How CBD Interacts with Other Drugs (Prescription Medication)

As CBD has become more and more popular these days, as one safe, non-intoxicating cannabinoid used to treat several different ailments, it is crucial to be cautious when using it along with prescribed medications.

Unlike cannabis, CBD on its own does not cause euphoria or dependence due to its lack of psychoactive effects. However, when mixed with traditional drugs, the results could be different.

CBD products are safe to use—in fact, the World Health Organization itself states that CBD use is generally well-tolerated and does not pose any health risk. The best way to use it safely is to research drugs that will not mix well with CBD and always talk to your doctor in case of questions or concerns.

CYP450 enzymes and CBD

With everything that we ingest, metabolization starts in the stomach and then goes to the liver. As the general metabolic center for drugs, the liver also helps eliminate any unwanted medication by-products produced in the liver while the metabolization is happening. These by-products are transformed by the liver, making it easier for the body system to eliminate.

The family of enzymes in the liver responsible for making this interaction and metabolization process are called CYP450. Some medications or substances can affect CYP450, either by slowing or speeding up drug metabolism. These changes in the metabolism can alter how your body processes the drug interaction.

During the process, the CYP3A4, an important enzyme within the CYP450 family, is the one that does the task responsible for metabolizing 60% of the medication in the body. 

As CBD can interfere with CYP3A4, some medications can take longer or metabolize too fast. 

Safe use of CDB with other medications

The safe use of CBD as an add-on natural alternative to your ongoing treatment is possible and can increase your chances of better results. Remember to keep your doctor informed.

These are some safe uses of CBD while also using prescribed medications:

  • Determine the better CBD product to use (lotions, creams, and salves topicals do not typically enter the bloodstream).
  • If you want to use oils, edibles, and vaping solutions, check with your doctor to find the proper dosage and a safe schedule for both.
  • If the case, monitor your blood plasma levels when using certain prescribed medications and CBD.

The “Grapefruit rule”

The “grapefruit rule” refers to the fact that if you consume grapefruit along with a particular drug, you are likely to have a higher concentration of that drug in the body. Grapefruit drug interactions work the same way as CBD, interfering with CYPs enzymes. The “grapefruit rule” implies that you should consider any grapefruit warning you find on a drug to serve twofold as a CBD warning. 

These are some medications that commonly have a grapefruit warning:

  • Antibiotics and antimicrobials
  • Anticancer medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Blood thinners
  • Cholesterol medications
  • Corticosteroids
  • Erectile disfunction medications
  • GI medications, such as to treat GERD or nausea
  • Heart rhythm medications
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Mood medications, such as to treat anxiety, depression, or mood disorders
  • Pain medications
  • Prostate medications

Still have questions?

At Gaia Hemp, we believe in the miracle healing power of herbs, as we personally have experienced the restorative medicinal benefits of CBD. We value transparency by offering the finest quality Canadian-grown hemp and cold-pressed CBD extracted with 100% purity. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact us today.

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