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One of the biggest concerns now with CBD especially among persons who are required to take multiple medications, for e.g. those who have received organ transplants and chronic pain sufferers, is its interaction with drugs and if it is safe to take with other medications.

The hemp flower contains chemical compounds which are bound to interact with other substances. For this reason, when using CBD to treat a medical condition, it is imperative to know whether or not it can interact chemically with other medications.


How CBD Interacts With Drugs And Medication

CBD can alter the effects of certain prescribed medications by interacting with receptors throughout the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450, a group of liver enzymes that are responsible for breaking down drugs and toxins that enter the body. By inhibiting the activity of this enzyme, CBD can temporarily deactivate its activity, which can alter how other compounds are metabolized.



  • Drugs that increase risk of bleedingStudies have shown that CBD and other plant cannabinoids can increase the effects of drugs used for blood-thinning (e.g. warfarin) or drugs with a risk of blood-thinning (e.g. ibuprofen). Therefore, when using both CBD and blood-thinners together, they should be closely monitored by a medical professional.


  • Sedatives – Cannabinoids like CBD and THC can induce sedative effects on the user. While the sedative effects of THC are associated with drowsiness and lethargy, CBD induces sedative effects that are calming and can either aid in better sleep or keep you awake and alert determining on the dosage and/or strain of hemp. When taken with sedatives, cannabinoids produce an additive effect, possibly increasing the effects of the medication. Although this combination does not directly have a negative effect on the user, the potential impact CBD can have on sedatives is not fully known. To be safe, users should avoid combining CBD with sedatives.


  • Anti-seizure medication – Although widely known to be an effective treatment for epileptic seizures, without medical supervision, CBD can present problems under certain circumstances with anti-seizure medication. A 1992 study by Lester Bornheim found that a low dosage of CBD will not deliver its renowned anti-epileptic benefits; however, it will still inhibit the cytochrome p450 enzymes and result in prolonged concentrations of clobazam and norclobazam, which can actually result in more aggressive seizures. Therefore, consultation with a medical professional is important in order to determine the proper dosage of CBD to effectively alleviate epileptic seizures.


  • Chemotherapy drugs – The interaction between CBD and chemotherapy treatment presents a similar situation regarding the preciseness of dosages. Many chemotherapy drugs are formulated with the understanding that the drug will be metabolized at a certain rate before entering the body. By introducing CBD to the equation, the metabolism process is inhibited, which can result in higher concentrations of the drug to enter the bloodstream than intended. While CBD has shown to alleviate cancer-related pain and slow the growth of cancer, if it is combined with chemotherapy treatment, the amount and type of cancer medication administered must account for the presence of CBD.



CBD Drug Interactions: Use The Grapefruit Comparison


Grapefruit juice interacts with drugs in the same way that CBD does –– by inhibiting the cytochrome p450 enzymes. The difference is that grapefruit juice is more commonly referenced on medication labels.


Since both grapefruit juice and CBD can inhibit the metabolic process similarly, logically, any drug or medication that is advised to not be consumed with grapefruit juice, should also not be consumed with CBD.

For further reference, check out the list of some drugs that can interact with grapefruit juice that are listed on Drugs.com:

  • alprazolam
  • amiodarone
  • atorvastatin
  • carbamazepine
  • cilostazol
  • clarithromycin
  • colchicine
  • dronedarone
  • erythromycin
  • felodipine
  • fentanyl
  • fentanyl transdermal system
  • fexofenadine
  • indinavir
  • loratadine
  • losartan
  • lovastatin
  • nilotinib
  • pazopanib
  • pimozide
  • ranolazine
  • saquinavir
  • sildenafil
  • simvastatin
  • tadalafil
  • vardenafil
  • verapamil

Please be advised that this list does not include all drugs that can interact with grapefruit or CBD, and it is highly recommended that you consult with your physician before taking Cannabidiol (CBD).

Consult a Doctor Regarding CBD Drug Interactions

In conclusion, CBD can deliver a wide variety of benefits; however, like any other substance, it can interact with other substances, and it is extremely important to be aware of these CBD drug interactions.

Furthermore, for your safety and health, always consult your physician if you are considering taking CBD in conjunction with any other prescribed medication.


This information is sourced from CBD Origins – Drug Interactions




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