CBD and Drug Interactions: An Easy Guide
** IMPORTANT: CBD AND DRUG INTERACTIONS ARE NOT A JOKE. IF YOU WANT TO START TAKING CBD AND ARE ALREADY TAKING OTHER MEDICATIONS, PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST! **
CBD Drug Interactions
While CBD is safe to use, it can potentially mess with other medications you may be taking.
This quick guide should be all you need to safely use CBD even if you have other medications you need to take.
Can CBD interact with other drugs?
Yes. The way that CBD is metabolized by your body can interfere with how your body normally metabolizes other drugs you take. If those other drugs aren’t metabolized properly, they can hang around and stay in your system longer than you want. This can cause negative side effects and complications.
One kind of drug you should pay special attention to is a blood thinner like warfarin. Taking CBD with warfarin can make the warfarin stay in your system for too long without being broken down.
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.
The Grapefruit Test is all you need
Thank you to Martin Lee of Project CBD for inspiring the Grapefruit Test. If you haven’t been to Project CBD yet, make sure to check it out. They are running a great site with lots of useful information about cannabis medicine.
As Lee explained in his class CBD 101, CBD interacts with other medications in your body in the same way as grapefruit, only even stronger.
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.
CBD does the same thing. But as I said above, the effect is even stronger with CBD.
Do the grapefruit test with your doctor or pharmacist. 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.
Drugs that Interact with Cannabidiol
Any drug metabolized by CYP450 enzymes could potentially interact with cannabidiol. According to the Indiana University Department of Medicine, drugs known to use the CYP450 system include:
- HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- HIV antivirals
- Immune modulators
- Beta blockers
- Angiotension II blockers
- Oral hypoglycemic agents
This list does not include all of the potential medications impacted by cannabidiol. Nor will every medication in the categories contained on this list will cause an interaction. For these reasons, you should consult with a medical professional before supplementing with CBD.