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Learn how the NSF's National Solar Observatory (NSO) uses its solar observatories to learn about the Sun and how it influences Earth. Cannabidiol or CBD may prolong the effects of sildenafil (Viagra) — but is this combination safe? What are the risks?

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Inouye Solar Telescope, Poised to Revolutionize Solar Observations, Recognized as NSF’s Crowning Achievement

See the Sun Like Never Before

NSO breaks ground on new telescope site

Inouye Solar Telescope, Poised to Revolutionize Solar Observations, Recognized as NSF’s Crowning Achievement

See the Sun Like Never Before

NSO breaks ground on new telescope site

Latest Images of the Sun

We Build

telescopes worldwide

We innovate on the telescopes, optics and technologies to give the clearest, most in-depth picture of our closest star, the Sun.

We Inspire

scientists involved

The National Solar Observatory is a data-driven research institution dedicated to providing scientists with critical information needed to drive new research.

We Provide

years of data

NSO provides massive amounts of data to the world’s top solar scientists and government agencies. DKIST will provide even more.

We Engage

social media followers

We engage with the public, scientists and policymakers to provide the most up-to-date information about the Sun and other solar events.

Latest News

U.S. National Science Foundation Celebrates the Inauguration of its Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope

IAUS 372: The Era of Multi-Messenger Solar Physics

The Evolution of Extreme Solar Events Research

NSO Integrated Synoptic Program Awarded NSF ANSWERS Grant

Scientists Developed New Model to Predict Sunspot and Plage Coverage for Solar Cycle 25

Happy Earth Day: Five Reasons Why We Need Earth and Earth Needs the Sun

Scientists Conclude Chromospheric Spectral Observations Can Be Used to Detect the Initial Phase of Solar Filament Eruptions

Staff Highlight: Brialyn Onodera – Mechanical Engineer

U.S. NSF’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope Begins Science Operations Commissioning Phase

Staff Highlight: Anastasia Alexov – Science Operations Manager

NSO Team Identify Large Active Region on the Farside of the Sun

Staff Highlight: Aimee Szabo – Sr. Electrical Engineer

Dr. Adam Kowalski Awarded the 2022 Karen Harvey Prize

Dr. Jack Zirker, former Director of Sacramento Peak Observatory , dies at 94

Researchers Observe Massive CME on Distant, Sun-Like Star

DKIST Begins its Operations Commissioning Phase

The National Solar Observatory Endorses the ASTRO2020 Decadal Survey

National Solar Observatory awarded prestigious Brinson Prize Fellowship

Inouye Telescope project passes final construction review

NSF’s GONG Observations of Long-period Oscillations of the Sun

NSF’s National Solar Observatory breaks ground on new telescope site in California

My Experience as an Undergraduate Researcher Preparing Calibrations for DKIST Observations

Exploring the Sources of the Solar Wind with Parker Solar Probe and NSO/GONG

Critical solar observations from NSF’s GONG network now maintained by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center

Inouye Solar Telescope’s Critical Science Plan released

Humongous flare from sun’s nearest neighbor breaks records

NSF donates 21 housing units to White Sands Habitat for Humanity

Former director of NSO Dr. Jacques Beckers has passed away

NSF’s GONG program aids NASA’s Parker Solar Probe during its latest close encounter with the Sun

Inouye Solar Telescope Data Handling System performs first end-to-end data transfer

NSO’s Dr. Thomas Rimmele wins SPIE’s Goddard Award in Space and Airborne Optics

Inouye Solar Telescope Ambassador unveils how tiny, cool magnetic loops make the Sun’s atmosphere so hot

Inouye Solar Telescope Releases First Image of a Sunspot

NSF’s National Solar Observatory Predicts a Large Sunspot for Thanksgiving

NSO Scientists predict a large sunspot for Thanksgiving

How the NSO predicted a new sunspot group before it rotated into view

Community Response to the DKIST Cycle 1 Call for Proposals

“Becoming a Super Solar Scientist!” – NSO WISER Live Stream for Planets Foundation’s AstroFest

NSO scientists participate in celebration of the 25th anniversary of GONG at the Udaipur Solar Observatory in India

Sunspot cycle is stabilizing, according to worldwide panel of experts

NSO Astronomers to play key role in two new spacecraft mission concept studies

NSO Goes Virtual – 3rd Data Training Workshop held online in preparation for observing call from NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope

Alexei Pevtsov Named as New NSO Associate Director for Synoptic Program

Dr. Thomas Rimmele, Director of NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope, Named One of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business

Dunn Solar Telescope Catches an Erupting Filament

Frank Hill Retires from the NSO

Modeling the Effects of Observational Gaps in the Sun’s Acoustic Modes

A new detection of Silicon+9 linear polarization for studying the solar corona

Telescopio Solar de la Fundación de Ciencias de EEUU produce sus primeras imágenes

NSF’s newest solar telescope produces first images

NSF’s Dunn Solar Telescope helps international team crack 60-year-old mystery of Sun’s magnetic waves

Do we see a dawn of solar cycle 25?

The Acceleration Mechanism for Solar Energetic Particles

NSO Team Works on Historical Sunspot Digitization

NSO researcher and CU Boulder astrophysics professor selected to receive NASA award

Using a New Thermometer to Take Temperature of Solar Chromosphere

Citizen CATE in Chile for 2019 Eclipse

Sensing the Sun’s coronal magnetism by measuring its rain

DKIST Professionals Talk Telescope Technology and STEM Careers with K-12 Students During Hawaiʻi World of Work Week

Staff Highlight: Tetsu Anan – Post Doc Research Assistant for DKIST

To Image the Sun DKIST Starts With the Stars – Integration and Testing of M1 and M2 Assembly with Night-time Observation

Staff Highlight: Mario Javalera Sanchez – Facility Thermal System Piping Superintendent

Verifying a Crucial Step in Synchronizing Camera Exposure to Polarization Modulator Positions

DKI Solar Telescope Data Center Completes Critical Design Review

Staff Highlight: Mackenzie Stratton – Assistant Engineer

Staff Highlight: Claire Raftery – Head of Education, Outreach and Communications

Staff Highlight: Chriselle Galapon – Facility Thermal Systems (FTS) Engineer

Staff Highlight: Hillary Head – Science Operations Specialist

Staff Highlight: Sarah Jaeggli – Assistant Astronomer

Staff Highlight: Stacey Sueoka – Optical Engineer

Staff Highlight: Brialyn Onodera – Thermal Systems Assistant Engineer

National Solar Observatory’s Solar Observatory Council Member Wins 2019 Hale Prize

Study shows temporal patterns of meridional flows are precursors of magnetic activity in solar cycle

Reproducing Variations of the Solar Radiative Emissions – IAU Discussions

Science Teams Awarded Space at CTIO for 2019 Eclipse

National Solar Observatory molding the future of solar physics research thanks to new NSF funding

National Science Foundation to Fund New Windows on the Universe Center for Astronomy Outreach at Kitt Peak National Observatory

A Multi-Messenger Era For Solar Astronomy – The Revolution Of DKIST And Parker Solar Probe

NSO scientists investigate variations in the Sun’s internal temperature and brightness

DKIST M1 Mirror Successfully Aluminized

A Rain Gauge for the Sun – Computer Vision Tracking of Coronal Rain

GONG Engineering Site at CU Boulder campus sees first light!

Solar Scientists Question and Answer Panel to follow moderated by John Grunsfeld

Alfvén wave dissipation in the solar chromosphere

Space Weather Forecast for Santa Claus

NSO/DKIST Embarks on Community-Led Science Development Plan

DKIST Polarimetry

NSO Brings the Total Solar Eclipse to Capitol Hill

First Taste of Citizen Science Video Capturing Entire U.S. Transit of Solar Eclipse

Explore the Total Solar Eclipse

NISP Status Update: Relocation of GONG engineering instruments from Tucson to Boulder

DKIST Construction

Welcome to the Future of the NSO

National Solar Observatory Predicts Shape of Solar Corona for August Eclipse

NSF to fund a nationwide effort to capture the eclipse

Next generation of adaptive optics widens the field for observations of the Sun

National Solar Observatory’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope On Track to Provide Ground-Breaking Observations of the Sun

National Solar Observatory celebrates relocation to Boulder, CO

NSO Prepares for Mercury Transit

Maui Views March 8th partial solar eclipse

Successful CLASP rocket flight supported by DST observations

Ground-based Telescopes Observe Largest Solar Flare of 2014

Solar Telescope Named for Late Senator Inouye

SOLIS Observations Give New Insights into Space Weather

Scientists Discover Solar Precursors of Where, When Sunspots will Emerge

AURA Announces the Selection of Dr. Valentin Pillet as National Solar Observatory Director

First High-Resolution H-Beta Solar Image

SOLIS magnetograms are used to predict shape of corona for total solar eclipse

NSO Data Used to Forecast January’s Major Geomagnetic Storm

“Cool” Gas May Form and Strengthen Sunspots

Colorful Solar Instrument Treks East for a New Career

Magnetic “Topography” Helps Predict Solar Flares

NSO Names Key Managers

Hunting the Source of “Stealth” Solar Storms

Dr. Stephen Keil Announces the End of his Term as NSO Director

NSO Headquarters Chosen

What’s Down with the Sun? Major Drop in Solar Activity Predicted

Telescope spots solar tsunami

NSO Response to the NSF Senior Review

Virtual Camera Offers Flexibility for Solar Observers

Onset of Next Solar Activity Cycle Observed

Peeking Behind the Veil of Venus

Dr. Richard B. Dunn Passes Away

Adaptive Optics Produces Ultrasharp Images of Sunspot

Dr. A. Keith Pierce Passes Away

Haleakalā, HI, Endorsed for the Inouye Solar Telescope

Virtual Solar Observatory now available for “one-stop data shopping”

Haleakalā, HI, recommended for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope

“Think Big” is Plan at Solar Physics Conference

Site Survey for World’s Largest Optical Solar Telescope Passes Midpoint

ATST Design Update

Infrared Camera Peeks Below the Visible Surface of the Sun

Combined Optical Techniques Confirm Magnetic Shear in Sunspot Motion

New Instrument Makes Highest-Resolution Magnetic Measurements Inside a Sunspot

New Eyes on Old Telescope Provide Insight into Solar Storm

Modern Solar Telescope Network’s View of Venus Passage Will Help Students Use Web to Recall Historical Era

Scientists to plan International Heliophysical Year

Peering into the Heart of a Storm

Three Sites Selected as Candidates for World’s Largest Solar Telescope

ATST Interim Site Survey Report Released

Sun acts up on its way to a quiet time

Two Major Sunspot Regions Viewed from Kitt Peak, AZ

Smoothing Out the Wrinkles in our View of the Sun

Sun Remains Active Late in 11-year Cycle

GONG Observes the Transit of Mercury

Modern solar telescope network’s view of Mercury passage will help students use web to recall historical era

Sun offers Halloween “trick or treat”

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Does CBD Interact With Sildenafil (Viagra)?

Cannabidiol or CBD may prolong the effects of sildenafil (Viagra) — but is this combination safe? What are the risks?

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Sildenafil (Viagra) is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Cannabidiol (AKA CBD) is primarily used to manage chronic pain, anxiety, or insomnia — but it has many other health benefits as well.

Some people report using CBD alongside sildenafil to boost its effects — helping to increase erectile function and eliminate concomitant issues like performance anxiety.

Is this combination safe? What are the risks of taking CBD with Viagra (sildenafil)?

Table of Contents

Does CBD Interact With Sildenafil (Viagra)?

Yes. CBD can interact with sildenafil (Viagra) and should be used with caution.

The main concern with using CBD and Viagra is an increased risk of side effects. While uncommon, Viagra can lead to headaches, dizziness, indigestion, and a condition called priapism which involves painful and long-lasting erections.

CBD may also prolong the effects of Viagra by slowing down the body’s ability to eliminate it.

Let’s explore each type of interaction more closely.

A) Slowed Elimination (Metabolic Inhibition)

Drug metabolism occurs in the body due to the effects of a group of enzymes from the P450 family. Metabolic inhibition occurs when two drugs need the same enzymes to get metabolized. Hence, they end up competing against each other for the said enzymes. This action could result in slowing down the metabolism of one or both drugs.

Sildenafil is extensively metabolized by CYP450 enzymes, especially CYP3A4 (major route) and CYP2C9 (minor route). CBD also gets metabolized by these same enzymes.

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Because of this ability, if CBD and sildenafil are taken together, the plasma levels of sildenafil can rise in the body. This only becomes dangerous if Viagra is used continuously on a daily basis. Over time, concentrations of the drug can build up to dangerous levels. It’s important to allow enough time between doses for it to be cleared from the body.

B) Increased Effect (Agonistic Interaction)

An agonistic interaction occurs when two or more items exhibit the same effect on the body.

In the case of CBD and sildenafil, the shared effect focuses on blood vessel dilation. Both CBD and sildenafil cause the blood vessels to relax. This could lead to symptoms of excessive relaxation, which include dizziness, headaches, and priapism.

Other Names For Sildenafil(Viagra)

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

Other names for sildenafil include:

  • Alsigra
  • Aryagra
  • Caverta
  • Edegra
  • Giagra
  • Medigra
  • Penegra
  • Revatio
  • Silagra
  • Vega
  • Vizarsin
  • Xcite
  • Zenegra

Similar Medications: CBD & Erectile Dysfunction Medications

CBD and erectile dysfunction medications (PDE5 inhibitors) all carry the same level of risk for interaction. Most ED medications work through the same mechanism and require metabolism by the same enzymes in the liver.

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

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Sildenafil (Viagra) Together?

The interaction between sildenafil and CBD is considered mild.

However, because of the severity of one side effect in particular (priapism), it’s wise to speak to your doctor before taking CBD alongside your prescription Viagra.

To further reduce your chances of experiencing interactions, it’s wise to separate the doses of each substance by about 2 hours.

If you experience any problems or concerns, contact your physician immediately.

Is CBD A Viable Alternative to Sildenafil (Viagra)?

CBD is not considered a viable alternative to sildenafil.

Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids have been shown to improve ED in some individuals, but this effect relies more heavily on the effects of CBD for reducing anxiety conditions (such as performance anxiety).

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Sildenafil targets the blood vessels directly feeding blood flow to the penis. This effect is not found in studies exploring the effects of CBD.

For people who may be experiencing mild forms of ED or could trace the cause of their ED to anxiety, CBD could be a safer alternative. However, people who experience ED as a result of mechanical dysfunctions are unlikely to find CBD even remotely as effective for managing symptoms as sildenafil.

What is Sildenafil (Viagra)?

Sildenafil is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. Viagra is one of its brand names. It’s used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension.

It is an FDA-approved drug and is sold as a prescription-only drug in most countries.

Sildenafil (Viagra) Specs:

Drug Name Sildenafil
Trade Names Viagra, Silagra, Alsigra, Aryagra, Caverta, Edegra, Giagra, Medigra, Penegra, Vega, Xcite, Zenegra, Revatio, Vizarsin
Classification Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor
CYP Metabolism CYP450 enzymes, especially CYP450 3A4(major route) and CYP2C9 (minor route)
Interaction With CBD Metabolic inhibitor, Agonistic
Risk of Interaction Mild

What Does Sildenafil (Viagra) Do?

Sildenafil works by inhibiting phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5). Its main action is to increase the blood flow to a flaccid penis. This ability causes it to get erect. Sildenafil does this by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). PDE5 is commonly found in corpora cavernosa, vascular smooth muscles, visceral smooth muscles, and platelets.

Originally developed as a potential blood pressure medication, sildenafil’s ability to cause erection in patients with erectile dysfunction was accidental but a very welcome one. This discovery caused it to become one of the most valuable methods to treat ED.

Generally, in sexual intercourse, after an adequate amount of foreplay, there will be a release of nitric oxide (NO) from nerve terminals and endothelial cells. This action releases cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) too.

The cGMP’s release causes the muscles of corpora cavernosa in the penis to relax and the blood vessels to get dilated. It leads to a rapid entry of blood into those vessels, causing the penis to engorge, grow large, and get erect. The penis stays so until the end of the intercourse and until after ejaculation occurs.

The enzyme PDE5 prevents blood vessels in the penis from relaxing. It does this by causing the degradation of cGMP. In most ED patients, the blood vessels in the penis are also affected and lose their ability to relax properly or have some obstructions in them.

Sildenafil inhibits PDE5, increases the level of cGMP in the corpus cavernosum, allows more blood to flow into the penis, and causes the penis to get erect long enough to have sex.

However, sildenafil needs proper sexual stimulation to do its work. With a relaxed mind and good sexual stimulation, this drug may work even better.

Apart from the presence of PDE5 in the corpus cavernosum of the penis, PDE5 is also present in the pulmonary vasculature. Hence, sildenafil can increase cGMP within pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells and cause them to relax. In patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, this can lead to vasodilation of the pulmonary vascular bed and systemic circulation.

It is not recommended for use in women and children. Sildenafil does not cause dependence and addiction. This drug may show mild to dangerous interactions when combined with some medications. These include nitrates, antihypertensive medications, guanylate cyclase stimulators, antacids, CYP3A4 inhibitors, and CYP3A4 inducers. Sildenafil should not be used with these medications.

Sildenafil is not recommended for consumption alongside alcohol of any form. It must be avoided in users with severe heart disease, hypersensitivity to sildenafil, priapism, severe renal and liver disease, stomach ulcers, retinitis pigmentosa, and blood disorders.

Side Effects of Sildenafil (Viagra)

  • Headaches
  • Tingling sensation in the limbs and extremities
  • Hot flushes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bluish tinted vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nasal blockage
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal vision
  • Skin rash
  • Dyspepsia
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Prolonged and painful erection

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Take Sildenafil (Viagra) With CBD?

CBD can slow down the metabolism of sildenafil in the body — potentially causing it to remain active in the body for a longer duration.

Additionally, CBD may potentiate some of the effects of Viagra, leading to a higher risk of side effects (especially dizziness and priapism).

Always consult with your doctor before taking CBD if you’ve been given a prescription for Viagra or another version of sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra).

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