With anxiety disorders being so common today, people are constantly seeking treatment. CBD oil can be an effective treatment for several illnesses, including anxiety. However, you must be careful when taking CBD simultaneously with other drugs, specifically Xanax. Although Xanax is generally prescribed for anxiety, the combination of CBD oil and Xanax may pose a serious threat to your well-being. Therefore, make sure to read this article before mixing!
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound of cannabis plant. CBD mostly comes from the agricultural hemp plant. Farmers harvest this plant for making paper, fibers, rope, and more.
More importantly, CBD offers numerous incredible health benefits, all without it affecting your state of mind. Many people wrongly believe that CBD oil will get you high. After all, it does come from the same plant as the psychoactive compound known as THC. Well, it may or may not surprise you to learn that CBD does not get you high.
Hemp plants contain extremely low levels of THC. This means that the CBD that is extracted from these plants is in its purest form and has no mind-altering properties. Yes, you can get all the positive effects of CBD while carrying out your daily tasks with full mental clarity.
Whether it’s for a headache, pain, or something more complicated like anxiety or stroke recovery, CBD oil can help with a variety of symptoms. It may even leave you surprised at how this plant-based compound works so effectively.
In fact, many studies point to CBD as a potential replacement to your currently prescribed medications. People tend to prefer results without negative side effects. Luckily, our body tolerates CBD very well, as it does not have many side effects.
CBD Oil as a Treatment for Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that anxiety affects about one in five Americans every year. That’s 40 million people each year. Yet, only about a third of those people seek treatment. Those are some shocking numbers.
So what about the other two thirds suffering from anxiety? Why do they choose not to receive treatment? One possible explanation is that they do not want to take habit-forming drugs that could potentially lead to more severe illnesses down the road.
Currently, traditional medicine offers a few types of medications for anxiety, including:
- SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) – a class of drugs that blocks the reabsorption of serotonin in nerve cells. This allows for more serotonin to be available for communication between neurons, which ultimately improves mood.
- SNRI (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) – a class of drugs that blocks the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in nerve cells. These drugs are just as effective as SSRIs.
- Tricyclic antidepressants – a class of drugs that blocks the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in nerve cells. Due to their significant side effects, they are usually replaced by SSRIs.
- Benzodiazepines – a class of drugs that promotes relaxation and relieves muscle tension. These drugs are mainly used for short-term anxiety, such as during a surgical procedure. One brand name benzodiazepine you may be familiar with is Xanax. (More on this later).
CBD oil, on the other hand, can be an effective anti-anxiety treatment without the harsh side effects of the drugs listed above. Several studies have shown that CBD oil can control symptoms of anxiety, in some cases almost immediately after treatment.
In one study, people with an anxiety disorder were given CBD before a public speaking test and their performance was compared to people who were given a placebo. The group that received CBD treatment had significantly less anxiety and discomfort during a public speaking session.
In another study, patients who consumed CBD reported less overall anxiety. This was confirmed by brain scans, which showed anti-anxiety patterns of blood flow.
CBD vs Xanax
As mentioned earlier, CBD oil works very well against anxiety. Xanax, on the other hand, is also a powerful anti-anxiety treatment. Aside from their similarities in fighting anxiety, however, CBD oil and Xanax are two completely different treatment choices. Below you will see some of the main benefits and side effects of the two:
Benefits of CBD oil for anxiety:
- Non-habit forming (will not lead to addiction)
- Does not diminish daily functioning abilities
- Treatment is effective in both the short and long-term
- Long-term treatment may offer additional health benefits
- All-natural, plant-based
Side effects of CBD oil:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Change in appetite
Benefits of Xanax for anxiety:
- Powerful anti-anxiety treatment
- Very effective for short-term anxiety management
Side effects of Xanax:
- Addictive when used as a long-term treatment
- Tolerance-forming (over time your body gets used to the substance and more needs to be taken to achieve the same effect)
- Severe withdrawal symptoms can result from stopping the drug
- Slurred speech
- Poor balance or coordination
- Trouble concentrating
- Impaired memory
- Blurred vision
- …the list goes on
Can You Take CBD Oil and Xanax Together?
In short, mixing the two will not go well.
CBD has many positive effects on the body due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. However, a key part of the way CBD works is its interaction with the P450 enzyme. This is a protein produced by the liver.
The P450 Enzyme
P450 is the enzyme responsible for breaking down CBD. When CBD is in the body, it binds to this enzyme and makes it unable to bind other compounds. This ties into the fact that the interaction of CBD with other drugs may produce undesirable effects.
The P450 enzyme breaks down almost all drugs that enter the body. You can see why this might be a problem is you take CBD oil and Xanax together.
When CBD binds to the P450 enzyme, the Xanax cannot be broken down. This is because there is already another compound binding to the enzyme, blocking the binding site. Of course, there isn’t just one of these enzymes. There are simply less available P450 enzymes available to bind the Xanax because the majority are already bound by CBD.
What Does This Mean?
Simply put, the longer a chemical compound does not get broken down by the body, the longer its effects last. Once the compound is broken down by an enzyme, its effects begin to wear off.
This phenomenon may be more easily understood with alcohol. When you have a few drinks, your blood alcohol content rises because the alcohol is circulating through your body. However, some time after drinking, the enzymes in your body break down the alcohol. Slowly but surely, you will begin to “sober up.”
Taking CBD oil and Xanax together can produce increased side effects of either substance. These side effects may include severe drowsiness, confusion, and concentration problems. These heightened effects can seriously impair cognition and decision making. They may also form an addiction due to the habit-forming quality of benzodiazepines. Long-term reliance on this combination can be very dangerous and may put your life in danger.
Using CBD Oil to Overcome Xanax Addiction
Ongoing research on CBD and its therapeutic properties show promising evidence that it may someday replace traditional medications. Several studies already reveal that CBD can be effective in treating anxiety, depression, epilepsy, pain, insomnia, and much more.
We know that CBD acts as an excellent anti-anxiety treatment, both in the short and long term. We also know that benzodiazepines like Xanax can become addictive when used for long-term management of anxiety. In addition to being addictive, these drugs can cause several unwanted side effects.
So, why do people still resort to Xanax? The most probable answer is that they may not know about CBD’s incredible ability to control anxiety. For some people, it may seem like it is too late to make the switch because they already have a dependency to Xanax.
Fortunately, a ton of evidence supports the idea that CBD can prevent relapse in addicted patients. One recent study done on animals displaying drug addiction involved giving CBD to them consistently over a seven day period. The results, as shocking as it may seem, revealed that the animals no longer displayed addictive behaviors and did not relapse for five months.
Substance addiction is a big problem in the world, but there may be hope for the many lives that are constantly being put in danger.