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Does CBD Interact With Clonazepam (Klonopin)?

CBD (cannabidiol) & clonazepam (Klonopin) are both commonly used for alleviating anxiety & insomnia. Are these compounds safe to mix? What are the risks?

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on December 20, 2021

Clonazepam (Klonopin) is a medication used to treat anxiety, seizures, insomnia, and panic disorder. It belongs to the benzodiazepine family. 

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis plant. It’s used to help combat stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and alleviate chronic pain. 

Can CBD and Klonopin be mixed safely? What happens if someone takes both substances together? 

Does CBD Interact With Clonazepam (Klonopin)?

Yes. CBD may interact with clonazepam. The severity of this reaction is considered high. 

CBD and clonazepam both exert an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system. Taking both substances together could result in effects that are too strong, leading to side effects such as impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. 

Most experts agree it’s unsafe to use concentrated cannabinoid extracts, including CBD, with clonazepam. 

There are two main ways CBD can interact with clonazepam: 

A) Slowed Elimination (Metabolic Inhibition)

The cytochrome 450 enzymes metabolize most of the drugs that enter the body. Metabolic inhibition occurs when two drugs require the same enzymes. So they end up competing against each other. This action could slow down the metabolism of one or both drugs. 

Clonazepam is metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme. These same enzymes metabolize CBD as well. Therefore, CBD will compete with and slow down the metabolism of clonazepam — lengthening the half-life of the drug. If clonazepam is used frequently, this could lead to a gradual accumulation within the body. 

B) Increased Effect (Agonistic Interaction)

An agonistic interaction happens when two or more substances exhibit the same effect on the body. These substances might act on the same or different receptors, but they produce similar effects on the body. 

Since both CBD and clonazepam are central nervous system suppressants acting to reduce electrical transmission between the nerves, taking both together could result in side effects associated with neural inhibition. The most concerning side effects are sedation, inebriation, and loss of muscle coordination — all of which can be dangerous. 

Similar Medications: CBD & Benzodiazepines

Clonazepam is classified as a benzodiazepine anxiolytic. CBD and benzodiazepines all share similar risks for interaction and side effects.

Here’s a list of similar medications that share a similar level of risk when combined with CBD:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Estazolam (Prosom)
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Midazolam (Versed)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)
  • Quazepam (Doral)

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Clonazepam (Klonopin) Together?

No, CBD and clonazepam should not be used together. This combination is not considered safe unless under the specific guidance of a doctor.

Is CBD A Viable Alternative to Clonazepam (Klonopin)?

CBD may be a viable alternative to clonazepam for mild bouts of anxiety or insomnia. There’s also evidence to suggest CBD is even more effective in treating certain types of seizure disorders than clonazepam or other benzodiazepines [2]. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that clonazepam is significantly stronger than CBD. People suffering from significant acute symptoms may not find effective relief from CBD. 

What is Clonazepam (Klonopin)?

Clonazepam is an anxiolytic and anti-seizure drug belonging to the benzodiazepine family. It’s used to treat panic disorders, severe anxiety, and seizures. 

There are many different types of benzodiazepines, each one with its pros and cons. Clonazepam is designed to provide long-lasting effects to enable all-day relief from anxiety. 

Clonazepam (Klonopin) Specs:

Drug Name Clonazepam
Trade Names  Klonopin, Clonapam, Rivotril, Alcona, Anxrea, Aplaz, Azepic, C-Pram-S Plus, Caryclone, Catier, Cita-S Forte, Clonapax, Clonaz, Clonotril, Czpam, Klozep, Lonazep, Melzap
Classification  Benzodiazepines
CYP Metabolism CYP3A4
Interaction With CBD Agonistic, Metabolic inhibitor
Risk of Interaction  High

What Does Clonazepam (Klonopin) Do?

Clonazepam’s primary mechanism of action is the modulation of GABA function in the brain. 

It does this by acting on the benzodiazepine receptor located on GABAA receptors. It acts by binding to the benzodiazepine site of the GABA receptors, which enhances the electric effect of GABA binding on neurons. 

Clonazepam doesn’t alter GABA levels directly; rather, it alters the affinity for GABA to bind to existing receptors. 

This action results in an inhibition of synaptic transmission across the central nervous system. This allows clonazepam to perform its anticonvulsant, skeletal muscle relaxant, and anxiolytic effects. 

Clonazepam also decreases the use of 5-HT (serotonin) by neurons.

Clonazepam is used to treat seizures, including myotonic or atonic seizures, photosensitive epilepsy, and absence seizures. It’s also used in treating anxiety, panic disorders, and movement disorders called akathisia.  

What is GABA?

GABA is one of the principal inhibitory neurotransmitters in the human body. When GABA binds to γ-Aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors found in neuron synapses, chloride ions get conducted across neuron cell membranes through an ion channel in the receptors. 

When enough chloride ions get conducted, the local neuron membrane potentials get hyperpolarized. This action makes it difficult for action potentials to fire, and thus, it ultimately results in less excitation of the neurons. 

Side Effects of Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Klonopin comes with a high risk of side effects which range from changes in mood and behavior to lapses in memory. It’s also habit-forming and highly addictive if used for long periods of time. 

Because of its dependency-forming ability, clonazepam, like other benzodiazepines, is used as a first-line treatment for seizures but not for its long-term treatment. Clonazepam has also been associated with recreational use and drug abuse. 

 It can also cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms consist of increased anxiety, irritability, insomnia, tremors, headaches, stomach pain, nausea, hallucinations, fatigue, depression, etc. 

Clonazepam must be used with caution in patients with depression as there is an increased risk of suicide. It should be used during pregnancy only if needed and if the benefit outweighs the risk. 

Side effects of clonazepam (Klonopin) include:

  • Aggression
  • Ataxia
  • Coughing 
  • Decreased libido
  • Depression 
  • Dizziness 
  • Dysarthria 
  • Fatigue 
  • Lack of motivation
  • Liver damage
  • Memory impairment
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Psychosis
  • Short term memory loss
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Upper respiratory infection 
  • Urinary frequency 
  • Worsening of seizures

Other Names For Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Clonazepam is sold under many different names. All share the same risk and potential interactions.

Other names for Clonazepam (Klonopin) include:

  • Alcona 
  • Anxrea
  • Aplaz 
  • Azepic 
  • C-Pram-S Plus 
  • Caryclone 
  • Catier
  • Cita-S Forte 
  • Clonapam
  • Clonapax
  • Clonaz
  • Clonotril
  • Czpam
  • Klozep
  • Lonazep
  • Melzap
  • Rivotril

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Take Clonazepam (Klonopin) With CBD?

CBD and clonazepam have a moderate to high likelihood of interacting negatively and, therefore, should not be used together. 

Both substances exert a similar influence on the central nervous system. Taking both together could result in an excessive suppression of neurological activity, leading to side effects. Some of these side effects are severe and could result in injury or death. 

Always speak to your doctor about CBD before you mix it with your prescription medications. Your doctor can assess your level of risk and may want to adjust your dose to account for the potential interaction. 


  1. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825-836. 
  2. Lattanzi, S., Brigo, F., Trinka, E., Zaccara, G., Cagnetti, C., Del Giovane, C., & Silvestrini, M. (2018). Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol in epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Drugs, 78(17), 1791-1804. 

Learn More About CBD-Drug Interactions

Learn More About CBD-Drug Interactions

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