CBD Drug Interactions: What You Need to Know

CBD drug interactions

If you’re curious about the way your prescription drugs might interact with CBD or simply CBD drug Interactions, it’s important to have a good starting knowledge of the way CBD works in our body. Our bodies are made to interact well with cannabinoids, but that’s not to say that there won’t be any adverse reactions. CBD, or cannabidiol, is generally safe for use topically and internally, since it is non-intoxicating and has many benefits for those battling chronic pain, anxiety, depression, migraines, and a host of other afflictions. As using CBD for pain management grows in popularity, it’s important to know more about the way it works in your body. Let’s talk about the way CBD might interact with other prescription medications, such as antidepressants, blood thinners, and a host of others.

Does CBD Interact with Prescription Drugs?

The Answer is: Yes! If you’re asking yourself how CBD interacts with other medications, you’re in good company; this is a popular question these days, since most adults have seen some kind of ad for CBD topicals, creams, tinctures, edibles, and more. Whether the interaction is good, bad, or falls somewhere in the middle, it’s undoubtedly true that the interaction with other medications is there. CBD is generally seen as incredibly safe, especially if you use it as a cream or lotion instead of putting it inside your body. That being said, it’s safest to avoid using CBD products if you have known, or severe, liver problems. As always, be sure you speak with your doctor before use if you’re worried about the way a product might affect you and your other medications. The inside of your body interacts with medications in a delicate chemical way, and it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. It won’t do you any good to use CBD for pain, and then have a bad reaction that causes even more pain down the road.

How Exactly Do the Two Interact?

So now that we know that CBD can and does interact with other medications, let’s talk about what kinds of interactions you might face. Medications, including CBD products, all have to metabolize in your body to be useful. An enzyme in your liver called CYP450 is responsible for metabolizing cannabinoids such as CBD, and is also behind the metabolization of around 60% of other medications prescribed by your doctor. CBD can inhibit the way this enzyme works, which affects the speed at which it breaks down medications in your system. If you introduce CBD to your system, and that CBD makes the CYP450 metabolize your other medication slower, for instance, that could lead to a build-up of the medication in your system that can have adverse side effects. The opposite is also true — if CBD causes CYP450 to metabolize your other meds faster, that could mean you don’t have enough of your medicine in your body at any given time to actually treat your illnesses. This is only one example of the possible drug-to-drug interactions caused by CBD, but it’s by far the most important.

“Grapefruit Warning” The Warning you should keep an eye on

Always talk with your healthcare physician first, but other drugs you should be aware of when starting to use CBD are as follows: antidepressants, antihistamines, antibiotics, anticancer medications, cholesterol, blood thinner, and blood pressure medications. Don’t worry about memorizing this list — simply look at your medication and see if there’s a grapefruit warning. Lots of medications have a grapefruit warning because consuming the medicine along with a grapefruit can affect the CYP450 enzyme the same way CBD does, leading to too much medication in the bloodstream. If there’s no grapefruit warning on your medications, you should be safe to use them with CBD without worrying about a possible accidental overdose. No, the grapefruit warning is not explicitly a CBD warning, but it can act in the same way.

CBD drug interactions

Are CBD Topicals and Creams Safe?

Will CBD topicals affect your medication? It’s possible that they can, but these products are generally safer than CBD products taken internally, such as tinctures or edibles. These are typically safe since they’re not meant to enter the bloodstream and therefore won’t have a chance to get inside you and interact with your medications. I worked in a marijuana dispensary for a long time, and in all my interactions with patients I never heard of someone having an adverse reaction to using a CBD cream. Think of these topicals as a lotion. Does putting on a scented lotion affect your medications? No, because the lotion is non-intoxicating and does not have a chance to get inside your body. Think of CBD topicals in much the same way. As always, contact your doctor if you’re worried, but I’ve only ever heard positive reactions to people using these kinds of products for pain, muscle spasms, and any other afflictions.

Should I Talk to My Doctor First?

Are you wondering why, or when, you should let your doctor know about your CBD use? As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to let your doctor know about any products you’re using that have any potential at all to interact poorly with your current meds. Take the dispensary I worked at, for instance. We were all highly trained about the science behind cannabis and CBD, and we were constantly researching to keep up with the latest medical studies, but we were not medical professionals. We knew there was always going to be something we didn’t know; when it doubt, tell your doctor, because they’re the one with the medical degree. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to how you take care of your body!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, CBD products are usually safe, especially when you use them topically instead of internally. If you’re scared of an adverse reaction, or if you have a severe known liver problem, it’s best to go to your doctor before you start using any kind of CBD product, no matter how safe the dispensary workers tell you it is. CBD is an incredible product, good for all kinds of different pains and afflictions; it can even elevate your mood on a daily basis. Don’t let that make you lazy, though. Ask your doctor before you use any CBD tinctures, just in case it affects your CYP450 enzyme and makes your body metabolize your medications too fast or too slow. It’s up to your doctor to use their medical degree to give you the seal of approval before you use any internal cannabinoid products.

About the author

Avery Sofia graduated in 2014 with a degree in biological sciences, and she has a strong interest in health and fitness. She subsequently leaves her job as a health consultant to pursue her passion for writing. One of the reasons she now writes about hemp is because of her enthusiasm for it and its unlimited potential, including the practical therapeutic uses in creating CBD. Sofia is a knowledgeable writer who consistently publishes current articles regarding hemp, its uses, and its potential. He spends his free time visiting persons with neurological disorders and advising them on the finest practices that can help them transform their life.

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