Can i take CBD and painkillers at the same time?

How do pain pills work? How does CBD work? Can you take CBD and painkillers? How can you categorise the different painkillers? We cover all of this here in our article on CBD and painkillers.

Whether you are suffering from period pain, hormonal headaches, or just a hangover, you’ll probably want to know if you can take CBD and painkillers at the same time. Traditionally, you may have always reached for the painkillers when you were in pain, but if you have recently switched to CBD, then it’s certainly a valid question.


Table of Contents

  • Different pain meds and how they work!
  • How does CBD work?
  • Can you take CBD together with pain pills?
  • CBD and drug interactions!
  • Cannabidiol and blood thinners!
  • Possible side effects of CBD
  • Summary

Different pain meds and how they work

When you have a headache, sore muscles, joint pain or even menstrual cramps, you often reach for an over-the-counter pain reliever. They can all effectively relieve this pain.

However, some painkillers are better for you than others, and all have specific instructions that must be followed carefully in order to take them safely. For more severe pain, such as after surgery or injury, your doctor may also prescribe a prescription painkiller. Here is a list and brief description of the different types of painkillers:

Over-the-counter pain pills:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

They work by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX enzyme). This prevents the formation of prostaglandins.Prostaglandins are responsible for inflammatory reactions in the body. By blocking the prostaglandins, they reduce inflammation and the pain that accompanies it.

  • Acetaminophen, sometimes referred to as acetaminophen, works differently than the NSAIDs.

Acetaminophen is a centrally acting drug, meaning it acts centrally in the brain on pain pathways. The exact mechanism of how acetaminophen works is not yet clear to researchers, but it may work by inhibiting the COX pathway in the central nervous system.

Prescription Pain killer:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

These drugs work through a completely different mechanism than over-the-counter painkillers. There are endogenous opioid receptors all over the body. Opioids interact with these receptors in a way that results in analgesia or pain relief.

In a nutshell, endogenous opioid receptors are simply a group of receptors in the human body. When a drug binds to this group of receptors, pain is generally relieved.

Neumann says opioids are most commonly prescribed to treat pain from severe injuries or broken bones, pain after surgery, and chronic pain in cancer patients.

How does CBD work?

The most important function of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain balance and homeostasis in almost everything that happens in your body.

This system consists of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are activated by anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

Anandamide stimulates the CB1 receptors, while 2 AG stimulates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 activation controls various physiological functions such as sleep, appetite, vomiting, mood, pain perception, and memory; CB2 activation controls inflammation, as these receptors are found primarily in the immune system.

Well, THC binds to the CB1 receptors. This is how THC produces its therapeutic effects. This is also how THC produces its euphoric, psychoactive effects.

Unlike THC, CBD has a low binding affinity to cannabinoid receptors. This means that CBD cannot directly activate these receptors to produce the therapeutic effects of THC, anandamide, or 2 AG. Instead, CBD binds to and activates various receptors to produce its therapeutic effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has the ability to delay the reabsorption of important neurotransmitters or brain chemicals. By doing so, CBD gives these chemicals more time to remain in your body, allowing their effects to last longer.


Can you take CBD together with pain pills?

Another question we are often asked is, “Can I take CBD along with painkillers?” It seems like a logical question! Many of the people who take these painkillers would be prime candidates for taking CBD. Combining CBD and painkillers may already be common, but it’s important that you know the risks involved.

Let us take a closer look at taking CBD along with pain pills.


Similarities between CBD and painkillers

If you are reading this blog about answering the question, “Can you take CBD along with painkillers?” you are probably already familiar with some of the most commonly prescribed painkillers on the market. Many of these popular painkillers include Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycodone.

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. Although it’s still a legal grey area and some governments still have not approved it as a dietary supplement, many people are choosing to try it out and see if any of its possible effects on pain management or anti-inflammatory properties work for them.

Before mixing any medications, talk to your doctor first. Officially, there is not enough research on CBD oil taken with other pain medications, so we can not say anything for sure here on this blog – but…

What we can recommend is to give CBD a try. If it works for you, then that’s great! You can get rid of the over-the-counter painkillers you are already taking and try a more natural approach. If it does not work, then it just does not work. If you are taking prescription painkillers, you CAN CANNOT just abruptly stop taking them. You MUST stop your opioids slowly and over a few weeks or months, depending on how long you have been taking them. You may experience severe side effects and bad withdrawal symptoms if you stop opioids from one day to the next.

CBD and drug interations?

A number of drugs, including CBD, are broken down by the same large family of liver enzymes called CYP450.

CBD inhibits some enzymes in this family. This causes certain medications to be broken down more slowly, which can increase side effects if your doctor does not adjust the dose. On the other hand, CBD induces other enzymes in this family, speeding up the breakdown of certain medications, so they may be less effective if the dose is not increased.

Thus, you may experience increased side effects if you take CBD along with these medications:

  • Antidepressants (such as fluoxetine or Prozac).
  • medicines that can cause drowsiness (antipsychotics, benzodiazepines)
  • macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, clarithromycin)
  • Heart medications (some calcium channel blockers).

    There is still a lot of uncertainty about how CBD interacts with drug-degrading enzymes in the body. Doctors know that there are some drug-degrading enzymes that are affected by CBD, some that are not, and many others that we do not yet have information about.

If you do decide to take a full-spectrum CBD product, we recommend that you keep a gap of at least 2 hours between your medication and the CBD product.

Cannabidiol and blood thiners

Blood thinners are medications that are prescribed by a doctor for people who have problems with their blood. This is because some people have problems with blood clotting. This is caused when a person’s blood is too thick. It can cause blood clots to form, and if a clot gets into your lungs or heart, you can die from it. Usually, blood clots start in your legs and travel upward. Blood thinners keep your blood thin so that clots cannot form.

It is possible that CBD can cause the “grapefruit” effect. Some medications should not be taken with grapefruit because the medicine will not be as strong. On the package insert of your medication, you will usually find a warning that you must not eat grapefruit when taking this medication.

People who take blood thinners and CBD should even consult a doctor before taking the two together. CBD can cause blood thinners to not work to their full potential. If your blood thinners do not take their full effect, it can be a deadly mistake. Always consult a doctor when starting anything new if you are taking blood thinners.

Read more about CBD and blood thinners HERE


Possible side effects of CBD

The most common side effects of CBD may include:

  • Drowsiness,
  • Gastrointestinal problems,
  • Dry mouth,
  • decreased appetite,
  • Nausea
    Because CBD supplements come in so many different forms – such as oils, gummy bears, tinctures, and vapours – the amount that is actually ingested can vary drastically. This, in combination with the individual person, will ultimately affect what (if any) CBD side effects you may experience.


There is no doubt that CBD has become very popular over the years. Scientists are still finding ways that CBD can be helpful to us. It seems like every day they are finding new ways that CBD can help with certain health conditions. In fact, many people are health conscious and are turning to CBD for help instead of taking medications with severe side effects. So. can you take CBD along with painkillers? YES – you just need to be careful and start LOW and GO SLOWLY.

If you have any doubts or would like to speak to an expert, please contact us at with your questions – no questions are silly!


your best options

We all know by now that everyone is different and needs different solutions and dosages, but here you have a guided option to help you have less pain and gain a quality of life you deserve.


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