Does CBD Interact with Other Medications?
Yes, CBD can mitigate the effect of prescription medications or cause them to linger in the system. Before trying CBD, make sure to discuss with your primary doctor all the vitamins, dietary supplements, and prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Research clearly demonstrates that CBD is generally safe and has few minor side effects. It does, however, have the potential to interact with certain medications.
Particular caution should be exercised when taking any cannabis product before surgery, particularly patients with heart issues. CBD has also been shown to act as an anticoagulant, and should therefore not be used to quell pain after surgery. And there is anecdotal evidence CBD can interfere with anesthesia. For instance, it’s been known to blunt the effect of numbing agents used in dental procedures.
There’s a family of enzymes called Cytochrome P450 responsible for converting foreign substances so they can be eliminated from the body. Certain medications affect CYP450 by slowing or speeding up metabolism. Research done at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, suggests that CBD is a strong CYP450 inhibitor, a liver enzyme that helps break down up to 60% of prescription medications. Translation: CBD can interfere with how the body metabolizes pharmaceutical drugs.
CBD Contraindications: Dosage and Side Effects
If your CBD dose is high enough, these enzymes might not function properly, allowing too much of the medication to remain in your system, potentially causing toxicity. At the very least, combining CBD and your prescription medication can potentially cause unintended and unwanted side effects. The inverse can also be true: Research shows the CYP450 family of enzymes metabolizes several cannabinoids, including CBD. This means certain medications can inhibit the efficient metabolism of CBD.
Keep in mind that topical CBD products, like lotions and sports creams, are an option. Unlike tinctures, edibles, and vape oils, topicals work locally. They don’t enter the bloodstream at volume and are not formulated to act systemically.