Pairing Adaptogens with CBD

With what seems to be an increasing era of stress and anxiety, people are seeking more natural ways to support themselves with plant-based anti-anxiety and stress relieving remedies.
Written by 
Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins, Naturopathic Physician.
|Last Updated:
Pairing Adaptogens with CBD

With cannabidiol (CBD) touting benefits of anxiety relief and adaptogens creating feelings of calm while fighting fatigue, there is a logical road to travel with these two together as partners in health.

Why CBD and Adaptogens May Pair Well

While CBD works to help create homeostasis, or balance, in the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, adaptogens influence the neuroendocrine-immune system, helping to decrease the negative effects of stress on the body. While it may seem intuitive to pair CBD and adaptogenic herbs together, there have been no studies on how these compounds may work synergistically.

Both CBD and adaptogens are plant-based compounds that work to normalize bodily functions. CBD comes from the cannabis plant and is typically extracted from the hemp variety, but can also be derived from marijuana. Adaptogens are medicinal herbs such as Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, and Schisandra chinensis.

Mood Balancing Functions of CBD

With an abundance of research still needed around all the cannabinoids including CBD, there are many studies that explain the effectiveness of this popular cannabis compound. One of the functions CBD has when introduced into the body is inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, a substance that creates joy and bliss in the body. This in turn can reduce anxiety and increase feelings of wellbeing.

Also, other studies show how CBD can stimulate serotonin receptors in the body. Serotonin is another feel good substance in the body, released often as a reward for eating, exercising, or getting a massage. Some researchers are suggesting CBD may be a good treatment option for addiction recovery. This is because of CBD’s potential to stimulate the release of serotonin without the addictive property or feeling of being high one may get with using addictive drugs.

Mood and Performance Balancing Functions of Adaptogens

Adaptogens are said to increase energy, improve mood, modulate negative effects of stress, and help reduce symptoms of depression. Rhodiola for example has been shown in studies to reduce symptoms of depression by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain. Yet another adaptogen, Eleutherococcus, has been found to increase energy, metabolism, and physical performance. The adaptogenic herb Schisandra, is proven to help the body respond and adapt well to anxiety and stress.

Pairing CBD with Adaptogens

Considering the benefits of both CBD and adaptogenic herbs, pairing them together could be beneficial for enhanced feelings of balance within the mind and body.

For example, pairing CBD with Rhodiola could be beneficial for those with anxiety and depression. While CBD helps to ease anxiety symptoms, Rhodiola helps to reduce the effects of depression. Together, they can combat the common duo of anxiety and depression, in theory anyway. Studies are yet to be done to see how these compounds would interact together and if their effects would be synergistic when combined.

Another ideal combination could be CBD and Eleutherococcus for addiction recovery. CBD would help with anxiety that can come along with addiction recovery while also stimulating serotonin receptors typically stimulated while by some addictive substances. At the same time, Eleuthero would fight fatigue and increase energy that can be low for a recovering addict.

Combine CBD and Adaptogens with Caution

Even though both CBD and adaptogens have both been deemed generally safe, the effects of combining the two are unknown until further research is done.

Reducing anxiety, depression and negative effects of stress while increasing positive mood and energy sounds like an ideal reason to combine Cannabidiol with adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola, Eleuthero, and Schisandra.

Until more is known, proceed with caution, especially if you are taking other medications.


  1. Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010;3(1):188-224. Published 2010 Jan 19. doi:10.3390/ph3010188
  2. Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  3. Leweke FM, Piomelli D, Pahlisch F, et al. Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Transl Psychiatry. 2012;2(3):e94. Published 2012 Mar 20. doi:10.1038/tp.2012.15
  4. Field T, Diego MA, Hernandez-Reif M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Massage therapy effects on depressed pregnant women. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2004;25(2):115-122. doi:10.1080/01674820412331282231
  5. De Gregorio D, McLaughlin RJ, Posa L, et al. Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain. Pain. 2019;160(1):136-150. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001386
  6. Prud’homme M, Cata R, Jutras-Aswad D. Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Subst Abuse. 2015;9:33-38. Published 2015 May 21. doi:10.4137/SART.S25081
  7. van Diermen D, Marston A, Bravo J, Reist M, Carrupt PA, Hostettmann K. Monoamine oxidase inhibition by Rhodiola rosea L. roots. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;122(2):397-401. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.01.007
  8. Kuo J, Chen KW, Cheng IS, Tsai PH, Lu YJ, Lee NY. The effect of eight weeks of supplementation with Eleutherococcus senticosus on endurance capacity and metabolism in human. Chin J Physiol. 2010;53(2):105-111. doi:10.4077/cjp.2010.amk018
Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins
Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins
Naturopathic Physician
Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins has over 10 years’ experience in the natural health care industry. As a licensed natural medicine physician she practices holistic medicine at a thriving medical practice in Pearland, TX. She is a guest lecturer at the Houston Academy of Cannabis Science where she presents on a variety of cannabis related topics including the endocannabinoid system and the medicinal benefits of the phytocannabinoids.

Read More

Important Disclaimer
All contents of the LeafReport Site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the LeafReport Site are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the LeafReport Site!