Is CBD interacting with your medication?

CBD is wonderful - it has the potential to help many people and is relatively safe for consumption. (Check out my previous post HERE about the power of CBD).

However, CBD taken orally (as a tincture) interacts with a LOT of pharmaceutical drugs because CBD and these drugs share the same metabolic pathway. This pathway, called Cytochrome-P450, contains enzymes that are essential for the metabolism of many medications. This includes many common over the counter drugs (like NSAIDS and antihistimines). Cytochrome-P450 enzymes can be inhibited or induced by drugs, resulting in clinically significant drug-drug interactions that can cause unanticipated reactions or therapeutic failures.

This means when you take CBD and other Cytochrome-P450 drugs together, the processing time increases, thus leading higher levels of certain drugs in your system at one time. This can cause unwanted side effects INCLUDING OVERDOSE.

It is worth noting that CBD applied topically doesn’t have this interaction. This interaction only occurs when CBD is taken orally.

St. John's Wort, Grapefruit, and Goldenseal are other common herbs that have this same interaction (perhaps you’ve see some of your medications with a ‘grapefruit warning’ on the label).

What follows is a brief, non-inclusive list of some drugs that interact with CBD: 

  • Steroids

  • Calcium channel blockers

  • Antihistamines

  • HIV antivirals

  • Immune modulators

  • Benzodiazepines

  • Antiarrythmics

  • Antibiotics

  • Anesthetics

  • Antidepressants

  • Anti-epileptics

  • Beta blockers

  • NSAIDs

  • Angiotension II blockers

  • Oral hypoglycemic agents

  • Sulfonylureas

If you take any medications that fall into these categories, it doesn’t mean you cannot take CBD. It means you need to discuss your particular medication and dosage with your prescribing physician in order to determine how CBD may interact with your medication. Your physician may alter your dosage so that you may take CBD, or she may determine that CBD is not a good fit with your current medications.

While CBD is widely available f you are unsure of whether CBD is a good choice for you, always consult your healthcare practitioner so you can develop a plan that works well for you!