A lot of people take CBD oil with ibuprofen for pain relief. But is it safe? Here, we explain everything you need to know. 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
Can CBD Oil Be Taken with Ibuprofen? [What the Science Says]
Pain and inflammation are part of life. So if you’re someone who struggles with pain often, then ibuprofen is probably a good friend of yours. In recent times, however, more and more folks are turning to CBD oil to help manage pain in a more natural way.
Therefore, this raises the question – can CBD oil be taken with ibuprofen?
Let’s take a look.
CBD Oil vs. Ibuprofen: How Does Ibuprofen Manage Pain?
Ibuprofen is one of the most common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), first discovered in 1961. Today, it’s an active ingredient in numerous over-the-counter pain-relief drugs, including household names like Motrin and Brufen. Ibuprofen is very effective at eliminating most forms of pain that result from inflammation. It also works well as a fever reducer.
Ibuprofen works by blocking a specific type of hormone known as prostaglandin. Unlike normal hormones, prostaglandins are not secreted by any gland. Instead, they form via chemical reactions at the site where they’re needed. Typically, this is a site where there has been an infection or tissue damage (hence the resulting pain, inflammation, etc.).
Ibuprofen limits the number of enzymes produced by cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). This results in decreased prostaglandin release when the body experiences injury, leading to lowered inflammation and pain.
It’s important to note that ibuprofen comes with some potential side effects. Some of these include dizziness, high blood pressure, and ulcers (stomach bleeding).
What Makes CBD Different?
Cannabis has been consumed for centuries to help alleviate pain, and now scientists are aiming to find the link between cannabinoids and their anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) potential.
As one of more than 100 cannabinoids found inside the cannabis plant, CBD offers many potential health benefits without causing users to feel high. The primary difference between CBD and ibuprofen is how they interact with pain response pathways. For example, CBD interacts with CB2 receptors, while ibuprofen blocks the COX-2 from producing extra prostaglandins.
The analgesic mechanism of CBD is complex and not as well understood as that of ibuprofen. However, it appears to offer pain relief by inhibiting the action of neurotransmitters.
Although CBD interacts with pain response pathways in a unique way to ibuprofen, it appears to have similar pain-relieving properties.
According to a 2018 publication in Frontiers of Pharmacology, cannabinoids (like CBD) have an inhibitory effect on neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that are involved in the “activation of descending inhibitory pain pathways, [as well as] reduction of neural inflammation.”
So, as you can see, the differences between CBD and ibuprofen for pain relief are quite distinct. Of course, ibuprofen and CBD are often not enough by themselves to combat pain completely. This leads many to want to use the two drugs in combination. But is using ibuprofen and CBD oil together safe?
How Does CBD Interact with Ibuprofen?
Currently, not much is known about how CBD could interact with other medications – including ibuprofen. More research is needed, but research has shown that CBD poses inhibitory action on some enzymes that galvanize drug metabolism.
Therefore, the risk of experiencing adverse side effects linked to ibuprofen use may increase when a person takes the drug in conjunction with CBD.
When looking at CBD drug interactions, there are two basic categories:
- Those that can create a dangerous interaction and, therefore, should never be used in conjunction with CBD
- Those that require you to be cautious when using the two together
Ibuprofen falls into the second category – you should be cautious when using it together with CBD because they are both metabolized by the same process in the liver. Since taking both may either increase or decrease their concentration depending on how quickly liver enzymes can break down each drug, the overall effects of the ibuprofen may be reduced or intensified.
Dosing and Timing Could Influence How CBD Interacts with Ibuprofen (And Other NSAIDs)
The time that you take both CBD and ibuprofen may influence how the two drugs interact in your body. Spacing out doses of medication helps to reduce the workload on the liver.
For instance, depending on a drug’s half-life (and the dose of the drug), it has the potential to inhibit liver enzymes for a variable timeframe. Therefore, liver enzymes could regain sufficient function by the time the person takes the second drug.
The risk of experiencing adverse drug interactions may be lower if you consume ibuprofen and CBD at different times of the day.
The dosage used may also have an effect on any potential interaction of ibuprofen with CBD. When a person uses large amounts of CBD and ibuprofen together, there may be an increased risk of danger (such as increased stomach bleeding). Some medical experts have speculated that taking low amounts of CBD doesn’t seem to affect the way the liver metabolizes ibuprofen.
Of course, it’s worth noting that everyone responds differently to drugs. Some individuals may be sensitive to certain substances, while others may have little to no reaction. Ultimately, how the body processes medication – and its effect – is very much influenced by genetics, body size, age, and so on.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Ibuprofen
While taking low amounts of ibuprofen and CBD will likely not produce severe adverse effects on the body, more research is needed on the topic. In addition, due to interaction with enzyme activity, there is the potential that CBD may either intensify or reduce the effects of ibuprofen.
Ultimately, it’s best to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider before using CBD oil in conjunction with ibuprofen. They will help you decide whether it’s safe to use CBD oil and may also be able to offer medical advice regarding the dosage of CBD oil that may be effective without causing any adverse effects.
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.