First – don’t panic if you have been taking CBD oil as well as other prescriptions and supplements. Take a deep breath and learn more about…
Does CBD Oil Interact With Other Medications?
CBD can affect how our bodies process other drugs, which may impact how much of the medication ends up in our system as well as alter its reaction in the body, potentially causing negative side effects.
Today, I will explore possible CBD drug interactions based on the effect that CBD has on the cytochrome P-450, a system in the body that is responsible for processing many different drugs and medications.
When we take any medication or substance, our bodies have a system in place to move the substance safely out. It uses organs like the liver and kidneys to flush out toxins and keep our bodies safely regulated. In answering the question “does CBD oil interact with other medications,” you must first start with…
CBD and the Liver
The liver adds an oxygen molecule to the CBD or medication, which makes it more water soluble. Then the kidneys can flush the substance out of our system. It’s a very efficient way to keep our blood clean and remove toxins. The liver adds that oxygen molecule using an enzyme that is part of the system. The enzyme is called cytochrome P-450.
The liver makes the cytochrome P-450 enzymes when it is healthy. A liver that is struggling may have difficulty is doing its job of cleaning the chemicals out of our system. Some drugs put a strain on that enzyme system. Others act as an inhibitor, and either use up all the available enzymes, or even shut down production completely.
CBD acts as a potent competitive inhibitor of cytochrome P-450 enzymes.
What this means is that the drugs that we take aren’t removed from the blood stream the way we expect them to be when we are using CBD.
Recommended dosing of medications is based on that of a healthy liver and healthy cytochrome P-450. That’s why some medications have to be taken twice a day, for example. The liver has cleaned them out too quickly and their supply must be replenished. Modern medication dosing is based on the understanding that a normal liver will get rid of the drug in a certain number of hours.
When the production of the enzymes are inhibited, the drugs stay in the system longer. The levels of the drug may get too high. This can have negative impacts depending on the specific drug in question.
Still, most of the time, all of this does not present a problem. But for some drugs, the dosing and the amount of the drug in the system is critical to the medication working properly.
Drugs that can accumulate to dangerous levels are of particular concern when taken with CBD. Anti seizure medications and warfarin are two such drugs. It’s important to be aware of this possibility so that you can talk it over with your doctor and figure out a safe solution for you. So, does CBD oil interact with other medications? Let’s take a closer look at…
Medications that Interact with CBD
Any drug metabolized by cytochrome P-450 enzymes could potentially interact with CBD. According to the Indiana University Department of Medicine, drugs known to use the cytochrome P-450 system include:
- HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- HIV antivirals
- Immune modulators
- Beta blockers
- Angiotension II blockers
- Oral hypoglycemic agents
Keep in mind that this list does not necessarily contain every medication that could be affected by or interact with CBD oil. For a more extensive listing (although probably not exhaustive) check out the list provided by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.
Likewise, not every medication in each of the categories listed will cause an interaction with CBD oil. If you are worried that you P-450 enzyme system may not be functioning properly, physicians can test the system to ensure that the medications you take are metabolizing as expected.
The myth of taking CBD oil away from other medications
There is more to the question of “does CBD oil interact with other medications” than just what drugs might be of concern. There is also the issue of “timing.”
CBD companies often advise a 90 minute to two-hour gap between taking other medications and CBD, in order to “give the liver a break” and avoid drug interaction. While this is well-intentioned advice and far better than not leaving any gap, this kind of advice is risky given the vastly different medications, conditions and situations people are in.
The advice should be that anyone taking other medication should consult their doctor before supplementing CBD products. A two-hour window is not enough time to guarantee that CBD and other medicines will not interact in a negative or dangerous way in your body.
Since it is possible that CBD oil interacts with other medications, does this mean you can’t take CBD oil?
Nope. Not at all.
If you have already decided that CBD oil is right for you, then this is where your doctor comes in. There are a lot of reasons to take CBD and still need to take your prescriptions, even though half of the people who try CBD drop their prescriptions altogether. Explain to your doctor why you think you need to take CBD and the concerns you have with how it may affect your medication. Your doctor can adjust your medication to work with CBD if needed.
There are some many types of CBD products available. Vaping CBD or using a transdermal CBD patch are generally considered very safe to do while taking other medication. This is because they are not metabolized by the liver and instead enter the bloodstream through the lungs (vaping) and the skin (CBD patches).
What’s the takeaway here? Does CBD oil interact with other medications?
Always exercise caution when taking CBD along with other medications. While CBD is largely considered to be an incredibly safe and therapeutic supplement, there is still the possibility that it will have a negative impact when combined with other drugs. If in doubt, do your research and make sure you are in the know about any potential side effects, however small they might be. Also make sure you know how much CBD to take.
Please visit my post on the Best CBD Oil to learn more and grab one of my favorite products.