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CBD’s Interaction with Medications

Aug 19, 2022

It is hard to ignore the positive reviews and life-changing testimonies of so many who are benefitting from CBD-infused products. The industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, attracting more and more first-time consumers every day. 

Many are making the decision to buy CBD online. A vast assortment of products are available including gummies, topical creams, oils and more. These products are designed to treat physical symptoms such as joint pain and skin rashes, and also alleviate stress and anxiety. 

While many are jumping in with both feet and trying whatever they can get their hands on, others are taking the time to research products and seek answers to important questions. One of those questions focuses on overall health and well being: 

Is it safe to use CBD while taking other medications?

For most people, CBD is generally safe, well-tolerated and does not affect the impact of other medications within the body. However, it is possible for CBD to interact with other medications because of how the human body metabolizes both medications and supplements. Our bodies produce enzymes known as cytochrome P450 (CYP450)  to break down substances so they can be removed from the body more easily.

When we take medicine or another substance, our bodies have to break it down, or metabolize it. This happens throughout the body. Our bodies produce enzymes to convert these substances so that they can be eliminated from the body more easily. Adding medication or supplements can change the rate of metabolism within the body.

Any medication or supplement that affects CYP450 has the potential to change how our bodies metabolize other substances by either increasing or decreasing the rate of metabolism. This can cause a drug interaction, as the substance in question may stay in our bodies for much longer or leave our bodies much more quickly. Side effects can occur if a medicine or supplement stays in your system for too long. On the other hand, medication may not be as effective if your body metabolizes it too quickly.

One rule of thumb is to avoid CBD if taking medications with a “grapefruit warning.” CBD can behave similar to chemicals in grapefruit known as furanocoumarins. The combination can result in a slower metabolization of medication, a higher concentration of the medicine in the bloodstream and possible adverse side effects. 

No matter what type of supplement you’re considering, it is always advisable to first consult with your physician. They know you and your medications better than anyone and can help you determine if CBD will interact with your other medications, advise you on dosage, and possibly recommend specific products to try. 


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