f you are using or planning to use CBD and you already have ongoing medication prescriptions for a particular condition, you are right to ask about the interaction between these products and CBD.
CBD is a molecule found in the cannabis plant, hemp. This molecule is not psychoactive but holds a fascinating number of therapeutic properties that appeal to people suffering from many conditions. For example, a large number of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis or cancer are already convinced and consume CBD to relieve their symptoms: chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, inflammation …
But then, is it possible to combine CBD with medication for a particular disease? Scientific studies agree that it is quite possible to take medication while consuming CBD, although there are some precautions to take that we will describe in the content of this page. Generally speaking, CBD is a very safe product, with very few if any side effects.
In this article, we’re going to guide you on the things you need to know before taking CBD, as well as the interactions between drugs and CBD in metabolism. In addition, below you will also find many scientific studies on the subject and tips on how to make your experience with CBD as beneficial as possible.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a trusted product
Indeed, many scientific studies agree that cannabidiol (CBD) is safe for the human body. The molecule in question does not make you “stoned” and has no effect on the various pathologies that an individual may have. Moreover, CBD is not addictive as other components of hemp could be. This scientific study confirms this. CBD is a natural plant extract from a plant widely used for its therapeutic benefits. It can be considered as a natural remedy.
What does the World Health Organization (WHO) say about cannabidiol? It certifies that CBD is not harmful to health and is not in the classification of controlled substances (as dangerous drugs could be). Furthermore, according to the WHO, CBD does not show any effects that indicate abuse or addiction potential.
The only way CBD could be dangerous is if it overdoses. According to the American laboratories, CBD overdose is defined as consumption of more than 20,000 mg per day, an amount very difficult to reach for a lambda consumer.
How does CBD interact with drugs?
Generally speaking, CBD does not interact in a dangerous way with drugs. Unlike alcohol, there is no rule that says CBD and medication do not mix.
On the contrary, many patients with important pathologies find themselves consuming CBD in addition to their medication because CBD brings a more natural side, less restrictive and above all, effective rather quickly, especially in terms of pain and anxiety.
What happens in the body when we ingest CBD?
Once ingested, CBD, like drugs, is metabolized by the liver before being distributed in the body. The liver will use special enzymes to break down the CBD into smaller components (metabolites) and distribute them throughout the body via the bloodstream. This process could not be more natural.
When ingesting CBD and medication at the same time, a phenomenon is created: the liver focuses all its attention on the CBD components and neglects the other drugs which should also be broken down into smaller components and distributed in the body. It is, in particular, the cytochrome P450 enzyme that is at the origin of this phenomenon.
But then is this phenomenon dangerous? It can be restrictive in the sense that some drugs must be broken down and distributed quickly after ingestion because if they stagnate too much, they can create side effects (nausea, headache) very annoying for the patient.
In short, the intake of drugs metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme in the liver at the same time as CBD will be affected by this phenomenon. Some steroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, beta-blockers, and antihistamines belong to this category. According to an American study of 2020, a list of 57 drugs that can be disrupted by CBD has been established.
Among these 57 drugs whose action could be disrupted by CBD, we find antidepressants (amitriptyline, clomipramine, and lofepramine), oral contraceptives (ethinylestradiol), analgesics (fentanyl), thyroid drugs (levothyroxine), sedatives (propofol), and anticoagulants (acenocoumarol and warfarin).
Are all forms of CBD equal?
No, not all forms face this metabolism phenomenon equally. As you probably already know, different types of consumption allow different types of effects. Inhaled CBD is the one that acts the fastest through the bloodstream, with the most CBD consumed.
On the other hand, CBD used as an ointment or edible will have very little effect because it has less CBD in it and will take longer to act.
For CBD to interact as explained above with drugs, it must reach a high peak, which is not the case in all consumptions.
Indications to consume CBD with drugs for medication
After understanding how it all worked, the question remains. Should you use CBD while taking medication?
As you understood from the article, medications and CBD do not produce a destructive potion when combined, as medications with alcohol might. Rather, it’s more a matter of the liver getting confused which could cause discomfort when ingesting both at the same time.
On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that the studies take into account consumption levels ranging from 200 to 400mg per day, which is the regular consumption of very few people.
To take precautions and prevent this potential problem, here are some tips to consider when taking CBD and medication at the same time:
First, space out your medication intake with CBD by a few hours. This gives the liver time to do its job properly with each ingestion.
Second, always tell your doctor. He will tell you what dose of CBD is appropriate for your medication.