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cbd oil and prednisone

Does CBD Oil Interact with Prednisone?

Nicole Richter

Is it safe to take CBD oil with prednisone? We take a look at the facts…

Prednisone is a medication which doctors often prescribe for inflammatory conditions. However, it has limited usefulness due to a range of potential side effects. This has led many patients to seek more natural alternatives, including CBD.

CBD has gained attention in recent years as a potent anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, scientists generally consider CBD to be safe, with a relatively low risk of side effects.

But is it safe to take prednisone and CBD together, or will the two interact and make matters even worse? Here’s all you need to know.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone belongs to a drug class known as glucocorticoids. These drugs are sometimes known as corticosteroids, or simply steroids. However, they should not be confused with the anabolic steroids that some athletes use.

How Does Prednisone Help Inflammation?

Prednisone works by mimicking the effects of glucocorticoid hormones that the body naturally produces. The adrenal glands secrete these hormones, and they play a role in various physiological functions. One of these functions is regulating the immune system and the inflammatory response.

Inflammation is a natural and healthy response to injury or infection. It allows the immune system to work more efficiently, enabling it to destroy invading pathogens. As a side effect, this process creates swelling, redness, and pain.

In the short term, this response is helpful as it reminds us to take extra care of ourselves while we heal. However, when inflammation fails to switch off when it should, serious problems can occur.

Chronic inflammation can cause pain, such as arthritis and joint pain. It is also associated with many serious conditions.

Glucocorticoid medications such as prednisone help to turn off inflammation by reducing activity in the immune system. Therefore, they can be used to treat a wide range of different medical conditions.

Some of the conditions for which doctors prescribe prednisone include:

  • Allergies
  • Skin disorders
  • Autoimmune disorders (multiple sclerosis, lupus, etc.)
  • Some types of arthritis

However, although prednisone is a useful medication with many indications, it can also cause some very unpleasant side effects.

Prednisone Side Effects

The side effects of prednisone include:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Mood changes
  • Increased risk of infection

When you take it over an extended period, prednisone can also cause more serious issues, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Glucose intolerance
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Stunted growth in children

Due to this long list of adverse effects, many people would prefer to replace their prednisone with natural alternatives like CBD. But is CBD effective for inflammation, and is this safe to do? Let’s take a look.

How Does CBD Help with Inflammation?

prednisone and cbd oil

CBD has become popular in recent years as research highlights its many potential benefits. Probably one of the most well-publicized benefits of CBD oil is its anti-inflammatory effects.

CBD helps inflammation by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is made up of chemicals called endocannabinoids, enzymes, and cell receptors known as cannabinoid receptors.

The two main types of cannabinoid receptor are known as CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly associated with the nervous system. CB2 receptors are found throughout the body, but they are concentrated in the immune system.

The ECS has many different functions. It helps to maintain a state of balance within the body, including controlling inflammation, immunity, and pain.

These functions are triggered when endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors. They fit together, like a lock fits a key to open a door.

Plant cannabinoids like THC have a similar chemical structure to these endocannabinoids. Therefore, they can fit into the same receptors and trigger the same reactions.

CBD is slightly different, though. It does not fit into these receptors directly but alters the way that they bind with other molecules, making them more or less effective.

When you take CBD oil, it influences the way endocannabinoids bind with CB2 receptors in the immune system. This helps to help turn off the inflammatory response.

In this sense, CBD is somewhat similar to prednisone. Both therapies can help to suppress the immune system by interacting with its cells.

However, unlike prednisone, CBD is not known to cause serious side effects. That is not to say that CBD will never cause any side effects at all, though. It’s just that they are unlikely to affect everyone or be especially severe.

Does CBD Interact with Prednisone?

If you suffer from an inflammatory condition and take prednisone, you might be wondering whether you can try CBD too. You might think that CBD is safe since it comes from a plant and causes very few side effects.

But unfortunately, despite its relative safety, CBD does have the potential to interact with other drugs. This means you should be cautious when adding CBD to your existing medication.

When you take CBD (or any medicine), it passes through your digestive system to your liver via the hepatic portal vein. In the liver, an enzymatic pathway called the cytochrome P450 pathway (CYP450) metabolizes CBD.

This process involves several enzymes, including one known as CYP3A4. This is an enzyme which is involved in metabolizing around 25% of all drugs, including CBD and prednisone.

Taking CBD can inhibit the action of CYP3A4. This means that other drugs metabolized by the same enzyme get broken down more slowly. Therefore, CBD can increase the concentration of drugs like prednisone in the body, raising the risk of side effects.

To find out whether your medication interacts with CBD, scientists recommend that you use the ‘grapefruit test.’ Grapefruit and grapefruit juice interact with many of the same drugs that CBD does.

So, if your doctor has told you to avoid grapefruit with your medicine, you should probably avoid CBD, too.

Is It Safe to Take CBD and Prednisone Together?

Since CBD oil can interact with prednisone, making side effects more likely, doctors don’t consider them safe to take together.

Sadly, this is the case for many other medications, too. Although for some people enhancing the effects of their medicine can be helpful, for others, it can be dangerous.

Therefore, if you suffer from an inflammatory condition and want to try CBD, you may need to stop your prednisone first. However, you must do this carefully and under the supervision of your physician.

Here’s what you need to know if you are thinking of making the switch from prednisone to CBD.

Making the Switch from Prednisone to CBD

If you use glucocorticoid medication like prednisone, it is essential that you do not stop taking it suddenly. Stopping this type of medicine without gradually tapering the dose down can result in severe withdrawal symptoms.

Some common prednisone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Fever

Therefore, if you want to stop taking your prednisone and try CBD instead, be very cautious. Talk to your physician first and explain why you want to make the change. Hopefully, they will be understanding and tell you how to stop taking your prednisone safely.

You may need to do this very slowly over the course of several days or weeks, so be patient. If your doctor is knowledgeable about CBD, they should be able to tell you when it is safe to start using it. In the meantime, ask about other ways to manage your symptoms, such as through diet or exercise.

Making the switch from prednisone to CBD is a slow process. However, it is essential to do it properly to avoid suffering even more.

Does CBD Oil Interact with Prednisone? Final Thoughts

CBD oil and prednisone are both useful anti-inflammatory treatments. However, the two substances are metabolized by the same enzyme, meaning that they can easily interact.

CBD can increase the likelihood of experiencing prednisone side effects, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Therefore, you should not take the two together unless your physician explicitly tells you to do so.

If you want to make the switch from prednisone to CBD, you should do so with caution. Suddenly stopping your medication can have unpleasant withdrawal effects, so talk to your doctor about doing this safely.

You may want to look into different ways to relieve your symptoms without medication while you make the transition. By finding ways to manage your condition with some simple lifestyle changes, you could make things much easier for yourself.

And finally, remember that CBD can interact with many drugs besides prednisone. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking CBD with any other medication.

CBD may cause fewer side effects than prednisone but can you safely take the two together? We take a look at how these remedies could interact.

CBD oil to reduce prednisone

Edited 6 months ago , 23 users are following.



Has anyone tried taking CBD Hemp oil to reduce prednisone? I just started on 15mg capsules (2 days) and I feel relief. I’ve had PMR for 5 years and can’t seem to get below 8 mg of pred without a flare

1 like, 25 replies


25 Replies


Anhaga Nanduff

Posted 2 years ago


Mrs.Mac-Canada Nanduff

Posted 2 years ago

The short answer in my experience is yes, I believe it is helping me.

I just wrote you a long reply and it disappeared on me. I often have trouble using my iPad so could you PM me and we can exchange emails and do it that way. I can tell you more about it


Mrs.Mac-Canada Nanduff

Posted 2 years ago



Mrs_Hobbles Nanduff

Posted 2 years ago

I’ve used CBD successfully for Fibromylgia but not instead of pred, would be very interested to hear peoples thoughts on it though!



VickieS Nanduff

Posted 2 years ago



marla.090252 Nanduff

Posted 2 years ago

Hi Nanduff, I use CBD as well, and should remember to use it more often. . sigh. Pred brain. Yes, it works for me, but the high doses I need costs alot at the dispensary. I’m on the journey to reduce my Pred from original 15mg, to 12.5mg to 10mg, then using DSNS method I’m down to 7mg. Still have to reduce to 5mg before my hand surgeon will operate on a ruptured tendon in my finger. Even as slow as I’ve taken it, I’m flaring all the time. I get several days of being ok, then weather changes or my stress changes and I get walloped. When I vape the CBD, I’m good for about 2½ to 3 hours. But using it several times a day, I go thru my supply in short time, then back to the dispensary. I use the dried flower form of Hemp. I had to get a medical card, go to a Pain Specialist (more money) with my GP’s recommendation. Only these docs that could prescribe the use of medical marijuana or hemp.

Long story short, yes it works for me. Good luck on your journey!



Nanduff marla.090252

Posted 2 years ago

I started taking CBD Hemp THC. I’m taking 15 mg at night and it definitely seems to be helping. I’m on 7.5 mg of pred. I haven’t tried reducing yet but will in another week. My rheumi says to go down 1/2 mg every 2 weeks. I might try every 3 due to the numerous flares I’ve had over the years. Diagnosed in 2011😩 From what I’ve read from another member I might have to up the dose of CBD. I’ve never smoked and can’t get my head around vaping. My son in law has a prescription and vapes CBD with very low THC for his migraines and he sees a vast improvement. I live in the states and CBD Hemp oil can be purchased on line as well as in a health food store. It is a bit pricey .. but if I can off the pred..or at least under 5mg. I’ll pay th price.

Hope this helps!

Mrs.Mac-Canada marla.090252

Posted 2 years ago

i am using CBD oil to help me decrease my prednisone dose but not in lieu of taking enough prednisone to manage my inflammation. I think if you are having flares often you might try decreasing more slowly and never decrease before you are feeling well (as can be). After my last flare I made it back to 5mg and stayed there for 7 months then started to reduce very, very slowly. I have successfully made it to 3.5mg where I had flared twice before and I’m feeling good. I believe it is the CBD oil that has allowed me to do this especially since stress is my trigger and I have been going through some extremely difficult times with family.

I hope you are successful in getting down to the 5mg so you can have your surgery but go slowly so you avoid the seesaw with flares. They seem to get worse and harder to get back in control each time.


Anhaga Nanduff

Posted 2 years ago

At your dose level even three week intervals between tapers is probably too fast, especially as you describe having had “numerous flares”. Make it at least a month, each .5 reduction, and be aware of any increasing fatigue because that will mean your adrenals need a bit longer to catch up. I will be interested to learn if your taper proceeds uneventfully with the help of CBD.


Twopies Anhaga

Posted 2 years ago


Anhaga Twopies

Posted 2 years ago

Nope, I think it would be counterproductive to use pred to deal with fatigue as it’s the pred which has caused it in the first place. I just go very slowly both so I don’t get a flare of PMR, which happened last year when I tried to go from 1.5 to 1, and also to make sure I don’t become ill from lack of cortisol. But that’s just me. I’m sure others have different ways, and I’m sure people have varying degrees of fatigue, and many maybe no problems at all! in my case I don’t have much stamina, but I don’t really get the deathly fatigue very often. It worries me that I get it at all by now, but there it is.


RD_Swede Anhaga

Posted 2 years ago

I am soon 81 and have been off pred for almost 10 years. Fortunately no flares. I used pred for 3 1/2 years including the year on 5 mg.

Good luck to all from Ragnar


Twopies Anhaga

Posted 2 years ago


Twopies RD_Swede

Posted 2 years ago

ill be at 3 years in September, no end in sight. Thank you for your thoughtful words. I’m thinking staying at 5 is the way to go.



Posted 2 years ago

whoops. Can’t count. 2 years! (Blame it on pred head!)


Anhaga RD_Swede

Posted 2 years ago

And we are all eternally grateful to you for figuring out how to taper successfully! Unfortunately on pred I developed increased ocular pressure, high blood sugar (controlled by a very strict diet which sadly has prevented my regaining lost weight), possibly bone thinning (corrected though diet and exercise) and a tendency to be easily injured, rotator cuff, that kind of thing. I think I would be worse off if I had stayed at 5 for a long time. At the moment I’m hanging around the 1.5 – 2 level.


mike42494 marla.090252

Posted 2 years ago

i have been on 10mg of prednisone for 3 years. i am tapering 1 mg every 3 weeks. I’m now at 7 mg daily. i started taking full spectrum cbd oil 6 weeks ago. i take 12.5 mg of cbd 3 x per day. it has really helped me. it takes a few weeks to feel any effect. i use LAZURUS full stength and since i am on disability the company gives a 60% DISCOUNT. A 6000mg bottle cost me $80.00 and will last 4 months.


marla.090252 mike42494

Posted 2 years ago

Hi Mike, (and all) It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Life has been an up and down journey for me recently. I’m currently back down to 6 ½ mg Pred having had PMR now for over 2 years. Since my last posting, I’ve had several flares due to the stress of my father-in-law’s heart attack, subsequent kidney failure, and eventual passing just before Christmas.

I finally got back in touch with hand surgeon #2 and got a song and pony show of different diagnosis and prognosis than the first visit. I found another hand surgeon, and now because there has been so much time since the tendon rupture he suggests not doing the surgery. My right arm ulna head has some osteoarthritis. The rough calcification severed one of the two tendons on my little finger, the small extensor tendon. This new surgeon doesn’t think I’d gain more extension (lifting my little finger, right hand, above horizontal) than I have (which is none). I agree with him, that flexion (gripping) is more important. So I will live with it. He will go in later to scrape the ulnar head so it doesn’t abraid the other tendons.

Using the new full spectrum CBD oil I purchased, (25 mg/0.5ml per day), is so horrible tasting, that I’m researching gel capsules for liquids to fill for dosing, instead of putting the drops on the back of my tongue. I also found that taking it with food helps with stomach reflux, and retasting the CBD oil. Once I finish with this bottle, I’m going back to vaping it. My Firefly 2 is an awesome vape (it heats, doesn’t burn the flower. You inhale vapor not smoke, I’ve never coughed using it). The CBD flower I get from the dispensary is grown for no THC. I get no after-effects from vaping CBD, like I do with the oil. Some folks don’t mind the flavor of the oil, but I basically gag on it, because of its high percentage (1,500 mg per 30ml bottle) of plant extracts.

Does it work? Yes, if you can build up your system to it (takes about 3 weeks, daily dosing). I just prefer to vape it instead. Hemp is Cannabis. It’s the plants’ Genus, split into a variety of Species. All strains and varieties of THC plants are mixed CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG and others in a low percentage. I found if I vape a mix of Hemp (CBD) to THC in a 60:40 ratio, I get NO high from it. This happens because of what is called the entourage effect, the brain associates with both cannabinoid sites, CB1 and CB2. These sites are also located thru-out the body. It’s the entourage effect that negates the high, as long as you calculate the percentages of each flower type and mix what works for you. Each person is different, just like with Prednisone, and how it’s assimilated in our bodies.

The science of this interaction is what I have been studying for the last 2 years while vaping Medical Cannabis (I have a medical card from my State Massachusetts, USA). The difference is medical cannabis undergoes testing for purity, potency, % of a few other cannabinoids (listed above). This makes medical cannabis more expensive, but safer than “street” Cannabis. There are actually over 85 different cannabinoids the Cannabis plant provides. It’s a huge topic, and far to complex to go into here. But suffice it to say, vaping mixed CBD:THC works better for me than straight CBD.

Hope this helps. Good luck on your journey!

Has anyone tried taking CBD Hemp oil to reduce prednisone?   I just started on 15mg capsules (2 days) and I feel relief….