CBD and Ativan explained. Ativan is the brand name for a widely prescribed sedative used to treat symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders, and seizures. The There is no known drug interaction between CBD (cannabidiol) and Ativan (lorazepam). However, both can cause sedation and drowsiness.
CBD and Ativan
CBD and Ativan explained. Ativan is the brand name for a widely prescribed sedative used to treat symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders, and seizures. The generic name for Ativan is lorazepam.
Many people with anxiety know that prescription medications can be a challenge to navigate. They often involve trial and error and can be frustrating to get correct. It becomes essential to ensure that the drug will work before it is needed, for example, during an anxiety attack or seizure.
If you are considering using CBD for any condition, be sure to do your homework before purchasing. You can find an array of products on Amazon and other websites, but it may be hard to make a decision.
Check out my review of the Best All-Purpose CBD Gummies you can find on the internet, including many Amazon products.
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Should You Mix CBD and Ativan?
Patients using Ativan have begun to look at CBD as a possible supplement in hopes that the additional benefits CBD will strengthen the treatment for their conditions.
As with any treatment, discovering the proper balance and possible dangers of mixing substances is a critical step in finding relief. A more in-depth look at the way both Ativan and CBD work, and what side effects they can cause, is helpful to determine if the addition of CBD oil can interact with Ativan in beneficial or harmful ways.
Consult your doctor before deciding to use CBD with Ativan.
What Do CBD and Ativan Users Say
Patients using both Ativan and CBD have weighed in on what benefits and or adverse effects they’ve noticed. Here are some of their observations:
- One long-time anxiety sufferer was experiencing breakthrough anxiety while withdrawing from a pain medication called tramadol. She reported that her long-term anxiety was controlled with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram after having tried and failed Ativan in the past. She noted that while CBD did not have long-lasting effects, it did help calm and prevent anxiety attacks that occurred while withdrawing from tramadol. You can learn more about their experience here.
- Another patient with a history of anxiety has reported using Ativan for sleep and a low dosage of CBD during the day. Comments on this patient’s observation agreed thattaking CBD and Ativan separately throughout the day, with Ativan as a sleep aid, has been effective. You read about their experience here.
- Other users said that CBD does not always treat panic attacks as well as Benzodiazepines, however by altering the dosage of CBD, it is possible to find an amount that works well with less fear of addiction. You can learn about their experiences here.
Cannabidiol and Ativan Withdrawal
Many people taking Ativan report becoming addicted to the drug or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing use. For some, CBD may be an option to assist in the withdrawal process.
Some may eventually be able to lower their doses or can use CBD to assist with symptoms of withdrawal. However, one should always speak with their doctor before attempting to withdraw from benzodiazepines like Ativan. Discontinuing the drug too quickly can result in harmful side effects like anxiety, tremors, nausea, and seizures.
Cannabidiol and Ativan for Sleep
When used as a sleep aid, CBD may work well with Ativan to help users fall asleep. However, current observations of symptoms would suggest that mixing CBD and Ativan for daytime use could have harmful side effects, especially when driving or operating machinery.
CBD oil is available as a prescription medication called Epidiolex, and according to the package insert, CBD oil probably enhances the CNS depressive effects of lorazepam, causing possible impairment, sedation, and slowed thinking.
What Do The Studies Show
The newly approved medications, Epidiolex and Sativex are prescription CBD oil products. For a long time, there were few high-quality studies to confirm the possible drug interactions between CBD and lorazepam. However, studies conducted during the approval processes have confirmed that CBD oil and Ativan can interact. Together they typically cause added sedation and sleepiness, which can be more pronounced and more dangerous for older adults. Learn more here.
CBD can increase sedative effects when combined with Ativan. These side effects include:
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of coordination
- Memory impairment
Concerns for Ativan Users
Because each of us has a different chemical makeup, no medication works precisely the same in every patient. Some Ativan users have experienced significant adverse side effects while using the medicine. When looking at CBD as a possible enhancement to Ativan, it may worsen some of the following side effects already caused by Ativan:
- Blurred Vision
- Impaired Judgement
- Lack of Concentration
- Loss of Coordination
- Memory Loss
Ativan can also be moderately dangerous when mixed with alcohol and causes more severe side effects in the elderly.
How They Work Chemically
Ativan is in the Benzodiazepine class. This classification includes medications that work with the central nervous system to create a calming effect. Ativan enhances a natural chemical in the brain known as GABA. This interaction acts as a sedative to dull triggers that can set off sensations like anxiety and panic.
CBD and Brain Chemistry
CBD has been studied to treat similar symptoms but functions differently in the brain than benzodiazepines like Ativan. CBD impacts the brain via the endocannabinoid system, but it is not well understood why this exhibits anti-anxiety effects. Though the exact chemical functions of CBD and Ativan are different, when used at correct dosages, they can have similar outcomes in some people.
Apart from anxiety treatment, both Ativan and CBD have been used as a treatment for seizures. It is unclear if the medications can be used together for the treatment of certain types of seizure disorders.
The Verdict (So Far)
CBD may be useful as a supplement to Ativan when utilized correctly but may amplify side effects like sleepiness, dizziness, and cognitive impairment. In certain situations and certain people, these side effects can be dangerous.
It is crucial to speak with a medical professional before taking these medications together. They may advise you to slowly titrate one or the other to gauge the additive effects. CBD may be added only at certain times as like bedtime. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment plan and medication.
Our bodies process medications differently, and a medical professional can will be able to inform you of adverse effects. Express your interest in CBD products to your doctor or pharmacist and ask them to assist you in finding a dosage that will be most beneficial to you.
What Can CBD Offer With Ativan
CBD can offer similar benefits as Ativan to patients suffering from anxiety, panic disorders, and seizures, but results vary based on the individual. As further information is gathered, CBD and Ativan users have found ways of balancing the substances with trial and error- many finding favorable and non-harmful results. Once again, it is important to discuss your treatment with your doctor or pharmacist before making these changes.
CBD (Cannabidiol) With Ativan (Lorazepam) Interaction
No known interactions but watch out for potential sedation.
I have been taking 0.5mg of Ativan (lorazepam) mid-day and at night for about 6 years to help me with anxiety due to shortness of breath. Can I try CBD oil twice a day with this? I would like to wean off lorazepam if hemp oil helps with this and insomnia.
At a glance
- There is no known drug interaction between CBD (cannabidiol) and Ativan (lorazepam).
- However, both can cause sedation, drowsiness and dizziness so caution must be taken when combining them.
There are no known interactions between Ativan (lorazepam) and CBD (cannabidiol). However, both can increase sedation and somnolence (feeling of sleepiness).
Therefore, caution is advised when using both together and you should not operate heavy machinery or take part in activities that require mental alertness until you know how both medications affect you.
Below, I discuss CBD, Ativan and potential interactions in more detail.
What Is CBD (Cannabidiol)?
Cannabidiol, often referred to simply as ‘CBD’, is one of the many constituents of marijuana and is known to be an active component in regard to activity with our endocannabinoid system.
Unlike THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is thought to be ‘non-psychoactive’ in that it doesn’t cause a ‘high’ or euphoria. Nevertheless, it certainly does affect the central nervous system as studies show it can be beneficial for symptoms of anxiety and can cause sedation.
CBD has been investigated for a wide variety of therapeutic effects, including:
- Chronic Pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
In addition, CBD may make high THC preparations more tolerable for individuals as it can ‘attenuate’ or reduce the ‘high’ experienced without reducing potential medicinal effects.
CBD Side Effects
CBD is very well tolerated in most individuals and is not associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms, even after extended use.
Although CBD can cause sedation and a general feeling of tiredness, it is not associated with respiratory depression and has been used safely with CNS depressants such as opioids and benzodiazepines. Nevertheless, CBD can cause additive drowsiness when used with other medications with similar side effects (e.g. lorazepam).
The overall side effect profile of CBD is minimal, especially at doses that are used in over the counter products (~3-15 mg) per dose.
Even high doses of CBD are considered well-tolerated. The prescription product Epidiolex, which comes in a concentration of 100 mg/ml and is used for rare seizure disorders, provides a high amount of CBD and lists the following side effects in the prescribing information for the drug:
- Decreased appetite (16-22% incidence)
- Diarrhea (9-20% incidence)
- Sedation (3-6% incidence)
- Lethargy (4-8% incidence)
- Somnolence (23-25% incidence)
- Sleep disturbances (5-11% incidence)
CBD Drug Interactions
There is a lack of information regarding interactions with CBD products and it appears that some may be dose-related (meaning higher doses increase the risk of interaction) (14). Potential interactions stem from the fact that CBD may inhibit certain CYP metabolizing enzymes in the liver, including:
When a metabolizing enzyme is inhibited, it cannot break down a drug as effectively or as quickly, leading to increased concentrations. This can increase the risk of side effects.
A good example of this is the interaction between Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering medication, and clarithromycin, an antibiotic. Clarithromycin can inhibit CYP 3A4, which is responsible for metabolizing Lipitor. This increases concentrations of the drug, putting individuals at risk for serious side effects, such as rhabdomyolysis.
It should be noted that most interaction studies with CBD have been only done in animals and the extent of potential interactions in humans isn’t well known.
Ativan (lorazepam), the drug in question regarding CBD interactions, is not metabolized by CYP enzymes, but rather by liver glucuronidation. As far as we know, CBD has no effect of Ativan concentrations in the body.
Lastly, the concern with combining CNS depressants together is the risk of respiratory depression. Opioids and benzodiazepines are well associated with it. CBD products, however, are not and are generally considered safe in that regard.
Ativan (lorazepam) is a rapid-acting benzodiazepine medication and is used primarily for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
It has several advantages over other benzodiazepines, including:
- It is not metabolized by CYP liver enzymes and has fewer potential drug interactions when compared to medications that are.
- It does not have active metabolites and therefore doesn’t accumulate in the body. This can be beneficial in certain populations, such as the elderly.
The most common side effects of benzodiazepines, like Ativan, are as follows:
- Memory impairment
- Impaired motor coordination
- Shallow breathing (high doses)
Taking CBD With Ativan
As discussed, there are no known interactions between CBD and Ativan. However, it is important to know that both can cause sedation and a general feeling of fatigue, which could be additive if taken together.
It is important to let your doctor know all the medications/over the counter products you are taking so you can be appropriately monitored.