Can You Quit Xanax and Use CBD Instead?


  • Last modified: December 8, 2020

BY: Leafly

cbd for xanax

Xanax (benzodiazepine) is the most prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States – it is highly addictive, and drug abuse of this substance is a major problem worldwide. Quitting this drug can be very difficult because of the many unpleasant side effects. CBD can help alleviate some of these withdrawal symptoms and support people in their recovery as they wean off benzodiazepines.

What Is Xanax

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam – the most common anti-anxiety medication under the benzodiazepine class of drugs. Other popular brands under this class are valium, ativan and klonopin.

Benzodiazepines are prescribed for treating anxiety disorders such as social anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia.

Xanax can help relieve anxiety symptoms quickly by forcing the nervous system into a relaxed state. It works by attaching a receptor in your brain called the GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) receptor – which has a calming effect on the brain by controlling our stress levels and brain activity. This stops anxiety attacks and relaxes us enough to fall asleep.

Problems With Xanax

The main problem with Xanax is that it is highly addictive. Tolerance to Xanax develops quickly – after just a few days the body starts to resist the effects of the drug as the GABA receptors have been altered and we can’t produce enough GABA naturally to make up for this tolerance. The main side effect of this is anxiety – the very reason for taking the drug in the first place, and so the vicious cycle begins.. Because of this increase in tolerance, the user often ends up taking more of the drug to achieve the same effects. Someone with a Xanax addiction may end up taking 20-30 pills a day.

If the user decides to stop taking Xanax, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms as the drug wears off. Withdrawal can be very unpleasant and can include symptoms such as panic attacks, insomnia, tremors, mood instability, suicidal thoughts, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating, seizures, and even death in severe Xanax addiction.

These negative side effects make it very difficult for people to resist the medication. Knowing that the drug will stop these symptoms makes it nearly impossible to quit the drug… This is why most people will continue to take it – as the anxiety is too intense without it.

If someone wants to to stop taking Xanax, it is not recommended to quit “cold turkey” or without medical supervision due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms in some cases.

How Can CBD Help?

People are turning to CBD to support their recovery when trying to quit Xanax. This is because CBD can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms whilst they wean themselves of the drug, with the goal of stopping them completely.

The basic idea is that the dose of Xanax is reduced gradually, at the same time, CBD is introduced and the dose slowly increased to offset some of the negative side effects of the Xanax withdrawal. Once the body is completely free from benzodiapines, the CBD dose will be reduced until not needed anymore – which is much easier than stopping Xanax.

CBD works in a similar way to benzodiazepines with its effects on the GABA receptors – but it is a lot less potent and not addictive.

CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety symptoms – which is the main side effect of Xanax withdrawal. In addition, CBD is a mild sedative which can help relieve the symptoms of insomnia, it can also help with muscle tremors and tension – another uncomfortable withdrawal from benzodiazepines.

How to Wean off Xanax With CBD

It is important to talk to your doctor or qualified practitioner before starting to wean of Xanax. They can help come up with a dosage plan and provide tips for getting through the withdrawals. Most doctors will schedule visits to monitor how the body is responding throughout the process.

Weaning off Xanax with CBD is fairly straight forward. You will start by keeping your regular dose of Xanas whilst a low dose of CBD is introduced, over time the dose of Xanax is reduced gradually, as the dose of CBD is increased, until the Xanax is completely replaced by CBD. Focus will then shift to reducing the dose of CBD gradually – which is much easier and safer than for benzodiazepines.

Dosage Plan

The amount of CBD you will need to take will depend on your dose of Xanax or other benzodiazepines, as well as your body weight and individual body chemistry. Some people need to take high doses to get the same effects as others on low doses. Your doctor can help establish a dosage plan with you, but in general it is key to start with a low dose and build up slowly to achieve the desired effects. The following dosage plan is just an example to give an idea of what it may look like.

 

Week

 

 

Xanax Daily Dose

 

 

CBD Daily Dose

 

 

Week 1

 

 

4 mg

 

 

0 mg

 

 

Week 2

 

 

4 mg

 

 

5g

 

 

Week 3

 

 

3 mg

 

 

10 mg

 

 

Week 4

 

 

3 mg

 

 

15 mg

 

 

Week 5

 

 

2 mg

 

 

20 mg

 

 

Week 6

 

 

2 mg

 

 

30 mg

 

 

Week 7

 

 

1 mg

 

 

40 mg

 

 

Week 8

 

 

1 mg

 

 

50 mg

 

 

Week 9

 

 

0.5 mg

 

 

60 mg

 

 

Week 10

 

 

0.5 mg

 

 

60 mg

 

 

Week 11

 

 

0.25mg

 

 

60 mg

 

 

Week 12

 

 

0 mg

 

 

60 mg

 

Tips for weaning-off Xanax

Benzodiazepine withdrawals can be dangerous so it is crucial to seek medical advice from a qualified doctor before attempting to stop. Return for follow-up visits as you reduce your dose so your doctor can assess your physical and emotional health.

Make sure to buy enough good quality and high-potency CBD to continue the weaning off process.

Wean off Xanax slowly over several weeks. Reduce your dose gradually (around 25% every 2 weeks) to give the body time to adjust to the new dose before moving on to the next stage.

Be patient, even though CBD will help alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms, it won’t eliminate them completely. Remember the discomfort will eventually pass for good as long as you finish the process. Additional techniques to help ease withdrawal symptoms may include changes to your diet, nutritional supplements, removing stressful triggers, starting a new hobby, and joining support groups.

In summary, CBD has similar effects to benzodiazepines making the withdrawal process more comfortable – improving your chances of quitting Xanax for good.

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