Could CBD help you drink less alcohol?

Anna Magee

We’re drinking more alcohol than ever, despite social restrictions. But the new soberista crowd are now looking to CBD to take the edge off their nerves with no hangovers

In a surprise to precisely no one, Brits are drinking more in lock down. Pubs and bars may be closed across the country, but that hasn’t stopped us. As the coronavirus crisis swept us into a frenzy, alcohol sales in supermarkets have soared by £160m with liqueurs and cocktail ingredients leading the way as people start to symbolise the end of the day with a drink or fill their evenings creating ever more elaborate and aptly named “quarantinis”.

Swapping drinking from the bar to home is not an issue, but we are swimming in this sea of sameness. With time no longer linear, we now find ourselves drinking earlier more regularly as weekends are barely distinguishable from weekdays now.

Unless you’ve developed a serious addiction for macramé, all that extra time you would have otherwise spent meeting friends or at the gym is now empty space, and it’s tempting to top that emptiness up with a drink or two. A tipsy haze is fantastic at blurring the edges of even the scariest situations and making the that fifth family zoom call of the day seem much more fun.

Some might say that with the unseasonably warm weather over the past few weeks and over 7 million of us now on furlough, we’d be forgiven for treating this time ‘off’ as a holiday to save us from the angst of thinking ‘what happens next?’.

Health professionals are rightly concerned about our mental health as a result of the pandemic. Stress, anxiety, boredom – we are all feeling the impact of over two months of lock down. Adding a large consumption of alcohol into the mix (and the inevitable hangover and unnecessary calories) could be even more detrimental to a person’s physical and mental health.

So, with a few weeks more of lock down seeming inevitable, could CBD be the tonic we all need to help take the edge of?

How could CBD help?

As we have just covered, drinking to relax is an age-old ritual however many are now looking towards CBD as a hangover free way of restoring a sense of balance and calm – but how and why?

If you’re looking for new coping mechanisms during this period of self-isolation, perhaps it’s worth considering CBD. It’s easy to use and can be woven into your wellness regime without fuss. It’s also a one-stop shop. Why buy countless of supplements designed for specific functions, when the research behind CBD shows that it could support many of them at once. It’s definitely more cost effective and might be a better way to promote relaxation rather than reaching for the bottle.

CBD and stress

The connection between CBD and stress is becoming increasingly substantial and much talked about – with new research emerging every week.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse: “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioural and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety.”

‘CBD has also been shown to lower cortisol levels, as it interacts with the endocannabinoid system and the serotonin system, which are involved in anxiety and depression’ comments scientific advisor to The Drug Store Julie Moltke, whose book A Quick Guide To CBD is out this month.

This is because CBD is thought to help restore balance to our endocannabinoid system (also known as the ECS – a system crucial for supporting our overall wellness) by preventing overstimulation of your CB1 receptors and by boosting your body’s production of endocannabinoids.

Amongst many important functions, the ECS helps to regulate mood and sleep. However stress can cause your endocannabinoid system to become dysregulated, which in turn can cause us to sleep badly, have higher levels of anxiety than usual, low moods etc. Restoring balance by supplementing your current regime with CBD could have a positive and lasting impact on these functions, ensuring you are feeling mentally on top of your game during the day and more chilled at the end.

Conversely, self-medicating with an additional glass of wine could very well help you in the short term. But we all know that the day after, those feelings and issues remain and may, in some cases, feel worse than before. After all, alcohol is a nervous system depressant which impairs the regular functioning of the brain.

CBD sales are soaring

CBD companies have definitely seen an uplift in sales of late with a March 2020 survey of CBD consumers showing that 39% expect to use more CBD during the COVID-19 crisis, rising to 49% amongst Millennials and Gen Z consumers. One of the brands that has benefited from this is CBD lifestyle brand, Pollen.

“CBD has become hugely popular since coronavirus hit because it’s a one-stop shop for multiple health concerns. Our customers are seeking simple additions to their self-care rituals and the feedback from our community is that they are turning to our products as a way of supporting their wellness during this time.” says founder Melanie Goldsmith.

Pollen’s state-of-the-art innovation team have developed three product ranges: a botanical CBD soft drink, CBD Gummies and CBD Drink Drops. Pollen’s CBD is derived from USA grown, certified, broad-spectrum hemp with no pesticides or chemicals, plus it is independently third party tested not once, but twice to ensure complete accuracy of dose with undetectable levels of THC. And the best bit is that none of Pollen’s products contain that bitter CBD aftertaste – in fact, they taste totally amazing.

“One comment that’s cropping up more now is how CBD is helping them stay away from drinking too much.” continues Mel. “One of our products, Pollenade, has 15mg of water-soluble CBD from broad spectrum hemp oil. We wanted it to taste like a premium, adult, sparking drink so mixed botanical flavours to ensure it had a complex taste instead of a sugar overload. Pollenade takes the edge off, without the need for booze, and sometimes that’s all we need.”

We’ve been using Pollen’s Drink Drops (Soothe You which have 30mg of CBD per serving) in tonic water at night. Because it has botanical flavours, it’s just like a craft gin or a light cocktail. We also saw a recipe for a CBD rosemary and cucumber gimlet which looks amazing and would work perfectly with their vanilla drink drops.

We see a lot of CBD brands at Healthista HQ, but we all agree that Pollen’s products speak for themselves – just try them and you will see.

They are also gaining quite the cult celebrity following (Kim Kardashian to name drop just one!) and the backing of CBD experts such as Dr Moltke.

Perhaps what is even more impressive about this brand is their commitment to create a safe space for their customers (many of whom are from the creative community) and beyond to talk openly and feel supported. This really is a brand who take both quality and kindness seriously.

This post has been sponsored by Pollen CBD.

Healthista have partnered with Pollen to offer 20% off their first order throughout June and July. Just use the code ‘SELFCARE’ at the checkout. Website: uk.withpollen.com

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