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Can You Use Valerian Root and Marijuana Together?

bottle with dropper, valerian root, weed, mortar and pestle with cut roots, ladle with cut roots, valerian flower and scissors

Valerian root and marijuana are generally considered safe to take simultaneously, though some potential (non-lethal) risks exist. These medicinal herbs are widely used to help with sleep problems and anxiety. When taken together, the drowsy effects may intensify, bringing potentially beneficial therapeutic effects and risks associated with medicated sleep.

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What Is Valerian Root?

Valerian root — technically the roots of theValeriana officianalis L. plant — is an herbal supplement that people use to manage anxiety or to help them sleep. Valerian has a long history as traditional medicine, with people using it for a good night’s sleep as far back as the Middle Ages. While it originally grew in Europe and Asia, you can now find valerian growing as a wild herb worldwide.

Valerian root is classified as a dietary supplement by the FDA and is generally considered safe, but this area requires more research. If you have any questions about taking valerian root, it’s recommended that you seek medical advice from your doctor.

Valerian Root’s Uses and How It Works

Valerian root is widely used to help with sleep and mental health problems. People generally use the herb to help with insomnia and anxiety disorders.

Preparations are made by using all parts of the root and stem. Some products utilize the whole root, dry the product, produce an herbal tea called valerian tea, or use it for tinctures. Some products are also made from root extracts, often in capsule form. Many products are available on the market, but the whole root preparations work better than extracts for sleep and anxiety.

It’s still not known precisely how the valerian root works. Scientists haven’t identified any specific compounds within valerian root that affect anxiety or the ability to sleep. The science is also out on whether valerian root works, and further research is required before anyone can know for sure.

Some known drug interactions exist for valerian root and sedative medications. These include:

  • Anxiety medications
  • Alcohol
  • Sleep medications
  • Dietary supplements such as St John’s wort, melatonin, and cannabis

Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Valerian Root

Potential Benefits

The possible drowsy effects of valerian root have the potential to improve the effectiveness of other sleep aids. If you’re using cannabis to help with insomnia or sleep disorders, mixing it with valerian root could make the sleepy effects stronger and help you drift off to sleep faster.

Download Free Guide to Marijuana and Insomnia

Potential Risks

Because the effects of valerian root could make the drowsy effects of your cannabis more intense, you could be putting yourself at risk if you aren’t in a safe place to fall asleep.

Valerian root has common side effects known to many cannabis varieties. These include headaches and dizziness. Both herbal remedies could increase your chance of experiencing negative side effects or intensify them.

Download Our Tips For Minimizing Negative Effects

What to Do If You Need To Use Both Valerian Root and Marijuana

If you need to take both marijuana and valerian root, ensure it’s in a safe environment where it’s okay if you fall asleep. This means avoiding things like driving, cooking, or looking after children.

The Bottom Line

Taking valerian root and cannabis simultaneously is probably okay, but it could intensify any drowsy effects you’d experience from either one alone. You should be cautious of the potential risks of mixing the two herbal remedies, and you should consult your doctor before taking any new medications or if you have any questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does valerian root make you high?

Not much is known about how valerian root acts in your body. Because of this, not all of its effects are known, including any potential psychoactive effects.

Is valerian root like Xanax?

Valerian root and Xanax are similar in that they’re both taken to treat anxiety disorder. Where they differ is that valerian root is an herbal supplement with its effectiveness not strongly backed by science at this stage. Xanax is an approved, Schedule IV controlled medication with a large body of research on its effects. One disadvantage of Xanax is that it isn’t natural and has side effects like memory loss, drowsiness, and loss of balance. It also has the potential for addiction.

Can you drink when taking valerian root?

It’s not recommended to take valerian root with alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, which, combined with valerian root’s sedative effects, could lead to drowsiness and send you into a deep sleep.