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Does CBD Interact With Naproxen (Aleve)?

CBD and naproxen are unlikely to interact.

This combination is considered low-risk — but proceed with caution.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on February 4, 2022

Naproxen, an analgesic drug belonging to the class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is used to treat different conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dysmenorrhea, and others. It also has antipyretic abilities. 

CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid with similar effects. Some people report taking both compounds together for added benefit. 

Will CBD and naproxen (Aleve) interact? Is this combination safe? 

Illustration of a naproxen tablet

Does CBD Interact With Naproxen (Aleve)?

CBD can interact with naproxen, but the interaction is mostly mild. Some even consider this combination synergistic — offering a greater level of benefit in combination than either compound can offer on its own. 

Both CBD and naproxen offer potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. They even work through similar mechanisms of action (inhibition of COX-2 and other pro-inflammatory mediators). 

There’s also a possibility CBD and naproxen will interact through a concept called metabolic competition as well. Both CBD and naproxen require at least some activity from the CYP2C9 enzyme in the liver. Since both compounds require the same pathway, they can become overburdened and slower than expected — increasing the half-life of both substances. This is unlikely to result in side effects unless both substances are taken on a daily basis for several days, weeks, or months. 

Similar Medications: CBD & NSAIDs

Naproxen is classified as an NSAID painkiller. CBD and NSAIDS 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:

  • Aspirin (Ascriptin, Aspergum, Aspirtab, Bayer, Easprin, Ecotrin, Ecpirin, Entercote)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, Caldolor & Neoprofen)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex & Onsenal)
  • Ketorolac (Toradol)
  • Etodolac (Ultradol)
  • Meloxicam (Mobic)

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Naproxen (Aleve) Together?

CBD and naproxen have a low risk of interaction and are generally considered safe to take in combination (if following the safe recommended dosages for both compounds). 

Long-term use or large doses of CBD or naproxen may lead to some side effects. Too much naproxen in the body could cause side effects like liver failure, gastrointestinal upset, and ulcer formation.

Talk to your doctor first if you wish to start using CBD while taking a daily dose of naproxen.  

Related: What Are the Side Effects of CBD?

Is CBD A Viable Alternative to Naproxen (Aleve)?

CBD may be a viable alternative to naproxen for certain symptoms. 

CBD is an effective painkiller, especially in mild to moderate conditions like mild arthritis, pain, and inflammation. It works by binding to the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, antioxidant effects, and various endocannabinoid-regulated pro-inflammatory pathways [1,2]. 

For mild conditions, CBD may be even more effective and carry fewer side effects than naproxen.

However, in some severe pain and inflammatory conditions, CBD may not provide enough relief as naproxen. Additionally, CBD lacks the antipyretic (fever-reducing) activity of naproxen. 

What is Naproxen (Aleve)?

Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs). It’s used to treat mild to moderate pain, like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, muscle pains, acute gout, dysmenorrhea, and others.

It was approved as a prescription drug in 1976 and then for over-the-counter (OTC) use in 1994.

Naproxen (Aleve) Specs:

Drug Name  Naproxen
Trade Name Aleve, Aleve PM, Aleve-D, Anaprox, EC-Naprosyn, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Sallus, Sudafed Sinus & Pain, Treximet, Vimovo
Classification NSAIDS
CYP Metabolism  CYP2C9
Interaction With CBD Agonistic, Metabolic competition,
Risk of Interaction Mild

What Does Naproxen (Aleve) Do?

Naproxen works by inhibiting cyclo-oxygenase (COX) isoenzymes. These enzymes are key mediators in the inflammatory process. By blocking these enzymes, inflammation is halted, reducing pain and swelling along with it. 

The COX-1 enzymes are also found in normal tissues like the stomach lining, while the COX-2 enzyme is induced and makes prostaglandins that mediate pain, fever, and inflammation. 

Stopping the production of these substances stops the inflammatory actions on the body and provides relief. Naproxen’s actions on the COX-2 enzyme give the desired antipyretic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties, while its actions on COX-1 enzymes can give undesired adverse effects such as gastrointestinal upset and renal damage. Naproxen can thus stop the effects of inflammation but may cause some unwanted side effects. 

The half-life of naproxen is 12-17 hours. 

Side Effects of Naproxen

Naproxen has few deleterious effects on the health of its users. Long-term use of naproxen can increase blood pressure and cause upper gastrointestinal bleeding. 

Naproxen should be avoided in patients with hypersensitivity, perioperative pain in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, bleeding disorders, liver diseases, kidney failure. 

Because naproxen is so easily available as an OTC drug, it is also more liable to be misused and overdosed. It can produce effects such as drowsiness, lethargy, epigastric pain, nausea, and vomiting. 

Side effects of naproxen include: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bruising
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Diverticulitis
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dyspnea
  • Fluid retention
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gastrointestinal perforation and ulcer
  • Headache
  • Hearing disturbances
  • Heartburn
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Lightheadedness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Stomatitis
Three CBD oil containers side by side with hemp leaves over a white background

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Take Naproxen (Aleve) With CBD?

CBD and naproxen are generally regarded as safe when taken in combination — however, be cautious with this combination and always follow the recommended dosages for both substances. Never consume alcohol when taking naproxen and CBD. 

CBD and naproxen both decrease pain and inflammation, but both of them have different mechanisms of action. Naproxen works by acting on the COX enzymes. CBD decreases pain by acting on the endocannabinoids and TRP channels.

Some reports suggest an even greater level of pain reduction when combining CBD and naproxen together, but there are no studies to confirm whether this is safe or effective yet. 


  1. De Petrocellis, L., Ligresti, A., Moriello, A. S., Allarà, M., Bisogno, T., Petrosino, S., … & Di Marzo, V. (2011). Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid‐enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1479-1494. 
  2. Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2020). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1), 21. 

Learn More About CBD-Drug Interactions

Learn More About CBD-Drug Interactions

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