Is it Advisable to Use CBD After Getting a COVID Shot?

As the COVID vaccine is now more accessible than before, a growing number of people are preparing to get their first or second dose. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has, so far, offered very thorough guidance on what to do and what not to do before and after getting either dose of the vaccine, but one bit of information they left out is whether or not you can use CBD or any other hemp product after a jab.

We understand the concern that some may have about whether or not their daily dose of cannabidiol could potentially interfere with the efficacy of the vaccine, or if it could even interact in a harmful way.

The Big Three COVID Vaccines

Different types of vaccines work in unique ways to provide protection. Still, with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes coupled with B-lymphocytes that will recall how to battle that virus in the future.

#1: Pfizer-BioNTech

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, like the Moderna vaccine, contains no live virus particles and instead instructs the cells of the immune system to make a replica of the COVID-19 spike protein. There are two total shots administered 21 days apart. You must be 12 or older to be eligible for vaccination.

#2: Moderna

The Moderna vaccine also instructs the immune system to recreate the spike protein associated with COVID-19 and is administered in the form of two doses given 28 days apart. You must be 18 or older to be eligible for vaccination.

#3: Johnson & Johnson

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered as one shot, and people 18 or older are eligible. Unlike the two vaccines above, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine contains the live virus, behaving more like a traditional vaccine.

Getting Vaccinated When CBD is in Your System 

First, let’s talk about what it means if you have taken CBD before your vaccination appointment. Is it okay to get vaccinated when CBD is in your system?  

If you have taken CBD within the last 24 hours prior to a first or second dose, we don’t know how this can affect the actual vaccine, as there is no data on the topic, and the CDC has given no information. What we do know is that by now, plenty of people have taken CBD shortly before being administered a shot, and we have yet to hear a single report on someone having a negative experience as a result.

However, if you like to be on the safe side of things, we recommend that you do not take CBD within 24 hours of your vaccination appointment. Even though there is zero evidence that it could be harmful, because no information is available, we always recommend the “better safe than sorry” approach.

Taking CBD within 24 Hours After Getting a Dose of the COVID Vaccine 

So, what if you maintain a daily routine with hemp, and want to know whether or not you can take your dose as usual within 24 hours after the shot? Again, we do not know, as the CDC has not provided any information, and no studies have been done yet. The CDC does say that NSAIDs should not be taken following the shot, as these can suppress the immune system just like the vaccine, potentially making a person more susceptible to infection.

We know that many people use cannabidiol for its potential anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s not surprising that a dose of CBD could be particularly appealing following a COVID shot, when many people experience some form of inflammation whether it be arm soreness where the shot was administered, or feelings of more widespread inflammation due to the effects on the immune system. Ultimately, we have no information that can offer a definitive answer as to whether or not this is safe.  

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties work on different mechanisms than NSAIDs like Tylenol, which could make a difference. But again, if you like to err on the side of caution, we’d say that you should hold off on using CBD until 24 hours after your dose.

Topical CBD

It’s likely that should there be any interaction between CBD and the COVID shot, that topical CBD products would offer the least concern, because when administered topically, this cannabinoid doesn’t really make its way over to the immune system. Rather it concentrates in the cannabinoid receptors found in the skin, joints, and muscles. In other words, there is a high chance that topical CBD products wouldn’t ever interact with the vaccine in the body. That being said, many people have used topical products for arm soreness that may occur following an injection.

If you are going to use CBD topically in an effort to minimize soreness, we recommend going with a milligram strength of at least 500mg per ounce, as this will offer the most effectiveness due to its higher potency level. Select from a broad range of formula types, including CBD creams, lotions, salves, balms, and gels, which all effectively administer the cannabinoid into the deep tissue through transdermal absorption.

Internal CBD Methods

Like we just mentioned, CBD products taken internally, such as edibles, vapes, and tinctures, do provide the compound’s properties directly to the immune system, and therefore we can’t say whether or not this is safe following a COVID shot. If you are going to take one of these products, then we suggest that you go with a lower dosage amount or milligram strength than usual to avoid a potential interaction as much as possible.

Your Doctor Can Provide More Insight 

The bottom line is that the only person who can give you medical advice is your doctor, so they are who you should be talking to if concerned about an interaction between the COVID vaccine and your CBD routine. Your doctor likely has a good deal of knowledge when it comes to the vaccine and can consider the unique nature of your medical circumstances to help you make the right choice for your health.  

Make sure that your doctor is also aware of the following in order to give them a full picture of your regimen:

  • What time of day you take your dose of CBD.
  • Form that the product(s) come in.
  • Exact milligram strength and dosage.

Final Thoughts

Although there is not a lot of information available about a potential interaction between CBD and the COVID shot, what we can say is that there have been no recorded instances of someone suffering concerning side effects due to taking cannabidiol shortly before or after their first or their second dose. Furthermore, as the vaccine becomes more widely used, additional data will come out that can hopefully provide us with more insight into the way in which these two substances interact with one another in the body.

Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity. [Source]  However, if you are feeling side effects from the COVID vaccine for more than four days, or if the side effects you experience are beyond mild soreness, fatigue, and cold symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. We DO NOT recommend using CBD in place of seeing a doctor and getting treated for a potential bad reaction.

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