Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are very popular, promising relief from a wide range of maladies. But if you are considering taking a product containing CBD, be aware that if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbal products, CBD can interact with them and cause unexpected … Can I take CBD and Ibuprofen together? As someone who has suffered from the monthly aches and pains of periods, ibuprofen has been a good friend of mine. There’s always a packet of those You can take CBD oil with ibuprofen, but you’ll need to find the right timing and dosage to avoid negative interactions. Read this article to learn the dos and don’ts of using CBD with ibuprofen.
CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) seem to be all the rage these days, promising relief from a wide range of maladies, from insomnia and hot flashes to chronic pain and seizures. Some of these claims have merit to them, while some of them are just hype. But it won’t hurt to try, right? Well, not so fast. CBD is a biologically active compound, and as such, it may also have unintended consequences. These include known side effects of CBD, but also unintended interactions with supplements, herbal products, and over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.
Doubling up on side effects
While generally considered safe, CBD may cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and, in rare instances, damage to the liver. Taking CBD with other medications that have similar side effects may increase the risk of unwanted symptoms or toxicity. In other words, taking CBD at the same time with OTC or prescription medications and substances that cause sleepiness, such as opioids, benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Ativan), antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines (such as Benadryl), or alcohol may lead to increased sleepiness, fatigue, and possibly accidental falls and accidents when driving. Increased sedation and tiredness may also happen when using certain herbal supplements, such as kava, melatonin, and St. John’s wort. Taking CBD with stimulants (such as Adderall) may lead to decreased appetite, while taking it with the diabetes drug metformin or certain heartburn drugs (such as Prilosec) may increase the risk of diarrhea.
CBD can alter the effects of other drugs
Many drugs are broken down by enzymes in the liver, and CBD may compete for or interfere with these enzymes, leading to too much or not enough of the drug in the body, called altered concentration. The altered concentration, in turn, may lead to the medication not working, or an increased risk of side effects. Such drug interactions are usually hard to predict but can cause unpleasant and sometimes serious problems.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine evaluated existing information on five prescription CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabinoid medications: antinausea medications used during cancer treatment (Marinol, Syndros, Cesamet); a medication used primarily for muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis (Sativex, which is not currently available in the US, but available in other countries); and an antiseizure medication (Epidiolex). Overall, the researchers identified 139 medications that may be affected by cannabinoids. This list was further narrowed to 57 medications, for which altered concentration can be dangerous. The list contains a variety of drugs from heart medications to antibiotics, although not all the drugs on the list may be affected by CBD-only products (some are only affected by THC). Potentially serious drug interactions with CBD included
- a common blood thinner, warfarin
- a heart rhythm medication, amiodarone
- a thyroid medication, levothyroxine
- several medications for seizure, including clobazam, lamotrigine, and valproate.
The researchers further warned that while the list may be used as a starting point to identify potential drug interactions with marijuana or CBD oil, plant-derived cannabinoid products may deliver highly variable cannabinoid concentrations (unlike the FDA-regulated prescription cannabinoid medications previously mentioned), and may contain many other compounds that can increase the risk of unintended drug interactions.
Does the form of CBD matter?
Absolutely. Inhaled CBD gets into the blood the fastest, reaching high concentration within 30 minutes and increasing the risk of acute side effects. Edibles require longer time to absorb and are less likely to produce a high concentration peak, although they may eventually reach high enough levels to cause an issue or interact with other medications. Topical formulations, such as creams and lotions, may not absorb and get into the blood in sufficient amount to interact with other medications, although there is very little information on how much of CBD gets into the blood eventually. All of this is further complicated by the fact that none of these products are regulated or checked for purity, concentration, or safety.
The bottom line: Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if using or considering CBD
CBD has the potential to interact with many other products, including over-the-counter medications, herbal products, and prescription medications. Some medications should never be taken with CBD; the use of other medications may need to be modified or reduced to prevent serious issues. The consequences of drug interactions also depend on many other factors, including the dose of CBD, the dose of another medication, and a person’s underlying health condition. Older adults are more susceptible to drug interactions because they often take multiple medications, and because of age-related physiological changes that affect how our bodies process medications.
People considering or taking CBD products should always mention their use to their doctor, particularly if they are taking other medications or have underlying medical conditions, such as liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart issues, a weakened immune system, or are on medications that can weaken the immune system (such as cancer medications). A pharmacist is a great resource to help you learn about a potential interaction with a supplement, an herbal product (many of which have their own drug interactions), or an over-the-counter or prescription medication. Don’t assume that just because something is natural, it is safe and trying it won’t hurt. It very well might.
Can I take CBD and Ibuprofen together?
As someone who has suffered from the monthly aches and pains of periods, ibuprofen has been a good friend of mine. There’s always a packet of those sugar-coated pills for times when cramps leave me sofa bound.
Then came along CBD.
CBD may help with period cramps, chronic pains related or unrelated to periods. It can even lift your mood as proved by medical research. (cited in this research from Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology)
When my period started, along with cramps, I was left wondering, can you take CBD and Ibuprofen together? Is it safe? Will I even need it if I use CBD?
Well, let’s answer these common questions on CBD and ibuprofen.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is completely legal and will not get you high.
It os sometimes used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders (cited from NeuroToxicology) like anxiety, depression. It has also been researched for its help with pain, inflammation and sleep.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the cannabinoid you may have heard of, it is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that cause the high or sense of euphoria. (CBD vs THC) (cited from research from WebMD)
CBD does not contain THC which causes the high.
Can I take CBD with ibuprofen
There are certain substances you shouldn’t mix, such as antibiotics and alcohol.
You might be concerned that CBD and ibuprofen are on that list of do not mix, they’re not, as confirmed by research on drug-drug interactions of CBD (cited from the Journal of Clinal Medicine)
Providing you are not allergic to ibuprofen you should be fine taking the cannabinoid alongside the painkiller.
There have been no reported interactions between CBD and ibuprofen, (as cited by the Journal of Neurology Research) however, there could be a personal reaction, so always use it with caution.
Will I need Ibuprofen if I am taking CBD?
CBD may help reduce those aches and pains as it can help to relax smooth muscle tissue. Smooth muscle tissue is what exists within the womb. When this contracts it causes pain, so having a relaxed womb will be the ideal. It is also said that it may reduce feelings of pain.
You might find that a dose of CBD daily throughout the month does wonders for your pain, however, you may need to dose it with ibuprofen too, depending on your pain threshold and your tolerance to CBD.
CBD vs Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug, also known as an NSAID. It is sold over the counter and used to help with inflammation and pain.
The way it works is by blocking prostagladins from being produced by non-selectively inhibiting an enzyme called Cyclooxygenase (COX). Prostaglandins are lipid containing substances present all over the body and have hormone like functions. Amongst many types of prostaglandins, some are inflammatory prostaglandins that the body releases when there is an injury or you feel unwell. They’re the cause of pain and inflammation.
The endocannanoid system and how it works still needs a lot more research but there are some theories. It is thought that CBD might do something similar to ibuprofen, by stopping the prostaglandin hormone being produced. Another theory is CBD may bind to receptors and send signals to help your body respond differently.
One review in 2018 (cited from research by Frontiers in Pharmacology) found that CBD might show promise in helping to relieve and manage pain and inflammation.
The current recommendation for use of ibuprofen is to limit it to 10 days as over the counter drug or as long as doctor has advised. If used OTC for a long time, it may cause stomach ulcers and may damage the intestines as well.
If you are in chronic pain and feeling that you have to reach for the packet of NSAIDS every day, then this might not be sustainable and certainly something to talk to the Dr about.
There is no known negative side effect of CBD so it is something you can take each day as part of your daily supplements in your optimised dosing. We always recommend speaking to your doctor about your supplement routine.
Why might I try CBD for pain?
Pain is one of the reasons why customers use CBD. Some customers top up with ibuprofen or paracetamol, others may find CBD to be enough relief.
Can you use CBD instead of NSAIDs?
That is totally up to you. Sometimes, you may find that the natural approach is enough to curb your pain and inflammation and sometimes you might need some additional meds to help you through painful times. We advise you chat to your Doctor about your medicine and supplement routine.
There is research (cited from an article on ResearchGate) showing promising results that, scientifically CBD might be better option for analgesia than pharmaceutical analgesics such as ibuprofen.
A daily dose of CBD is all natural. You won’t be adding chemicals to your body or having potential side effects from prolonged use of meds.
NSAIDs certainly have their place, but there are natural options to consider too.
Summary – Can I take CBD and Ibuprofen?
There have been no reported interactions between ibuprofen and CBD. However, if you feel any adverse effects then stop taking immediately.
Every person is different. There is a fair chance, any one of us may have individual reactions to these.
If you are still unsure then, as always, check with your healthcare provider.
Can You Take CBD and Ibuprofen Together?
According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 5 Americans suffers from chronic pain. Since Ibuprofen isn’t a long-term solution for pain management, many people are turning to natural remedies, such as CBD oil.
How does CBD compare to Ibuprofen? Is it better at easing physical discomfort and curbing inflammation?
Can CBD oil be taken with Ibuprofen to boost its painkilling effects?
In this article, you’ll learn everything about CBD-ibuprofen interactions, the efficacy of both substances for pain management, and how to use them to avoid cross-side effects.
CBD and Ibuprofen: How Does Ibuprofen Work for Pain?
Ibuprofen belongs to a popular class of drugs called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs); it was first synthesized in 1961.
Today, ibuprofen is an active ingredient in a myriad of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers, including household names like Brufen and Mortin.
Not only can ibuprofen relieve inflammation and different kinds of pain, but it’s also an anti-fever gent.
The drug mitigates pain by blocking a hormone known as prostaglandin. Unlike other hormones, prostaglandins aren’t produced by any glands. Instead, they’re byproducts of chemical reactions at the site where they’re used. Most of the time, it’s a site affected by tissue damage or infection.
When you take ibuprofen, it restricts the number of enzymes secreted in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), leading to a decrease in prostaglandin levels when the body goes through an injury.
This, in turn, leads to reduced inflammation and pain.
It’s important to stress that ibuprofen is only a short-term means of relief — it shouldn’t be used in the long run due to the risk of dangerous side effects, such as high blood pressure, bloating, ringing in the ears, and bleeding from the stomach (ulcers).
What Makes CBD Oil Different?
People have been using cannabis to relieve pain for centuries. In fact, the genome of the first cannabis plants domesticated for medical use dates as far back as 12,000 years ago.
Today, scientists can finally answer the “why” behind the plant’s analgesic effects.
CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found inside the cannabis plant. It comes with a wide range of potential health benefits, and at the same time, it’s not intoxicating. In other words, you won’t get high off of CBD.
The main difference between CBD and ibuprofen is how both compounds interact with pathways controlling pain response. For example, ibuprofen blocks the COX-2 from producing prostaglandins, while CBD interacts with CB2 receptors.
The pain-killing mechanism of CBD is complex and requires more research to be fully understood. Experts believe that CBD can reduce inflammation and pain as it changes the strength of pain signals that are sent from neurons to the brain.
In a 2018 study published in Frontiers of Pharmacology, CBD demonstrated an inhibitory effect on neurotransmitters and neuropeptides engaged in the “activation of descending inhibitory pain pathways, [as well as] reduction of neural inflammation.”
The above findings suggest that the mechanisms of CBD and ibuprofen for pain relief are quite distinct. Of course, some types of pain require more than just one painkiller, so people are wondering if they can combine CBD with ibuprofen.
Here’s more on this.
Does CBD Interact with Medications?
CBD is a potent inhibitor of the CYP450 system, a group of enzymes that metabolize 60-80% of pharmaceutical medications.
When you take CBD together with certain medications such as Xanax it may either decrease or increase their concentrations in the bloodstream.
A decrease in the drug’s levels may result in subtherapeutic effects. In other words, you won’t feel anything from your treatment.
An increase, on the other hand, is more dangerous because it may lead to drug toxicity and the so-called cross-side effects resulting from the concomitant use of CBD and the drug.
CBD-drug interactions are categorized into two groups:
- Those that could result in a dangerous interaction and should never be taken together with CBD
- Those that should be approached with caution when you add CBD to the regime
Ibuprofen is in the second group. Here’s why you should be cautious when using CBD and ibuprofen.
How Does CBD Interact with Ibuprofen?
Researchers don’t know how exactly CBD interacts with ibuprofen, but since both compounds are metabolized by the same enzymes in the liver, there’s a risk of potential negative interactions.
Although there have been no clinical reports about dangerous events following the coadministration of CBD oil and ibuprofen, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Now to the point:
Can CBD Oil Be Taken with Ibuprofen (And Other NSAIDs)?
The dosing and timing of both CBD and ibuprofen may affect how both substances interact with your body. Using the proper dosage and spacing out your schedule helps to reduce the risk of negative interactions.
Your doctor should be able to find the optimal dosage and timing for CBD and ibuprofen so that no interactions occur.
The dosage is the most important here, as it determines the strength of interactions. When you take large amounts of CBD oil and ibuprofen together, there could be an increased risk of stomach bleeding. That being said, some experts argue that taking low doses of CBD doesn’t seem to affect the way the liver processes ibuprofen.
Of course, everyone is different, so again, a consultation with a CBD-friendly doctor should help you figure out the safe way to take CBD oil together with ibuprofen.
Can You Use CBD Instead of Ibuprofen?
That’s totally your decision. If CBD provides sufficient relief from your pain and inflammation, you might not need extra help to get you through painful periods.
There are studies showing promising results that, in clinical conditions, CBD might be a more effective option for pain relief than NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
Last but not least, CBD oil doesn’t have the side effects associated with the long-term use of ibuprofen. It’s a natural and safe compound, with tolerable doses reaching 1,500 mg daily.
Final Verdict on CBD and Ibuprofen: Should CBD Oil and Ibuprofen be Taken Together?
Both CBD and ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory compounds and pain relievers. Although there have been no reported interactions between ibuprofen and CBD oil, CBD may affect the efficacy of the latter when taken at the same time — especially in large doses.
Individual reactions to the cumulative effects of CBD and ibuprofen will differ; any one of us may experience different side effects to these.
If you’re unsure of taking CBD oil together with ibuprofen, check with your doctor for professional advice.
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Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.