CBD is rising in popularity as an effective natural remedy for a wide range of ailments. Many studies show the various health benefits of CBD, such as relief for ailments like high blood pressure, epilepsy, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain and inflammation. Since it is commonly used in conjunction with prescription medications, the question “can CBD oil interact with medications?” becomes extremely important to consider.
Does CBD Affect Other Medications?
Short answer, yes. CBD can interact with most currently available over-the-counter and prescription medications because the body breaks down or metabolizes CBD and other drugs via the same enzymes in the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) class. When it comes to CBD interactions with other drugs, there are many classes of medications that can get affected. These include:
• Calcium channel blockers
• Angiotensin II blockers
Why CBD May Interfere with Your Medications
CYP3A4 is a CYP450 enzyme that metabolizes CBD. If CBD is being metabolized by these enzymes, there is not much available to bind to other medications. Not to mention CBD oil also interferes with this enzyme’s effectiveness outside of binding. Studies suggest that CBD can also interfere with CYP2D6 and CYP3A5, two other CYP450 enzymes.
If you take a prescription medication that is metabolized by CYP3A4 in addition to CBD, that medication will stay longer in your body. There are also medications that inhibit CYP3A4. If you take CBD with such medications, the interaction can result in three problems:
• The bio-availability of a drug will be higher due to the enzyme being less available and less effective. This increases the side effects and potency of the drug.
• The longer any medication stays in your system, the longer it will affect you, regardless of whether or not you have taken the same dose.
• It may take several steps to metabolize a medication into a form that your body can excrete. Not to mention the enzyme becomes less effective if it isn’t available to metabolize the drug.
How to Avoid Problems When Taking CBD with Other Medications
Now that you know the answer to “can CBD oil interact with medications?”, you want to make sure that you avoid problems when taking CBD with other medications. The CYP3A4 enzyme metabolizes about 60% of prescription medications. This includes medicines used for short term treatment, e.g. antibiotics, as well as drugs used for chronic conditions. Grapefruit has furanocoumarins that block this enzyme.
So, if you take a medication that warns you not to eat grapefruit, then it is likely that it will interact with CBD. There are variety of such medications with this warning, including pain medications, cholesterol blockers, immunosuppressants, blood pressure medications, antivirals, and antibiotics.
While it’s a good idea to pay attention to these warnings, this isn’t the best way to determine possible CBD interactions with prescription drugs. If you want to try CBD along with prescription medications, then it is highly recommended that you talk to your doctor.