One of the biggest concerns for first time CBD users is whether CBD is safe to take with other medications they may be using at the same time. Due to the nature of chemical compounds, every substance you intake while on medication, including CBD, will interact with the other substances. For example, you may have noticed an advisory to avoid grapefruit when taking a certain medication. This is because it can significantly affect how the body metabolizes the drug.
Although CBD offers several health benefits and is generally safe to take with most medications, there are a few that can cause a problematic reaction. In this article, we’re going to explore the various drug interactions with CBD and which medications you should be particularly careful with.
How CBD Interacts with Drugs and Medication
CBD can reduce or increase the effects of certain prescribed medications by interacting with receptors throughout the body’s endocannabinoid system and by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450.
Cytochrome P450 is a group of liver enzymes that are responsible for breaking down drugs and toxins that enter the body. By inhibiting the activity of this enzyme, CBD can slow down or temporarily shut down its activity, which can alter how your medications are metabolized.
CBD and Drugs that Increase Risk of Bleeding
Studies have shown that CBD can increase the effects of drugs used for blood-thinning or drugs with a risk of blood-thinning. By slowing down how the body metabolizes these drugs, CBD increases the medication’s durability and prolongs its presence in the body. Usage of both CBD and drugs of this nature should be closely monitored by a medical professional.
CBD and Sedatives
CBD can induce sedative effects by interacting with neurotransmitter receptors in our central nervous system. When combined with prescription sedatives, CBD can increase the effects of the medication. While the interaction between CBD and sedatives does not seem to have a directly negative effect on users, the potential impact CBD can have on sedatives is not fully known. With our current knowledge, combining CBD with sedatives should be avoided.
The Grapefruit Comparison
Need a quick and easy way to tell if your medication should be avoided while using CBD? Grapefruit juice interacts with drugs in the same way that CBD does by inhibiting the cytochrome p450 enzymes. However, grapefruit juice is much more commonly referenced on medication labels. Since both CBD and grapefruit juice affect the metabolic response in similar ways, any drug or medication that is advised to not be consumed with grapefruit juice should also not be consumed with CBD.
Consult With Your Doctor
In conclusion, CBD can deliver a wide variety of benefits. However, like any other substance, it can interact with other substances, and it is extremely important to be aware of these CBD drug interactions. For your safety and health, always consult your physician if you are considering taking CBD in conjunction with any other prescribed medication.
Please note that findings are not always conclusive as further research upon the interaction of CBD with certain medications is still needed. Depending on the type, quality, and purity of CBD being administered, CBD can have adverse interactions with a drug.
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Alsherbiny MA, et al. (2018). Medicinal cannabis — potential drug interactions.
Iffland K, et al. (2017). An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: A review of clinical data and relevant animal studies.