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CBD and GABA: Interaction and Benefits

10 min read

Many natural supplements work as sleep aids. Natural supplements like CBD and GABA can also be used as a treatment for other conditions like anxiety disorders, depression, and high blood pressure. This article will focus on the interaction and benefits of CBD and GABA. It will review GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), its role in the body, and its health implications, and provide a detailed discussion on how CBD and GABA interact within the body.

cbd and gaba

What is GABA?

GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is a neurotransmitter which means it sends messages throughout the brain. It reduces nerve cell communication, inhibiting the ability to receive or send and create chemical messages. 

Effectively, this means it slows down communication between your neurons by blocking certain signals within the central nervous system so that your brain activity is reduced. With reduced brain activity, you can enjoy a calming effect that alleviates stress, fear, or anxiety.

Your brain produces two types of GABA: 

  1. GABA-A
  2. GABA-B

While they work differently, both bind to receptors in your nerve cells to decrease responsiveness and, as a result, turn down or turn off communication so that you can feel calmer and more at ease, which is often achieved right before bed. 

GABA can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Diminish anxiety
  • Improve sleep quality

Several health conditions and mental health conditions can change the natural levels of GABA produced by the body, including the following:

  1. Anxiety disorders
  2. Mood disorders
  3. Depression
  4. Autism
  5. Schizophrenia
  6. Epilepsy 
  7. Hypersomnia
  8. Huntington disease

People who struggle with these conditions may find that they experience higher than normal levels of anxiety and stress, with poor sleep quality. GABA can help alleviate that stress and encourage better sleep. 

CBD and GABA

So what about CBD and GABA together? CBD has many similar effects in terms of calming anxiety and stress and helping with sleep. Studies have found that CBD is a highly effective treatment with minimal to no side effects for several physical and mental health conditions.

Can I take GABA and CBD together?

Yes, there are many products today that offer a combination of GABA and CBD, which you can take together. There are several potential benefits associated with using the two in a single product, including the following:

Stress and anxiety reduction

The biggest benefit of taking these two together is that it decreases your stress and anxiety levels by slowing down communication in the brain, helping to boost mood, reducing chronic pain, and having an overall calming effect.

Improved sleep quality

Your sleep quality is greatly enhanced when taking these two together because of their impact on your overall mood, muscle relaxation, and diminished neurological activity when it’s time to sleep.

Enhanced mood regulation

CBD has been known to enhance your mood, which can help with the treatment of mood disorders. There are several reasons it can do this, including reduced inflammation, which manages chronic pain; changes to your serotonin production, which can naturally boost your mood; better sleep quality, and by extension, higher energy, which can encourage better nutrition, better exercise, and mobility throughout the day, and subsequently improved sleep.

Neurological health

CBD and GABA can improve neurological health. While there are some concerns about the effect of CBD on memory and mental health, several studies have found it to be useful in treating or preventing neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Pain management

CBD is highly regarded for its pain management effects. CBD products have a direct impact on pain receptors as well as inflammation in the body, which is often the main culprit of aches and pains. It can also be used to treat nausea and vomiting. When used in conjunction with GABA, it can slow down communication between different nerve cells that manage your pain response, making it a viable way to deal with chronic pain, particularly before sleep.

Muscle relaxation

When GABA slows down communication in the brain, it helps your body relax. Muscle relaxation can be enhanced with CBD, which reduces physical stress, pain, and anxiety, making it easier to sleep.

GABA and CBD interactions on mental health

There are several conditions and symptoms that can be alleviated or treated with the combination of CBD and GABA together. This includes:

  1. Insomnia
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Anxiety disorders
  4. Hypersomnia
  5. Depressive disorders
  6. Mood disorders
cbd and gaba

Tips for taking CBD and GABA together

If you are interested in incorporating GABA and CBD together into your wellness regimen, there are a few things to consider. 

1. Speak with your medical team

If you are already receiving any type of treatment, including therapy or prescription medication for a condition like an anxiety disorder or epilepsy, it is important that you speak with your medical team about incorporating CBD and GABA together. Your medical team can review any possible contraindications with other medications you are on and speak with you about the possibility of reducing dependence on other medications should the CBD and GABA work well enough to reduce your symptoms.

2. Start with low doses

Even if you aren’t taking medication for other issues, but you are struggling with the quality of your sleep under high stress, and you want to try GABA and CBD together, you should start with a very low dose.

This low dose should be continued for several weeks to monitor for any allergic reactions or effectiveness. If you find that the dose is effective, you can continue with your regimen, but if it is not producing the effects you want, you can increase incrementally while still continuing with the same increased dose for several weeks to monitor for effectiveness.

You don’t want to start with an incredibly high dose, nor do you want to increase your dose every other night just because you don’t feel the effects immediately. Like all medications, even supplements like GABA and CBD can take time before you feel any improvement. 

Note: GABA suppresses the respiratory system, so if you take too much, it can cause shallow breathing or risk not breathing at all. Never take more than is advised on your GABA-based product, and check for any side effects. 

3. Consider your needs

You also want to consider your needs when you are asking, “Can I take GABA and CBD together?” because the body naturally produces GABA, but if you take high supplements on a regular basis for an extended length of time, your body will change how much it naturally produces because it recognizes the presence of GABA from your supplements.

This means that long-term and regular reliance on any product with GABA could make it even harder for you to sleep on your own or reduce anxiety because of diminished GABA in your body.

  • If you are looking only to improve sleep, consider alternating the supplements you take with things like CBD and melatonin gummies or melatonin supplements in and around the GABA.
  • If you are looking to reduce stress and anxiety, consider using coping skills like yoga, meditation, worry time techniques, or other behavioral therapy in addition to the supplements you are using so that you can become less reliant.

Summing Up

Can you take CBD with GABA? Yes, you can. This is a useful treatment for insomnia, and it can also help with the overall reduction of stress and anxiety. Different combinations can help with mental health disorders or physical health maintenance. However, it’s important that you make informed decisions based on your health needs and that you consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating CBD and GABA products into your Wellness routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

CBD (Cannabidiol) is believed to interact with the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) system, potentially influencing its activity. While research is ongoing, some studies suggest that CBD may increase GABA levels indirectly by modulating receptors associated with GABAergic neurotransmission. It’s important to note that individual responses may vary, and more research is needed to fully understand the extent of this interaction.

While both CBD and GABA supplements are generally considered safe, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before combining them. GABA supplements may have their own set of effects, and the interaction with CBD could vary among individuals. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance based on your health history and goals.

The interaction between CBD and GABA is of interest because GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter associated with calming effects. By modulating GABAergic activity, CBD may contribute to a sense of relaxation and may have potential benefits for conditions influenced by GABA dysfunction, such as anxiety and stress.

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The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice.
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