A lot of people take CBD oil with ibuprofen for pain relief. But is it safe? Here, we explain everything you need to know. You can take CBD oil with ibuprofen, but you’ll need to find the right timing and dosage to avoid negative interactions. Read this article to learn the dos and don’ts of using CBD with ibuprofen. 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 You Take CBD and Ibuprofen Together?
According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 5 Americans suffers from chronic pain. Since Ibuprofen isn’t a long-term solution for pain management, many people are turning to natural remedies, such as CBD oil.
How does CBD compare to Ibuprofen? Is it better at easing physical discomfort and curbing inflammation?
Can CBD oil be taken with Ibuprofen to boost its painkilling effects?
In this article, you’ll learn everything about CBD-ibuprofen interactions, the efficacy of both substances for pain management, and how to use them to avoid cross-side effects.
CBD and Ibuprofen: How Does Ibuprofen Work for Pain?
Ibuprofen belongs to a popular class of drugs called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs); it was first synthesized in 1961.
Today, ibuprofen is an active ingredient in a myriad of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers, including household names like Brufen and Mortin.
Not only can ibuprofen relieve inflammation and different kinds of pain, but it’s also an anti-fever gent.
The drug mitigates pain by blocking a hormone known as prostaglandin. Unlike other hormones, prostaglandins aren’t produced by any glands. Instead, they’re byproducts of chemical reactions at the site where they’re used. Most of the time, it’s a site affected by tissue damage or infection.
When you take ibuprofen, it restricts the number of enzymes secreted in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), leading to a decrease in prostaglandin levels when the body goes through an injury.
This, in turn, leads to reduced inflammation and pain.
It’s important to stress that ibuprofen is only a short-term means of relief — it shouldn’t be used in the long run due to the risk of dangerous side effects, such as high blood pressure, bloating, ringing in the ears, and bleeding from the stomach (ulcers).
What Makes CBD Oil Different?
People have been using cannabis to relieve pain for centuries. In fact, the genome of the first cannabis plants domesticated for medical use dates as far back as 12,000 years ago.
Today, scientists can finally answer the “why” behind the plant’s analgesic effects.
CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found inside the cannabis plant. It comes with a wide range of potential health benefits, and at the same time, it’s not intoxicating. In other words, you won’t get high off of CBD.
The main difference between CBD and ibuprofen is how both compounds interact with pathways controlling pain response. For example, ibuprofen blocks the COX-2 from producing prostaglandins, while CBD interacts with CB2 receptors.
The pain-killing mechanism of CBD is complex and requires more research to be fully understood. Experts believe that CBD can reduce inflammation and pain as it changes the strength of pain signals that are sent from neurons to the brain.
In a 2018 study published in Frontiers of Pharmacology, CBD demonstrated an inhibitory effect on neurotransmitters and neuropeptides engaged in the “activation of descending inhibitory pain pathways, [as well as] reduction of neural inflammation.”
The above findings suggest that the mechanisms of CBD and ibuprofen for pain relief are quite distinct. Of course, some types of pain require more than just one painkiller, so people are wondering if they can combine CBD with ibuprofen.
Here’s more on this.
Does CBD Interact with Medications?
CBD is a potent inhibitor of the CYP450 system, a group of enzymes that metabolize 60-80% of pharmaceutical medications.
When you take CBD together with certain medications such as Xanax it may either decrease or increase their concentrations in the bloodstream.
A decrease in the drug’s levels may result in subtherapeutic effects. In other words, you won’t feel anything from your treatment.
An increase, on the other hand, is more dangerous because it may lead to drug toxicity and the so-called cross-side effects resulting from the concomitant use of CBD and the drug.
CBD-drug interactions are categorized into two groups:
- Those that could result in a dangerous interaction and should never be taken together with CBD
- Those that should be approached with caution when you add CBD to the regime
Ibuprofen is in the second group. Here’s why you should be cautious when using CBD and ibuprofen.
How Does CBD Interact with Ibuprofen?
Researchers don’t know how exactly CBD interacts with ibuprofen, but since both compounds are metabolized by the same enzymes in the liver, there’s a risk of potential negative interactions.
Although there have been no clinical reports about dangerous events following the coadministration of CBD oil and ibuprofen, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Now to the point:
Can CBD Oil Be Taken with Ibuprofen (And Other NSAIDs)?
The dosing and timing of both CBD and ibuprofen may affect how both substances interact with your body. Using the proper dosage and spacing out your schedule helps to reduce the risk of negative interactions.
Your doctor should be able to find the optimal dosage and timing for CBD and ibuprofen so that no interactions occur.
The dosage is the most important here, as it determines the strength of interactions. When you take large amounts of CBD oil and ibuprofen together, there could be an increased risk of stomach bleeding. That being said, some experts argue that taking low doses of CBD doesn’t seem to affect the way the liver processes ibuprofen.
Of course, everyone is different, so again, a consultation with a CBD-friendly doctor should help you figure out the safe way to take CBD oil together with ibuprofen.
Can You Use CBD Instead of Ibuprofen?
That’s totally your decision. If CBD provides sufficient relief from your pain and inflammation, you might not need extra help to get you through painful periods.
There are studies showing promising results that, in clinical conditions, CBD might be a more effective option for pain relief than NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
Last but not least, CBD oil doesn’t have the side effects associated with the long-term use of ibuprofen. It’s a natural and safe compound, with tolerable doses reaching 1,500 mg daily.
Final Verdict on CBD and Ibuprofen: Should CBD Oil and Ibuprofen be Taken Together?
Both CBD and ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory compounds and pain relievers. Although there have been no reported interactions between ibuprofen and CBD oil, CBD may affect the efficacy of the latter when taken at the same time — especially in large doses.
Individual reactions to the cumulative effects of CBD and ibuprofen will differ; any one of us may experience different side effects to these.
If you’re unsure of taking CBD oil together with ibuprofen, check with your doctor for professional advice.
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- Ren, G., Zhang, X., Li, Y., Ridout, K., Serrano-Serrano, M. L., Yang, Y., Liu, A., Ravikanth, G., Nawaz, M. A., Mumtaz, A. S., Salamin, N., & Fumagalli, L. (2021). Large-scale whole-genome resequencing unravels the domestication history of Cannabis sativa. Science advances, 7(29), eabg2286 (3)
- Anthony, A. T., Rahmat, S., Sangle, P., Sandhu, O., & Khan, S. (2020). Cannabinoid Receptors and Their Relationship With Chronic Pain: A Narrative Review. Cureus, 12(9), e10436. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10436
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Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
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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.