBD amounts were quite high. If people are looking for a way to kick it with some friends or relax, CBD cocktails might get the job done.