Many consumers ask us, “Can CBD oil interact with medications?”
The answer is yes, it can. CBD oil is safe and non-addictive but it does have potential drug interactions. If you are taking prescription medications, we highly recommend that you do your research and consult with your doctor before starting CBD oil.
The good news is that most identified interactions are relatively mild. And in some cases, CBD oil can increase the effectiveness and potency of prescription drugs that you are taking.
Many members of our CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook have told us that CBD has helped them reduce or even eliminate their prescription medications. But, again, it’s important that any changes to your current medication regimen be discussed with your medical professional.
A very useful resource for doing your own research is the cannabis drug interactions page on Drugs.com. Since CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant, drug interactions with cannabis are a good proxy for drug interactions with CBD oil.
The Grapefruit Warning
If you’re taking a blood thinner or anticoagulant like Warfarin, CBD oil may keep the prescription drug in your system longer than it should and side effects may result.
Some prescription drugs carry warnings about eating grapefruit while taking the medication. This is because grapefruit has compounds that seriously affect the liver’s ability to metabolize the drug. If you are taking any medication that has warnings about eating grapefruit, you should definitely consult with your doctor before taking CBD oil.
CBD oil does the same thing in the liver as grapefruit, acting as an inhibitor to the cytochrome P450 enzyme. While this inhibiting factor isn’t usually significant enough to cause problems for everyone, it’s something to be aware of.
To minimize the possibility of adverse effects, your doctor may recommend that you stagger doses, taking the prescription drug and CBD oil at different times. This give the liver the chance to metabolize both medications independently of each other in case any CBD oil medication interactions exist.
Combining CBD Oil and Prescription Drugs
Taking CBD oil at the same time as prescription drugs typically has very few adverse effects. It depends on what drugs are prescribed and other factors like a person’s age and genetic makeup. There are some situations where there’s a need to adjust dosage of the medications. Researchers are looking into how the combination works best and where caution is advised. One noted result of the combination is that it can reduce the amount of prescription drugs needed for treatment.
Researchers tend to be cautious when making statements about whether something is certain until they have enough research to support their claims. This process can take years. More studies of CBD oil are being done now both by government researchers and the pharmaceutical industry. The number of these studies is expected to increase given the growing popularity of CBD. One thing that researchers seem clear about, at this stage, is that there’s virtually no evidence that using CBD oil can have a negative interaction with most prescription drugs.
Potential Positive Interaction Effects
With some prescription drugs, there can be an advantage to combining them with CBD oil. Substituting the use of a natural substance to reduce the need for a chemical one can lessen the work your liver has to do to shed the chemical toxins. Taking less of a prescription drug also cuts back on the possibility of the side effects you might experience from taking that medication.
There is an increasing awareness in the medical community of the potential usefulness of CBD in combination with other treatments. One of the most dramatic instances is the effectiveness of CBD oil with chemotherapy. Researchers have found that CBD has cancer-fighting properties, which prevent tumor formation and the movement of cancer cells to other parts of the body.
Some studies have advocated including CBD in a treatment regime for cancer. The FDA has approved two cannabinoids, dronabinol and nabilone, for the prevention or treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.
CBD Drug Interactions – The Bottom Line
If you’re currently taking prescription drugs, you should discuss potential interactions with your doctor before using CBD oil products. This is especially true if you are taking a blood thinner or anticoagulant medication.
If you are uncomfortable asking your doctor about CBD oil medication interactions, you can ask them if any of your medications may interact with grapefruit. If the answer to that question is yes, then you will want to exercise more caution in combining them with CBD oil.
Over time, CBD oil may help you reduce or eliminate some of your prescription drugs. But you should never reduce or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor.