Can CBD interact with prescription drugs?

Can CBD interact with prescription drugs?

Have you ever been told not to take your medication with grapefruit? This is because compounds in grapefruits can interfere with the metabolism of many medications.

Actually, grapefruit, watercress, St. John’s Wort, and goldenseal all have a similar impact in drug metabolism.

While CBD is safe to take, research has shown that it could present an issue with certain medications.

Now, we understand your concern. How does CBD react with my medication?

Excellent question! The way that CBD is metabolized by your body can interfere with how your body normally metabolizes other drugs you take. Let’s take a look at the Cytochrome P-450 System and CBD.

What is the Cytochrome P-450 System?

Found within the liver, the cytochrome P450 enzyme system is responsible for metabolizing potentially toxic compounds, including over 60% percent of any drugs you have consumed.

According to Davis’s Drug Guide, this system contains more than 50 enzymes that process and eliminate toxins.

Why Does CYP450 Matter?

In order to determine the appropriate dosages of medications, doctors make calculations using the average amount of time it takes for various drugs and medications to be processed through the cytochrome P450 system.

If only one drug is being processed, and the system is generally healthy, these averages provide accurate dosage information.

However, certain substances have the ability to affect processing times within this system, making drugs metabolize faster or slower than they would on their own.

Similarly, if the cytochrome P450 system is unhealthy due to problems with the liver or other pre-existing conditions, drugs may not metabolize as they should.

Cannabidiol in the Cytochrome P-450 System

Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, leading to an overall increase in processing times.

When the CYP450 system is impacted in this way, it leads to higher levels of certain drugs in your system at one time. This can cause unwanted side effects.

CBD drug interactions aren’t always bad. They can actually be a good thing. CBD can make other drugs more effective, so much so that you can reduce the dosage of those other drugs and thus have less negative side effects to deal with.

How do I find out if my medication will interact with CBD?

 

Do the grapefruit test with your doctor. Ask them: “Should I avoid eating grapefruits or drinking grapefruit juice with this medication?”

They will know exactly what you are talking about. If they say yes, you should avoid grapefruits with your medication, you now know you need to be careful about mixing CBD with those same meds as well. Talk to your doctor about CBD and tell them about it if they say you should avoid grapefruits with your medication.

Alternatively, you can skip the Grapefruit Test and just directly tell your doctor you want to use CBD.

We always recommend you do this anyway, even if your doctor doesn’t work directly with cannabis. Medical schools typically don’t educate physicians about the endocannabinoid system, the most widespread receptor system in the human body. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t educate them about it!

If your doctor is aware of your CBD usage, he may decide to monitor your blood work more closely or tell you to avoid taking CBD at the exact same time as your other medications.

As always we want to keep CBD consumers safe. Always research and continue to educate yourself. 

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