July 16, 2023 3 min read
Is it Safe to Take CBD and Xanax Together?
As a prescribed medication for the treatment of anxiety, users of Xanax should consult with a medical professional before taking CBD products. In other words, it’s important to first consider whether CBD can be taken safely alongside Xanax and a doctor can advise accordingly.
With this in mind, we’re looking more closely at whether you can take CBD and Xanax together – and some of the factors your healthcare provider may consider.
CBD and Xanax
CBD can seem appealing if you’ve been prescribed Xanax but are experiencing side effects or if you’ve been hoping for an all-natural, less pharmaceutical, option.
However, before taking CBD simultaneously with Xanax, you should discuss this option with your doctor or healthcare provider. This is because CBD can have an antagonistic effect —meaning two or more drugs can have opposing effects on the body—with some prescribed chemical medications potentially reducing their efficacy or causing side effects.
Taking CBD and Xanax simultaneously can produce complications from the side effects resulting from the heightened reaction to taking the two substances together. More specifically, our bodies naturally process, break down, and metabolize chemical compounds in the body via the cytochrome P450, an enzyme which acts on both CBD and Xanax.
As such, if you take the compounds together your body may not have sufficient P450 enzymes to break down both drugs effectively. This means the CBD and alprazolam (an ingredient in Xanax) will remain in your bloodstream for longer than they usually would, thereby increasing the possibility of side effects.
This breakdown process is known as “slowed elimination,” or metabolic inhibition. The similar properties shared by CBD and Xanax could produce agonistic interactions, thereby boosting the potency of each to a degree that could be harmful.
The safety of taking the two compounds together depends closely on the dosage you take of each compound and your body’s rate of metabolism. While taking CBD and Xanax at the same time could, theoretically, produce the same results and increase the risk of unhelpful side effects. Some people take Xanax and CBD at different times of day to overcome this, but again, this may not be enough to avoid the adverse reaction. To be safe you should seek professional advice before staggering your use of the two together.
Can CBD Be Addictive Like Xanax?
One common reason people consider taking CBD supplements over Xanax is that the latter can be habit forming and addictive. Fortunately, CBD oils and supplements (if they’re pure) are not addictive and possess a very high safety profile. For people struggling with the habit-forming nature of Xanax, this can be reason enough to consider the safe alternative offered by CBD.
Avoid Certain Supplement Combinations
The potential for an adverse reaction between supplements and between medications and supplements is not limited to CBD. Health.com reports that there are a number of combinations that should be avoided. They cite magnesium and calcium, for instance, which might both be taken for bone health. They submit that taking the two together may result in a lowered absorption of magnesium. This should be of particular interest to alcoholics who often suffer from low levels of magnesium and, because of this, may take multiple supplements to restore their lost bone health.
Health.com also warns that prescription medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and immunosuppressants can potentially interact in harmful ways with ashwagandha; that zinc can interact with some antibiotics; and that St. John’s Wort and melatonin may interact adversely with some prescription medications.
All of this is to say that it’s not just the combination of Xanax and CBD for which you should be aware and cautious. Because some dietary supplements can alter the rates of the absorption, metabolism, and/or the excretion rates of some prescription medications, again, a medical professional should be consulted before taking the combination of substances.
If you have been taking prescribed Xanax medication for anxiety, you may have wondered about whether you can take CBD and Xanax together. Unfortunately, it is generally advisable not to take CBD and Xanax simultaneously, as this may increase the side effects.
However, if you still want to try and take both CBD and Xanax, your healthcare provider may be able to advise further. In other words, never take CBD and Xanax together without first getting professional advice to be sure it’s safe for your needs.