Find out if it’s safe to take CBD oil with antihistamines. Learn about the possible side effects, benefits, and drug interactions of combining the two. 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. In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to take Benadryl and CBD together.
Antihistamines and CBD Oil Interaction: Side Effects and More
Animals. Pollen. Dust. No matter what stokes your sneezes, having an allergic response to your environment can be much more life-altering than non-sufferers may realize.
If you’re reliant on a daily antihistamine to keep your symptoms at bay, you may be wondering whether you can safely add CBD oil to the equation.
Here you’ll find a medically reviewed explanation of how CBD oil may potentially interact with some of the most commonly used antihistamine medications. This information will help you make an informed decision as to whether or not CBD oil is right for you.
The information contained in this page is meant to serve as an educational tool and should not be substituted for medical advice.
How CBD Oil Reacts to Antihistamines
While the majority of research indicates that CBD oil is safe for use and has little to no side effects, it can pose risks if you are taking certain medications, specifically those that act on the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system .
The P-450 system is responsible both for the detoxification of foreign chemicals as well as the metabolism of many common medications. CBD oil, along with grapefruit and certain other natural compounds, like St. John’s Wort, have been shown to inhibit the P-450 system. When the P-450 system is inhibited, medications take longer to be metabolized and so levels of drug substrates can accumulate in your blood.
Because antihistamines use the P-450 system, using them with CBD oil can slow down your body’s ability to break them down. This causes more antihistamine to be present in your system at any given time, which increases the chances you’ll experience side effects.
So, if you’re a daily antihistamine user, you should use caution and speak with your doctor before adding CBD oil to your regimen. The benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) may not outweigh the side effects of combining it with your antihistamine medication.
Side Effects Of CBD Oil And Antihistamine Interaction
The most widely used antihistamines contain one of the following key ingredients: loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine or diphenhydramine. Each works differently in the body to produce a similar outcome, and each comes with a range of potential side effects . Y our chances of experiencing these side effects may be increased when combining your medication with CBD oil.
This table breaks down common antihistamines and their side effects, and how CBD oil could influence the likelihood of experiencing them.
|Generic Antihistamine Name||Common Brands||Possible Side Effects||Possible Side Effects When Used With CBD Oil|
|Loratadine||Claritin; Allerclear||Headache; stomach pain; insomnia; dry mouth; nervousness||CBD oil increases the risk and/or severity of side effects|
|Cetirizine||Zyrtec; Alleroff||Drowsiness; stomach pain; vomiting; diarrhoea||CBD oil increases the risk and/or severity of side effects|
|Fexofenadine||Allegra||Headache; vomiting; body pain; dry mouth||CBD oil increases the risk and/or severity of side effects|
|Diphenhydramine||Benadryl; Sominex||Drowsiness; vomiting; loss of appetite; constipation||CBD oil increases the risk and/or severity of side effects|
Before taking CBD oil products with any antihistamine medications, it is important to consider the potential side effects. If drowsiness is a potential side effect that could be exacerbated when CBD oil is added to the mix, it would be a good idea to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or undertaking any task that requires alertness or concentration while taking both the antihistamine and CBD oil. Consider the side effects and plan accordingly.
Elderly users or individuals taking multiple medications such as antihistamines that have central nervous system or respiratory-depressant effects should be monitored closely as these effects can be amplified when CBD oil is added to the equation. This also applies if you’re taking medication for high blood pressure, since cannabidiol is also known to counteract hypertension .
If you’ve experienced side effects when taking antihistamines in the past, avoiding CBD oil while on them is probably a smart idea.
It is entirely possible that you will not be impacted negatively but until you know for sure, use CBD oil with caution if you’re taking antihistamines.
Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil with Antihistamines
There is a wide range of potential health benefits of CBD oil , some of which are particularly promising for allergy sufferers.
For starters, CBD oil may reduce seasonal allergies. Cannabidiol helps regulate the function and production of white blood cells, which play a key role in the inflammatory response to potential allergens. CBD oil is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, making it ideal for irritated sinuses and airways. In fact, CBD has been studied for its potential to reduce allergy-induced inflammation in asthma sufferers.
Keep in mind that there are moderate risks associated with using CBD oil with antihistamines and you will need to decide if the potential benefits outweigh these potential risks.
If you’d like to explore the option further, first speak to your doctor about combining the two. You can also talk to a naturopathic doctor who specializes in using cannabidiol for medical treatments.
Best CBD Oils for Allergy Sufferers
If your physician confirms it’s okay to take CBD oil with your allergy medication, you’ll want to find the best-quality CBD oil out there.
Start by finding a brand that produces organically grown products so you know your CBD oil will be free of pesticides. You’ll also want to look for CBD companies that use third-party laboratory testing to verify the potency and purity of their products. The third-party lab reports are known as Certificates of Analysis and provide a nice breakdown of all the compounds—good and bad—found in each batch of a company’s CBD product. If you come across a CBD brand that does not provide Certificates of Analysis, it’s time to shop elsewhere.
Once you have a CBD company picked out, you’ll need to decide how you’d like to take your cannabidiol.
CBD oil capsules and edibles make for an easy way to include CBD oil as part of your daily routine, perhaps pairing them with your morning coffee. The only downside to taking CBD in an edible form is you’ll have to wait longer to feel the benefits, as the CBD needs to pass through your digestive system. T he effects of a CBD capsule or edible will typically last for 4-6 hours, making this an ideal delivery method if you suffer from chronic allergies.
A CBD vape pen is a great option for taking CBD oil if you need it throughout the day as it’s the fastest-acting delivery format. CBD oil drops and tinctures will not set in as quickly as a vape pen, but you’ll feel the benefits for a relatively longer period of time.
If you typically have suddenly occurring allergy symptoms, a CBD vape or oil may be your best option. In both these instances, the CBD does not have to pass through your digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream, so the onset of action is very swift.
Finally, if you get itchy allergic rashes or hives, it might be worth investing in a CBD oil topical cream. This cream can work directly on the affected area, providing targeted relief over the course of a whole day.
CBD Oil Dosage
In terms of dosage, follow the recommendation provided on your CBD product’s information leaflet. While the ideal dose of CBD oil will depend on a range of individual factors such as your weight and metabolism, at CBD Oil Review we have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with a standard serving suggestion:
The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.
If you are not getting results from this amount, we recommend increasing the serving size by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until you find relief.
If in doubt, always speak to a medical professional before combining treatment options. If you’d like more information on dosages and some useful tips for getting it right, check out our dosage guide here .
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 ) .
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.