In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to take Benadryl and CBD together. Due to how Benadryl is metabolized, the concentrations of the drug could remain at peak levels for a longer period of time when taken with CBD. Learn more.
Is It Safe To Take Benadryl And CBD Oil Together?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to take Benadryl and CBD together.
I just took 50mg of Benadryl and 30mg CBD oil to help me sleep. Now I’m nervous if this is safe. I didn’t even think about it when I took them. Is this safe?
At a glance
- Combining CBD (cannabidiol) and Benadryl (diphenhydramine) cause result in additive sedation, drowsiness and dizziness. Taking them together during the day could impair your ability to concentrate and complete tasks that require concentration, like driving. Taking them together before bed likely shouldn’t cause any significant issues.
We touched on this topic a few years ago, but it’s always a good idea to go back and re-evaluate such topics in case any new information has come to light.
This is especially true for potential drug interactions concerning CBD (cannabidiol) as it has just exploded in popularity (and use) quite recently.
Not only has the over the counter (OTC) use of CBD skyrocketed, it is now available as a prescription product, Epidiolex, which is indicated for the treatment of rare seizure disorders.
After reviewing available information for Benadryl and CBD respectively, there doesn’t appear to be any changes to what we wrote about previously. that there is no specific drug interaction that we know of, but they should still be used cautiously since both can cause sedation, drowsiness, and dizziness.
Our very own drug interaction checker (PharmacistAnswers Drug Interactions), which utilizes the DrugBank database, states the following regarding combining CBD and Benadryl:
Cannabidiols are capable of causing adverse effects such as dizziness, confusion, sedation, somnolence, and others to varying degrees. The concomitant use of cannabidiols with central nervous system depressants that can cause similar kinds of adverse effects can subsequently additively increase the risk, incidence, and/or severity of central nervous system depression for patients. PA Drug Interaction Checker
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a commonly used over the counter first-generation antihistamine. It does have ‘central nervous system depressant’ effects, which is why it is often used as a sleep aid. it makes you tired and drowsy.
The risk here of using CBD and Benadryl together is the additive (i.e. combined) central nervous system depressant effects. In other words, you may feel these effects more pronouncedly.
The good news is that really dangerous CNS depressant effects, like shallow breathing and respiratory arrest, aren’t known to happen on these drugs (unlike other drug combos like benzodiazepines and opioids).
The prescribing information for Epidiolex, which again is a prescription CBD product that often calls for very high doses (hundreds to thousands of milligrams per day) only states the following regarding the interaction with CNS depressants:
CNS depressants, including alcohol, could potentiate the somnolence and sedation effect of EPIDIOLEX. Prescribers should monitor patients for somnolence and sedation and should advise patients not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on EPIDIOLEX to gauge whether it adversely affects their ability to drive or operate machinery. Epidiolex Prescribing Information
All in all, if you are just combining CBD and Benadryl at night, you shouldn’t have much of an issue. just the additive drowsiness as discussed.
CBD Oil and Benadryl – August 2022
Does CBD interact with Benadryl and other antihistamines?
Benadryl is the brand name for a substance known as diphenhydramine HCL. Diphenhydramine belongs to a class of medications called antihistamines. It can alleviate human allergy symptoms, but people also commonly use Benadryl for dogs experiencing allergic reactions.
Antihistamines work by blocking the activity of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms (1 ) .
Diphenhydramine is used to alleviate symptoms, like red, itchy, irritated, and watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose caused by allergies, hay fever, or the common cold.
Diphenhydramine is also used to relieve coughs caused by minor throat or airway irritation. Moreover, diphenhydramine is used to prevent and treat motion sickness, and to treat insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep) (2 ) .
Can CBD Be Taken With Benadryl?
There is no known interaction between CBD (cannabidiol) and Benadryl. However, there is a potential risk when combining CBD and Benadryl, as both are metabolized (broken down) through the cytochrome P450 enzyme system.
Due to how Benadryl is metabolized, the concentrations of the drug could remain at peak levels for a longer period of time when taken with CBD.
The CYP450 liver enzymes are responsible for metabolizing potentially toxic compounds, including over 60% of any over-the-counter or prescription drugs consumed.
Certain substances can affect processing times within this system, making drugs metabolize faster or slower than they would on their own.
Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, leading to an overall increase in processing times (3 ) .
Antihistamines use the cytochrome P450 enzyme system and can interact with CBD, as reiterated by authors Eileen Konieczny, RN, and Lauren Wilson, in their book, Healing with CBD (4 ) .
According to an article written in August 2019 by Peter Grinspoon, MD, any medicine can have different effects on different people.
For example, Benadryl, an antihistamine, makes some people sleepy yet can make others wide awake. Thus, it is not inconsistent for a particular medicine to cause a symptom in one person and to help alleviate it in another (5 ) .
Until studies that specifically look at how CBD interacts with Benadryl are completed, talk with a doctor to make sure that there are no CBD drug interactions with other medications currently taken.
Can CBD Replace Benadryl?
There is no scientific study that recommends using CBD as a substitute for Benadryl. However, studies have shown that CBD possesses therapeutic characteristics that may help with symptoms of medical conditions for which Benadryl is indicated.
These conditions include nausea, insomnia, mucus production, minor throat or airway irritation, and inflammation.
A review from the European Journal of Pharmacology established the potential of cannabis to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting from a wide range of causes (6 ) . Results also demonstrated the crucial role of cannabinoids and their receptors in the regulation of nausea and vomiting.
A study from January 2019 looked at the role of CBD in anxiety and sleep, showing a positive correlation. The results, published in The Permanente Journal , indicated that individuals with anxiety or poor sleep experienced an improvement in both or either cases when taking CBD every day (7 ) .
CBD has been shown to interact with the endocannabinoid system to reduce mucus production, as one review in Future Medicinal Chemistry indicated (8 ) .
In another 2019 study , which was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology , scientists found that CBD helped to reduce airway inflammation and fibrosis in animal subjects that were experiencing an allergic asthmatic response (9 ) .
Meanwhile, CBD’s potent anti-inflammatory properties were demonstrated in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (10 ) . CBD may also be useful in treating different types of chronic pain according to a study on the animal model for arthritis (11 ) .
Benadryl has been used for many common symptoms and medical conditions. However, as with most pharmaceuticals, Benadryl use comes with side effects and health risks.
In a 2015 report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers offered compelling evidence of a link between long-term use of Benadryl and dementia (12 ) .
Meanwhile, studies have shown that CBD possesses therapeutic characteristics that may help with symptoms of medical conditions that Benadryl addresses.
However, no scientific study recommends using CBD or any CBD products with Benadryl. Neither is there a study that promotes CBD as a substitute for Benadryl.
While CBD is generally safe, as the 2011 review in the Current Drug Safety Journal suggests, the long-term effects are yet to be examined further (13 ) .