CBD and Xanax are the most commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications.
Xanax is a patented anxiety-relieving medication that belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which can be used to treat anxiety disorders (such as social anxiety disorder and panic disorder) as well as insomnia.
Similarly, CBD is widely known for its relaxing and calming effects on the body and can be used to treat anxiety disorders.
According to recent studies, Xanax is the third most prescribed drug in the United States and one of the top twenty best-selling black-market prescription drugs worldwide.
Unfortunately, benzodiazepines are highly addictive and make you drug-dependent in as little as two weeks of regular use. The brain enters a state of hyperarousal as soon as the effects of drugs wear off, which causes severe anxiety attacks. This can result in insomnia and emotional instability.
Due to the adverse effects of benzodiazepines, many people are turning towards CBD to alleviate withdrawal symptoms while decreasing their Xanax dose.
In this article, we’ll explain the possible interactions between CBD and Xanax, and how long you can take Xanax after using CBD.
What are Benzodiazepines (Xanax)?
Benzodiazepines are a class of laboratory-synthesized medications that are used to treat symptoms of a variety of disorders, including:
- Muscle spasms
Benzodiazepines are sometimes used for sedation during surgery to treat premenstrual syndrome and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Benzodiazepines have a high risk of producing major side effects, when you take Xanax with other medicines such as opioids or alcohol, this combination can even result in death.
Like opioids, Xanax acts quickly and effectively, which means it is prescribed for acute, one-off situations, such as calming a patient before surgery or combating flight anxiety.
The usage of Xanax can lead to a number of serious side effects and even addiction in many patients.
Does CBD interact with Xanax?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining popularity due to its efficacy in treating a number of medical conditions including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
CBD is a nontoxic medication, but when combined with psychotropic medications like Xanax, it can increase the chance of undesirable interactions or adverse effects.
CBD and Xanax are both metabolized by similar groups of enzymes, indicating that CBD can compete or interfere with these enzymes, resulting in a change in the concentration of alprazolam in the body. This interaction is referred to as metabolic competition. It is the most prevalent type of CBD interaction with other drugs.
We can say that CBD interferes with or delays the metabolism of alprazolam (Xanax), increasing the risk of side effects.
What Happens If You Take CBD with Xanax?
When you take CBD with Xanax, the combination of these drugs enhances each other's action. This combination has the potential to significantly boost the overall effects of these drugs, however, it can do more harm than good.
CBD and Xanax may act on the same receptors, producing the effects in the same direction. CBD and Xanax work as muscle relaxants when taken together. They both have similar relaxing and anti-anxiety properties, and their combination might result in dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
You can take both drugs together under the guidance of a doctor.
How Does CBD Help in Benzodiazepine (Xanax) Withdrawal?
It is really unpleasant to experience benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, severe anxiety and panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, and even death (with a serious addiction to benzodiazepines).
Now, we have a good knowledge of benzodiazepines – How do they work? And what makes them so dangerous?
Many people take CBD to ease benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.
CBD alleviates anxiety, which is the most common negative effect of benzodiazepine withdrawal. CBD also relieves symptoms of insomnia caused by Xanax.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing CBD and Xanax
Combining CBD with Xanax carries more risks than advantages, and you shouldn’t combine these medications without your doctor's approval.
CBD products that contain THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) can cause anxiety in some people. Therefore, CBD could counteract the desired effects of Xanax.
For others, CBD and Xanax can have a similar impact and increase the feeling of relaxation.
CBD with Xanax can produce an intense feeling of relaxation. If you’re suffering from anxiety, this combination can produce a desirable effect. However, gaining this peace of mind comes with risks and can soon become a problem due to drug interaction and addiction risks.
CBD and Xanax can cause several potential risks as the doses increase. Higher doses of this combination can cause severe anxiety, drowsiness, lightheadedness, difficulty speaking, and nausea.
Moreover, some people may experience more serious side effects such as:
- Respiratory issues (slow breathing)
- Blurry vision
If you experience any of these serious side effects, seek medical attention.
However, lower dosages of these drugs may be tolerable for some people.
How Long After Taking CBD Can You Take Xanax?
If you need to take CBD and Xanax, you should take them at different times.
For example, if you take CBD in the morning, you should take Xanax at night.
Consult your doctor to determine the best time to take both medications. Also, if you stop taking Xanax and experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety or panic attacks, see your doctor.
It’s not a good idea to take CBD with Xanax, you should wait at least 4 to 6 hours after taking CBD to avoid interactions between these medications.
CBD vs Xanax: Is CBD a Viable Alternative to Xanax?
CBD offers a number of health benefits without interfering with the patient's well-being since it’s not toxic or psychoactive.
Many consumers of Xanax are willing to take CBD as a natural alternative to treat various ailments such as seizures, anxiety, cancer, chronic pain, and inflammation.
CBD balances the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD is more effective and safe than Xanax in treating illnesses such as panic attacks.
Hence, it is tempting to replace traditional Xanax with CBD to overcome anxiety and depression. However, stopping benzodiazepines such as Xanax abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
When anyone suddenly stops taking Xanax, various functions in the body are affected. Blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate may increase rapidly. Therefore, one must be very careful before combining or substituting Xanax with CBD. Your doctor will be able to devise the most appropriate way to take CBD with Xanax, either by lowering the dosage of Xanax or by spacing the doses of both medications.
To lower the risk of adverse effects, the dose of Xanax may need to be gradually reduced for several days. A medical professional with adequate knowledge of CBD usage with Xanax in the treatment of anxiety disorder will be able to advise you on the best method.
When Should You Avoid Taking Xanax?
The following issues should be discussed with your doctor while taking Xanax:
Xanax with Opioids Medications
When you take Xanax with opioid drugs, this combination could cause life-threatening respiratory issues and sedation.
You should avoid the consumption of any alcoholic beverages while taking Xanax as it could lead to deadly interactions.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Xanax is contraindicated during pregnancy, and patients shouldn’t breastfeed their children if they are taking Xanax.
Interference with Cognitive Performance
Until you know how Xanax affects your cognitive and motor performance, you should avoid physical activities that require mental alertness such as driving a car.
What drugs should not be taken with CBD gummies?
CBD gummies shouldn’t be taken with sedative drugs (such as phenobarbital), diazepam, phenytoin, and lamotrigine.
Does CBD interact with anxiety medication?
Yes, CBD interacts with anti-anxiety medications and causes drowsiness. CBD has the potential to interact with many other anxiety medications such as Xanax, Ativan, and Valium.
What drugs should not be taken with CBD?
You shouldn’t take CBD with medications for epilepsy and seizures, antidepressant drugs (SSRIs), anxiolytic drugs, cold and flu medicines, benzodiazepines (such as Xanax), anticoagulants, antihistamines, antibiotics, and pain medications (opioids).
Benzodiazepines (Xanax) represent a major issue all over the world. Xanax can treat severe anxiety and panic disorders, however, long-term use of Xanax can be addictive.
CBD can fight the withdrawal symptoms of Xanax and make the withdrawal process more comfortable.
CBD combined with Xanax can induce a strong feeling of relaxation. If you're suffering from anxiety, this combo can have a good effect. However, gaining this peace of mind comes with complications that can quickly become a problem due to drug interaction and addiction risks.
If you need to take CBD with Xanax, you should take them at different times.
Taking CBD with Xanax is not a good idea, you should wait at least three hours after taking CBD to avoid interactions between both drugs.
Consult with your doctor about the appropriate time to take both medications.