According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders affect 1 in 13 people globally. People are always looking for an effective treatment for this illness, and the most common ones nowadays seem to be CBD and Xanax.
Benzodiazepines, which include a highly effective anxiety medication called Xanax, have always been the anxiety treatment of choice. However, as people learn more about the side effects of anxiety medication, many of them are opting for CBD as a natural alternative. Here’s what you need to know about CBD and Xanax and why you shouldn’t mix them.
CBD vs. Xanax
Although they are both widely used to treat anxiety, CBD and Xanax have many differences. While Xanax is a strong anti-anxiety medication, CBD can be used for mild to severe anxiety, but also for overall health and wellness. Xanax can also have severe side effects, and it can be addictive. CBD, on the other hand, is not addictive, and the side effects it produces, if any, are mild.
Benefits and Side-Effects of CBD
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Its use has become more widespread over the years due to its benefits for overall health. Along with using CBD for pain management, more people are trying it for anxiety and other mental health conditions including autism in children.
There are plenty of benefits to using CBD:
- it does not impair cognitive skills
- it’s a natural alternative to anxiety medication
- it’s not addictive
However, CBD can have side effects, including drowsiness, change in appetite, and low blood pressure. Additionally, you have to be careful in choosing the right CBD product for you. It’s best to opt for those with low THC levels.
Learn more: How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System
Benefits and Side-Effects of Xanax
Xanax is a tranquilizer. It’s commonly used as an anxiety medication, and its effects last for about six hours. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines.
The main benefit of Xanax is its effectiveness in short-term anxiety management. It’s highly effective in panic attack treatment. It’s also a powerful anti-anxiety medication, so it can be helpful for severe anxiety disorders.
Still, there are many side effects of Xanax. It is addictive when used frequently, and it can cause withdrawal. If you use it over the prescribed limit, it can cause symptoms such as:
- memory loss
Is It Safe to Mix CBD and Xanax?
Long story short, you should not mix CBD and Xanax. Although CBD has a positive effect on anxiety management, it can cause issues when you mix it with anxiety medication.
How Do CBD and Xanax Interact?
A study done in Japan shows that the CY3A4 enzyme is responsible for the metabolization of Xanax. This enzyme is commonly found in the liver and small intestine. In fact, this means that Xanax starts to metabolize soon after it’s consumed. That is a good thing because it prevents some of the side-effects that the drug can cause if used excessively.
In contrast, CBD inhibits enzymes that belong to the CYP450 family. This includes the CY3A4 enzyme. That means CBD blocks the CY3A4 enzyme, making it unable to metabolize Xanax properly. Since the enzyme can’t break down Xanax, its effects last much longer. In turn, that leads to unwanted side effects and even overdose.
Learn more: CBD and Nicotine Interaction
Can CBD Replace Xanax?
Xanax and other benzodiazepines can be a two-edged sword for those struggling with anxiety. The very medication they need to manage their illness can cause addiction. As a result, many struggling with this disorder are opting for a more natural option, such as CBD oils. There are plenty of companies that offer full-spectrum CBD products. They include organic ingredients that can aid in mental health along with CBD.
So, is it possible to replace Xanax with CBD? Researchers seem to think so. A recent study shows that rats who developed drug addictions no longer displayed addictive behaviors after CBD treatment. They also didn’t relapse, even after five months. However, the human brain is much more complex than that of a rat. Still, research shows that 45 percent of subjects who began using medical cannabis for anxiety stopped taking medication within six months.
It’s too soon to claim that CBD can fully replace anxiety medication. However, if you feel like you don’t need Xanax to manage your anxiety anymore, you can opt for CBD. If you choose to do so, make sure to consult with your doctor first.
The Bottom Line
You should not mix CBD and Xanax, as it can lead to serious side effects. However, if you choose to stop using Xanax for anxiety relief, you can benefit from CBD. Cannabidiol is a natural alternative to anxiety medication. Although it’s too early to tell, CBD research is promising. It shows that CBD can, in some cases, completely replace anxiety medications, such as Xanax. And, if you can, why wouldn’t you choose the natural option?