Benadryl And CBD Oil Interaction

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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. CBD Drug Interactions: Does CBD interact with antihistamines like diphenhydramine? Learn more about the two drugs and their moderately significant interaction.

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.

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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.

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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 ) .

Conclusion

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 ) .

Does CBD Interact With Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)?

Information on risks & possible interactions between CBD & diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

Article By

Diphenhydramine (DPH) is the active ingredient in the anti-allergy medication Benadryl and sleep aid Unisom.

Taking diphenhydramine with CBD (cannabidiol) can result in moderate to severe drug interaction. CBD increases the severity of the side effects of diphenhydramine while also decreasing its clearance from the system.

These two agents should not be taken together unless instructed by a physician.

Table of Contents

Does CBD Interact With Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)?

Yes, CBD can increase blood levels of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) over time, leading to severe side effects.

Diphenhydramine is a fast-acting and readily available medication. Due to its action on the histamine receptors, the medication can produce several side effects: confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, and sedation.

CBD may inhibit the breakdown and excretion of diphenhydramine from the body, leading to elevated levels of this medication in the bloodstream. High serum blood levels of diphenhydramine are extremely dangerous.

1. Increased Effects (Agonistic Interaction)

This type of interaction refers to the increased activity or effects caused by the drug after it interacts with CBD.

CBD and other cannabinoids may enhance the sedative effects of diphenhydramine, causing severe sedation and sleepiness. This interaction is uncomfortable but can also be dangerous. Users may fall asleep suddenly while driving or operating other forms of machinery — potentially leading to injury or death.

Additionally, this level of sedation could interfere with essential responsibilities, such as monitoring small children or pets.

2. Slowed Elimination (Metabolic Competition)

Medications need to be excreted out of the system after they have produced their effects.

Drugs are excreted through urine or feces, a process that requires the metabolism of the drug first. Drug metabolism is usually the function of the liver. Almost 90 percent of all medications metabolize in the liver; it uses different enzymes and enzyme systems such as Cytochrome CYP450.

Enzyme CYP2D6 mainly metabolizes diphenhydramine [1]. It also metabolizes CBD, which could inhibit or slow the breakdown of diphenhydramine [2].

Over time, diphenhydramine could accumulate in the body, leading to dangerously high levels. People who use it daily are most at risk of this interaction.

If you use diphenhydramine every once in a while, it’s unlikely this interaction will be a significant concern. However, if you’re using it daily or in high doses, this interaction could lead to severe side effects, including delirium, sedation, or even death.

Other Names for Diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine is sold under many different names. All share the same risk and potential interactions.

Other names for diphenhydramine include:

CBD & Other Antihistamines

Diphenhydramine is classified as an antihistamine. CBD and antihistamines all share similar risks for interaction and side effects.

Here’s a list of similar medications that share an equal level of risk when combined with CBD:

  • Carbinoxamine (Palgic)
  • Desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • Hydroxyzine (Atarax & Vistaril)
  • Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
  • Brompheniramine (Dimetane)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
  • Clemastine (Tavist)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • Loratadine (Alavert & Claritin)

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Diphenhydramine Together?

No, CBD and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are not safe to take together unless specified by a physician.

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It’s important to avoid their interaction unless medically necessary.

Before combining these compounds, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits and the possible drug interaction to ensure maximal health benefits.

Is CBD a Viable Alternative to Benadryl?

No, CBD has entirely different effects and is not an alternative for diphenhydramine.

With that said, CBD does offer some mild anti-allergy benefits in the form of anti-inflammatory effects [3]. CBD is also a mild to moderate sedative that may provide support in place of diphenhydramine (Unisom) for improving sleep.

For seasonal allergies, CBD can offer direct benefits in the form of its inhibitory action on pro-inflammatory cytokines [4]. Once exposed to an allergen, the human body secretes pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause what we refer to as seasonal allergy symptoms.

These benefits take a while to work. You’re not going to be able to wake up in the morning feeling stuffy and take some CBD to clear it up. Diphenhydramine is much better for acute allergies.

However, if you know you have seasonal allergies, CBD may work as a preventative if taken consistently during allergy season.

What Is Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)?

Benadryl is the brand name for a compound called diphenhydramine (DPH). It’s an antihistamine drug and works by blocking the histamine receptors to relieve allergy symptoms, hay fever, and the common cold, such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose, and a sore throat.

Diphenhydramine is the key ingredient of Benadryl and is also available under different brand names like Unisom and Nytol. Regardless of the brand name, the chemical structure used remains the same. The medication dosage and the form, tablet, capsule, rapid dissolving pills, or syrup, differ for patients based on their age group and primary complaint.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) Specs:

Drug Name Diphenhydramine
Trade Name Benadryl, Sominex, Banophen, Nytol, & Unisom
Classification Anticholinergic antiemetics, Anticholinergic antiparkinson agents, Antihistamines, Miscellaneous anxiolytics, and sedatives and hypnotics
CYP Metabolism Liver (CYP2D6, CYP1A2, CYP2C9, and CYP2C19)
Interaction with CBD Agonistic (Increased effects) & Metabolic Inhibition
Risk of Interaction Moderate to Severe (With Long-Term Use)

What Does Diphenhydramine Do?

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) targets the histamine receptors, namely H1R. These receptors are in the respiratory smooth muscles, vascular endothelial cells, the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), cardiac tissue, immune cells, the uterus, and the central nervous system (CNS) neurons.

The activation of H1R results in vasodilation, causing flushing and smooth muscle contractions like bronchospasms, laryngospasms, and coughing. It also stimulates the entry of neutrophils to the affected area, which is important for developing symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Diphenhydramine inhibits the H1R as an inverse agonist, meaning that it binds to the receptor’s active site where histamine would normally bind. It also inhibits the receptor, producing effects opposite to the usual effects of H1R.

Diphenhydramine belongs to the first generation antihistamines, and the main difference between first-generation and second-generation is that the former can cause drowsiness and even act as a sedative. This is because diphenhydramine and other first-generation antihistamines can cross the blood-brain barrier and act as an inverse agonist on the H1R in the brain.

Diphenhydramine is also antimuscarinic; it targets muscarinic acetylcholine M2 receptors because M2 receptors and H1 receptors are structurally similar. This antimuscarinic action of diphenhydramine on acetylcholine receptors makes the medication a potential antiparkinson medication. Parkinson’s is a disorder that alters the balance between acetylcholine and dopamine in the brain.

Diphenhydramine also is believed to affect the intracellular sodium channels, blocking their actions and producing an anesthetic effect.

What Are the Side Effects of Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)?

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is a potent medication with several uses and benefits. Similarly, there are quite a few risks and complications associated with diphenhydramine use, especially if taken in combination with other medicines.

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • Hallucinations/delirium
  • Increased chest congestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

When to Avoid Using Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is an over-the-counter medication readily available to anyone with allergies or the common cold.

However, its use is not recommended for all age groups, especially older people. People over the age of 65 should only use the medication in case of a severe allergic reaction and after consulting with their primary care physicians.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from using this medication. If used while pregnant, the person should inform their doctor immediately.

Moreover, it’s essential to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after taking diphenhydramine as the medication is a strong sedative and can cause drowsiness. Mixing it with certain other drugs, such as other first-generation antihistamines and CBD, intensifies this drowsiness.

Key Takeaways: Is It Safe to Take Diphenhydramine With CBD?

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and CBD are both readily available in the United States without a prescription, but these two medications should not be used in combination — especially if taking diphenhydramine regularly.

Over time, DPH could build up in the bloodstream, leading to toxic levels. Side effects of this medication when serum levels increase can be severe — including delirium, severe somnolescence, memory loss, and death.

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