Can you take CBD Oil and Valerian Root Together?

A sprout of valerian sticks out of a CBD tincture bottle against a white background.

As Paracelsus said, “Everything that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature; the challenge of science is to find it.” And boy, is this an accurate quote. The great advances in current science have shed a lot of light on many ancient beliefs about the potential therapeutic properties that some plants can carry, sometimes demystifying some theories and others completely confirming what many previously believed. Such is the case with cannabis and valerian root, two plants with a long history of therapeutic use in different cultures worldwide.

Both plants seem to have possible medicinal applications to treat disorders derived from or related to lack of sleep, anxiety, pain, or depression, among other conditions. But as we well know, in the world of herbal medicine and pharmacology, the wrong combination of compounds or an inappropriate dose can end up doing more harm than healing. 

This is why it is normal for some people to question whether cannabis compounds, such as CBD, could be taken together with valerian root in order to obtain amplified wellness effects. If you want to better understand what CBD and valerian root are and how these extracts could work together to benefit you, you are in the right place. Let’s start by clarifying some basic concepts.

What is valerian Root?

Valerian Officinalis, also called common valerian, apothecary valerian, or medicinal valerian is a perennial shrub belonging to the ancient Valerianaceae family that was later reclassified as Caprifoliaceae. Valerian is part of a class of moderately sedative plants called nervines, including skullcap, chamomile, catnip, and the California poppy. Nervine plants have a long history of therapeutic use to treat sleep disorders, nervous restlessness, and anxiety.

In fact, valerian could be a potential milder substitute for more potent sleep sedative drugs like benzodiazepines. Results from multiple studies suggest that valerian root extract may help reduce the time to fall asleep and promote better rest during sleep, especially in women. There are many subspecies of valerian, but most of these studies have been conducted on the root of valerian Officinalis. Although more rigorous clinical studies are needed, valerian is generally considered safe for the general population, including children and the elderly.

What is CBD?

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of the more than 110 cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant and the predominant cannabinoid in hemp. For some years now, the cannabis market has experienced major changes in terms of its expansion, especially since the 2018 Farm Bill came into effect, which made the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp and its by-products legal. One of the most noticeable changes this expansion has brought about is an exponentially growing popularization of CBD. 

Some people still wonder if they can get high with CBD; the answer is a simple no. Unlike its cousin, THC, CBD is not psychotropic or intoxicating and carries many of the potential health benefits of cannabis without going through the psychoactive high that THC generates.

Although you can smoke CBD directly from hemp flower, there are many other ways to obtain CBD from the hemp plant as well. Among the most popular methods of consumption is CBD oil. CBD oil is nothing more than the extract of the essential oils of the cannabis plant, generally hemp. CBD oil can be full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate. This means that CBD oil can also contain all the other organic compounds of hemp when it is a full-spectrum CBD oil, including the THC content that occurs in the cannabis plant. Broad-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, contains all the hemp plant compounds except for THC. Finally, CBD isolate is just what the name suggests, cannabidiol isolated from the rest of the natural compounds in the cannabis plant.

Currently, there are a lot of products that have some of these types of CBD oil. Therefore, options abound regarding ways to consume this potentially beneficial cannabinoid. CBD oil seems to carry a host of potential health benefits with it. From the ability of this cannabinoid to relieve anxiety, its possible analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties, neuroprotective qualities, and anticonvulsants to its potential sleep-enhancing effects. 

The list of possible therapeutic applications of CBD is similar to the popularity of this cannabinoid; it seems to grow more and more. However, science has not yet fully substantiated many of these potential benefits. This is why researchers are still carrying out numerous studies on the possible properties of CBD to better understand all the therapeutic potential that this cannabinoid could have.

CBD and valerian root

Both CBD and valerian extract seem to carry different possible therapeutic qualities that users could benefit from, depending on the case. On the one hand, CBD can provide all the potential benefits attributed to cannabis without the high many people want to avoid. This opens a new window of possibilities for many people who could use CBD as a potential medicinal supplement to help deal with certain conditions but don´t want to have anything to do with the controversial Delta-9 THC or the high it generates. 

On the other hand, valerian root also carries a long history of use as a medicinal herb widely used in different cultures. Many people have been using valerian for its possible anxiolytic, spasmolytic, and muscle relaxant qualities, and its inherent ability to improve sleep in some people. It seems that people have been using CBD and valerian over time for similar purposes.

Can CBD be mixed with valerian?

Evidence found in preliminary research suggests that it is generally safe to mix CBD and valerian, but always with caution and not in all cases. These organic compounds’ anxiolytic, sedative, and relaxing properties could increase when combined. This can cause that in some cases, combining CBD with valerian can cause some people to experience drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.

In some older adults, combining CBD with valerian in moderately high doses may also cause impaired motor coordination, judgment, and thinking. Experts recommend limiting alcohol intake when taking any of these substances as medication and avoiding activities that require a lot of mental alertness, such as operating heavy, dangerous machinery, or driving.

In any case, the ideal is to always consult your doctor before taking any of these substances as part of your treatment and observe how your body and mind react once you start taking them to avoid any type of inconvenience or unnecessary accidents.

Will CBD Help Me Sleep?

Although it may not work in the same way for everyone, taking CBD is becoming an increasingly popular strategy to deal with some sleep disorders generally associated with anxiety, mental conditions, or pain. Although much of the research on using CBD to improve sleep is still preliminary, the results seem pretty promising.

Sleep disorders can be caused by various factors, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress, medications interrupting the sleep cycle, chronic pain, uncomfortable or noisy sleeping environments, or even ingesting caffeine too late in the day. Science does not yet fully understand the mechanism of action of CBD against sleep disorders. But, the preliminary evidence found so far suggests that it could work on several root factors that can affect our rest.

Evidence suggests that CBD could reduce anxiety, one of the most prevalent reasons that affect sleep in the population. There is also evidence pointing to possible pain-relieving qualities of CBD, which means that CBD could help reduce acute or even chronic pain that affects some people’s sleep. Other studies suggest CBD may improve symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder. Additionally, a couple of reviews point to CBD’s potential for treating RBD and weakness caused by insomnia or poor sleep.

It is vital to highlight that most of the studies and reviews that support the theory that CBD could improve our rest emphasize the fact that we still need more research to fully understand how CBD affects sleep.

What are the health benefits of valerian root?

Evidence suggests that valerian root extract carries the most significant therapeutic potential that this plant has to offer. Among the possible benefits that valerian root exhibits, we find that its extract could also be an anxiolytic, stress-relieving, and even antidepressant agent in some cases. There is also evidence that valerian root extract may improve sleep quality, and reduce OCD symptoms, and hyperactive behaviors in children with ADHD. Valerian Root extract may also improve digestive disorders, and alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause.

Valerian root has a long history of use as a natural remedy to treat many of the disorders mentioned above. Nonetheless, its status concerning the veracity of its possible therapeutic effects is very similar to that of CBD. This is because, although there is much preliminary evidence, reviews, and data from animal and laboratory studies, we still need more clinical research in humans to fully confirm some of these potential therapeutic applications of valerian root.

Can you take CBD oil and valerian root together?

Short answer, yes. As we already mentioned, taking CBD oil and valerian root extract is generally safe, although it can cause some adverse effects in some people, depending on the case. This is because some of the natural components in CBD oil and valerian root produce similar sedative effects that can be amplified when acting together, causing drowsiness, dizziness, or cognitive and motor impairment in some users, especially in the elderly.

CBD gummies with valerian root

Given the possible beneficial effects of CBD enhanced with the qualities of valerian to improve sleep in some people, several manufacturers chose the hard work of developing products that combine these two substances to create a more powerful and effective tool. The potential of CBD and valerian root to help with pronounced anxiety disorders, sleep problems, increased stress, or even depression, coupled with the growing expansion of the cannabis market, the positive changes in the legality of CBD, and the increasing popularity of this cannabinoid as a possible alternative to treat a variety of conditions, lead to revolutionary herb-based anxiolytic or sleep-enhancement products appear on the market. Such is the case with CBD gummies with valerian root.

If you search online, you will surely find several options from different brands and manufacturers offering CBD gummies containing valerian root extract as part of their formula. The most advisable thing is to take the time to carefully choose the product before ordering it and make sure that it is third-party-lab-tested and that both the content of CBD and that of valerian and other natural compounds it may contain are clearly indicated and well-marked on the product´s label. Let us remember that when there is a high demand for a particular product, malicious retailers may appear, selling products of questionable quality and purity that could even put our health at risk instead of helping us. This is a real risk in the CBD products field as, in many places, CBD products still do not need FDA approval to be marketed. This is why choosing products from trusted brands that offer clear and detailed information about their products is essential.

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If you want to know more about CBD oil and Valerian Root check out the video below: