Benzodiazepine withdrawals can be dangerous — even lethal, in some cases.
Xanax is a brand-name anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine class of drugs.
Even with the help of CBD, getting off benzodiazepines can be a challenge. Although CBD can significantly improve withdrawal symptoms, it won’t eliminate them.
Tips for Using CBD for Benzodiazepine Addiction
The very action of vaping can help users change habits in their brain. Usually, when benzodiazepines users feel anxiety coming on between doses, they’ll reach for a pill. This forms habit pathways in the brain that can be hard to shake.
Consult your doctor and return for follow-up visits every time you reduce your benzodiazepine dose so the doctor can assess your vital signs periodically as well as your overall wellbeing and emotional health.
Of course, whenever trying something like this, it’s essential to seek medical council first. Your doctor should be on board with your plan to stop the medication and will help you form a weaning-off plan — gradually decreasing the benzodiazepine doses while increasing the dose of CBD.
At the same time, our natural GABA levels struggle as well. We can’t produce more GABA to make up for the tolerance, so, instead, we experience side-effects from the poor GABA function. The main side-effect of this is the very thing the drugs were intended to treat — anxiety.
You should never mix alcohol with benzodiazepines and CBD.
CBD oil is a strong inhibitor of P450 enzymes, which are the main enzymes that break down benzodiazepines and other drugs. When you take CBD oil, it binds to these enzymes, which can interfere with the way the drugs are metabolized in your body. Simply put, CBD oil can prevent your body from effectively breaking down drugs like benzodiazepines.
How Does CBD Interact with Xanax and Other Benzodiazepines?
The BNZ1 receptor regulates sleep, and BZN2 influences muscle relaxation, memory, anticonvulsant activity, and coordination.
Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for anxiety.
The main result of this interference is an elevated level of the drugs in your system. As the amount of Xanax in your bloodstream goes up, it causes unwanted side effects like excessive drowsiness, disorientation, and an increased risk of addiction. These side effects get especially dangerous if you also add alcohol to the mix.
I soon picked up a few bars of Grön CBD chocolate (found after some intense Googling) and Sunday Scaries gummies after the owner reached out to Hello Glow via Instagram. Now I have a stockpile ready for any time of day: honey for stirring into morning tea, a bottle of gummies to go with me in my purse, and chocolate to have after dinner to help me sleep better.
Even at the smallest doses, it makes me sleepy, so I don’t like to take it during the day. And although nighttime is usually when my anxiety peaks, even then, I don’t want to take it often because I’m afraid of becoming dependent.
It took me a while to actually take the plunge and try CBD for anxiety because I had trouble finding sources that felt trustworthy. (As someone who quite literally obsesses over product purity—it’s one of my OCD fixations—this is the best argument I can think of to legalize marijuana. Legalization means regulation and research [ source ]!)
CBD for anxiety—does it work?
Just to be clear, CBD doesn’t get you high. The compound that gives you that feeling when you use marijuana is called THC . And if you feel high after taking CBD, you’re probably taking a product that’s impure or mixed with other elements for that purpose [ source ].
I tend to carry tension in my body, and I’m never still. I drive everyone around me crazy by constantly fidgeting and bouncing my legs. The CBD made my body feel calm and quiet.
For those times, I’ve been prescribed Xanax. And it helps, for sure. But the thing is, I get nervous about taking it. (Yes, that’s right—I get anxious about taking the medication that’s supposed to make me less anxious. I am a disaster, y’all.)
A mom friend who, like me, suffers from OCD, mentioned she was taking CBD for anxiety. My interest was piqued based on her experience—when her anxiety felt particularly out-of-control, the CBD would put a stop to the spiraling.