CBD has been getting a lot of attention to the wide range of benefits that it offers. Although there are typically no side effects of CBD usage, there are potential side effects if you take it along with other pharmaceuticals. It is quite concerning, with the limited research on CBD, many people are unsure of how the body will react when certain substances are metabolized. Just like every other substance, CBD will react with other substances. An example is that with some medications you are advised to avoid grapefruit. This seems odd, but it has to do with the body’s metabolism. We will highlight some of the main concerns and ways CBD has reacted with other drugs below.
How it reacts with drugs and other medications
As we already know CBD interacts with receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system. CBD mainly enhances or reduces the effects of the prescription medication. CBD can inhibit the CYP3A4 enzyme which is found within the CYP450 family which is found in the liver. The enzymes will then be unable to effectively break down the appropriate medications in your system. Or the reverse can happen, medications may inhibit the enzyme and the CBD won’t be broken down effectively.
Ultimately, if medication is not broken down the way it should be, you will have more of it in your system than intended. This will cause the effects to be enhanced, including unwanted side effects that come with taking pharmaceuticals. It is also possible that the substances speed up the enzymes. This can cause your body to metabolize the medication too fast, you then may not have enough medication in your system to treat your health issue.
How to try CBD safely with other medications
- Firstly, consult your doctor before trying CBD to help ease your symptoms.
- Your doctor should be able to suggest the best CBD product, dosage and schedule for you to use according to the medication you take. It is likely that your doctor will want to measure the blood plasma levels of the certain medications you take.
- You should not stop your current medications to try CBD unless your doctor suggests it.
- Consider using topical CBD, such as lotions and creams. These don’t typically enter the bloodstream which makes them safer to use with other medication. However, this option is better for physical pain rather than mental issues.
The limited research on CBD makes it difficult to determine which drugs are safe to take with CBD. In the meantime, consumers are advised to avoid CBD if their medication has a warning on the label. This indicates that consumers on certain medications should avoid the consuming grapefruit and other similar citrus fruit because the chemicals in the grapefruit inhibit the previously mentioned enzymes. CBD has a similar effect as the grapefruit chemicals. Several medications have a grapefruit warning. It is important to check the insert and dosage information or to consult your doctor.
Research covering the interactions of CBD with other medications thus far
There is still on-going research about the specific interactions of CBD and pharmaceuticals. Small clinical trials have also been conducted regarding hard-to-treat epilepsy in children. The children who were given CBD and clobazam together had elevated levels of the medication in the system. Although it has been reported that taking these substances together is safe, it is important that medication levels are still monitored. Other clinical trials had similar results. These studies show that CBD can certainly have an effect on the medication levels in your system. However, more research is still required to know how severely it will interact with other medications and whether CBD is safe to take at the same time.
The bottom line is that it is important to consult your doctor before trying CBD therapy. It is especially important if you have a health issue and are taking prescription medication. Keep in mind that although CBD helps ease your symptoms, you shouldn’t stop taking your medication if your doctor suggests it.
Checking grapefruit warnings on your medication gives you an idea about whether CBD will interact with it. However, it is still possible that your doctor will be able to formulate a schedule for you to take both substances without any major side effects. This will entail close monitoring of the medication levels. While this is one indication, CBD may react with other medications that don’t warn of having citrus while using the medication, so it is always important to check with your personal physician first.
Always look out for any changes in how actually the medication or CBD affects you. Common side effects to look out for:
- Increased medication: sedation, drowsiness, nausea
- Decrease in the medication effectiveness: increased symptoms
- CBD side effects: diarrhea, fatigue, changes in appetite, change in weight
If you experience these side effects when using CBD with medications, it is advised to talk to your doctor. If you are taking chronic medication, especially those that are formulated to your condition, weight and tolerance, you need to make sure that you clear your use of CBD with your doctor. Minor changes can create issues for you with some chronic medications, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Organical Hemp offers a wide range of products. They are also available in different dosages to allow you to use the product based on your needs. It is important to start with smaller doses and work your way up to higher doses. Stop increasing your CBD dosage when you reach a level that works for you.