Even though anxiety is such a huge part of modern life, people frequently ignore it in hopes that it’ll go away on its own. When they do muster up the courage to see a mental health specialist, they usually go home with an alprazolam prescription and not much more. But is there a better way to handle panic disorders? Today, we’re going to talk about CBD and Xanax.
Now, even though we usually associate Xanax with anxiety, it can actually treat a wide array of mental health conditions. So before we look into whether we can mix or even replace Xanax with CBD, let’s see why so many patients have come to rely on this medication in the first place.
Pros and Cons of Taking Xanax
Alprazolam, otherwise known as Xanax, belongs to a drug class of benzodiazepines. These medications enhance the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid by opening up the corresponding receptors in the brain. The effect is relaxing and essentially sleep-inducing, which can be both a benefit and a disadvantage.
Still, these properties make Xanax invaluable in treating conditions like insomnia, muscle spasms and seizures, and even alcohol withdrawal. While this drug class is safe to use for up to four weeks at a time, there can be serious consequences to using it for too long. Symptoms of misuse can include:
- Memory problems
- Speech issues
- Irritability and aggression
- General disinhibition
- Worsened anxiety
- Lack of appetite
What’s more, the efficacy of Xanax tends to decrease the longer someone uses it. Then again, some people also experience discomfort if they stop using the drug, which may develop into benzodiazepine withdrawal. Once our bodies get to that point, it can feel like we have reverted to the state of anxiety we started with. In addition to all the regular symptoms of anxiety, we may also experience confusion, lack of focus, tremors, and sweating, among other things.
So even though Xanax can help us treat anxiety and a range of other conditions, overusing it can have serious consequences. Swapping the medicine out for a CBD product is one way to stave off those ramifications. But before we commit to such a drastic change in our treatment course, let’s take a moment to talk about the benefits of cannabidiol.
Should You Replace Your Xanax Prescription With CBD?
As we all know, CBD has a wide range of uses — treating anxiety and depression is only one of them. With that being said, we must acknowledge that we need more research before we can sign off on anyone using CBD as their only treatment for panic disorders. Even if studies conclusively show that CBD can be used instead of Xanax, that should be a decision every patient comes to with their doctor.
One thing science has been able to prove is that CBD and Xanax are processed by more or less the same systems of enzymes. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that both substances have a similarly tranquilizing effect. However, while Xanax may cause physical dependence, CBD hasn’t been shown to have the same consequence.
Knowing that we may be tempted to conclude that CBD is the safer solution of the two. But once again, without more research, we wouldn’t dare make such statements. Moreover, it’s important to note that Xanax is completely safe as well if you stick to your doctor’s instructions. As long patients remain transparent with their doctors about their reaction to the medication, they won’t develop a dependence.
Can You Mix CBD and Xanax?
But what if we’re not looking to replace Xanax at all? Rather, what if we merely want to supplement the medicine? Alternatively, what if we wanted to try a natural treatment without going through the slow process of getting off Xanax?
Well, to be completely frank, mixing CBD and Xanax doesn’t seem like a great idea. As we have previously established, these two substances are metabolized by the same enzymes. Therefore, it stands to reason that using CBD on top of our prescribed amount of Xanax could be extremely dangerous. If we’re not careful, it could lead us to experience symptoms of benzodiazepine dependence, overdose, and withdrawal.
If new research indicates a change in these findings, your primary physician or psychiatrist will be the first to know. So in the future, they should be the first ones you go to with any follow-up questions!
Related article: Can You Take CBD and Zoloft Together?
A Few Parting Words
Even though Xanax is the most popular benzodiazepine on the market, it doesn’t work for everyone. There are practically no studies showing its effects on children, and elders seem to have adverse reactions more often than not. Furthermore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking the drug, as should people with PTSD.
Now, we’re not saying that CBD is a solution to all these oversights. But who knows? Further studies of CBD and Xanax may point in that exact direction! Until then, if you decide to test out cannabidiol’s tranquilizing effects, don’t do it while you’re on Xanax.