Does CBD interact with prescription drugs?

For millennia cannabidiol (CBD) has been used as a health supplement, and its popularity has been growing over the past years. Due to recent research, many people have started using CBD-based products in order to decrease the symptoms of health conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, among others.

One of the main benefits of CBD is that it has barely any side effects when taken by itself, however, studies have shown that it does have the potential to interact with some prescription drugs. As such, it is always recommended that, before consuming CBD, individuals should have a conversation with their doctor in order to understand if any of the vitamins and prescription medications they are currently taking could have a negative reaction with cannabidiol.

How does CBD interact with prescription drugs?

While the interaction between CBD and the prescription drug will vary, it can either reduce or increase the effects of said drug. This happens because CBD interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System’s receptors, thus inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP450).

What is CYP450?

Simply put, CYP450 is a group of liver enzymes which are responsible for breaking down any drugs, or toxins, that enter the body. This makes it easier to understand why CBD can be problematic when paired with certain types of prescription drugs as, by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme, it can temporarily alter how the drugs’ compounds are metabolized by the liver.

What type of prescription drugs interact with CBD?

While there is still more research to be done on this topic, there are certain types of medication that can have an increased potential of side effects when used along with CBD:

  • Antidepressants
  • Medications that can cause drowsiness
  • Heart medications

So, how can you know which type of drugs react to CBD and which don’t? One easy way to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk is to read the medication’s leaflet and check if it should not be taken with grapefruit, watercress, St. John’s Wort, or goldenseal. When prescription drugs indicate that they will have adverse effects when used with these four supplements, it means that there is a high possibility that it is metabolized by the CYP system. Nevertheless, this should only be used as a guide, and you should always consult with your pharmacist or doctor before mixing prescription drugs and CBD.

Why is it important to consult a health professional first?

You will surely be able to find extensive lists of which medications might have an interaction with CBD, however, it is difficult to day which information is correct or not. The best option to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to avoid suffering from any side effects is to contact your doctor, before buying your CBD in any shop in the United-Kingdom. They will be able to guide you and advise you in regard to a possible reaction between CBD and your prescription drug, as well as follow-up to see if there are any therapeutic effects from the CBD itself. Along with this, the doctor will also be able to adjust the dosage of your prescription drug in case there is a positive interaction.

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