Does CBD React Adversely With Medication?

April 10, 2018

CBD hasn’t shown to react adversely with medication. Some evidence suggests that it may influence how your liver breaks down drugs.

Whenever you’re on any medications, it’s always a good idea to consider potential drug interactions. While serious drug interactions have not been seen with CBD in combination with medications, in some cases CBD may influence how your liver breaks down traditional drugs.

If you dab or vape CBD, take it under the tongue, or apply it topically, you don’t have to worry about any the compound interacting with any medications. If you swallow CBD orally, or by the mouth, you should become familiar with the cytochrome P450 system, the family of enzymes in your liver that break down CBD.

How Your Body Metabolizes CBD

We’ve discussed the various methods for taking CBD and the benefits of each. Whenever you opt to get your daily CBD by ingesting and swallowing your CBD supplement, perhaps the most popular way to take CBD, the compounds must first pass through your digestive system. The CBD is broken down in the stomach, absorbed by the small intestine, and then sent through the portal vein directly to your liver.

Once CBD reaches the liver, a family of enzymes called the P450 enzymatic system metabolizes the compounds before their distributed through the circulatory system, where they are free to interact with the cannabinoid receptors of your endocannabinoid system.

It’s at the liver where CBD may interact with the P450 enzymes in a way that can influence the way your body breaks down other medications. The liver and its enzymes only get involved with the breakdown of your CBD supplements only when you swallow or eat CBD supplements that are designed to be ingested, like our Dixie Botanicals® Dew Drop tinctures and Dixie Botanicals® Kicks energy chews.

The Cytochrome P450 System

Found in all kingdoms of life, the cytochrome P450 enzyme system is the most important of enzymes in Phase I metabolism. The enzymes metabolize compounds by oxidizing them, which means they add an oxygen atom to their molecular structure. This process detoxifies the compounds before it distributes them to the bloodstream.

While CBD oil has been found to be a safe, non-intoxicating, and non-addictive supplement, how CBD interacts with your cytochrome P450 enzymatic system may influence how your body responds to some medications.

This is because cytochrome P450 is also responsible for metabolizing many of the most-commonly prescribed medications. More than 90 percent of medications are metabolized by the P450 enzymatic system.

taking meds with cbd

There is some evidence that when taken at sufficient servings, CBD temporarily deactivates P450 enzymes. The CBD compounds occupy the site of enzymatic activity, which in turn temporarily prevents the enzyme family from metabolizing other compounds. As a result, CBD may in some cases make hinder the breakdown of the compounds in the medication, allowing them to accumulate over time and making them more active, or potent.

This effect CBD has on P450 enzymes may come into play if you take anti-seizure medications, for example. Early evidence suggests CBD supplements may increase or decrease the effects of your prescribed drug. In 2015, researchers found that kids with epilepsy that were given CBD saw their blood concentrations of their traditional anti-epilepsy drug, clobazam. Many of them had their dose of clobazam reduced as a result.

Types of Drugs That May Be Affected by Use of CBD

More research into CBD’s ability to inactivate and enhance cytochrome P45- enzymes in the liver is needed.

With that said, medical experts are familiar with the traditional drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes. This means you can easily see whether you’re taking any medications or supplements that may potentially interact with CBD because of its influence on the P450 enzyme family.

Here are some of the traditional over-the-counter and prescription drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes, based on information provided by studies and medical colleges:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Angiotension II blockers
  • Anti-arrhythmics
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Anesthetics
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-epileptics
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Beta blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • HIV antivirals
  • HMG CoQ reductase inhibitors
  • Immune modulators
  • NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, etc…)
  • Oral hypoglycemic agents
  • PPIs
  • Prokinetics
  • Steroids
  • Sulfonylureas  

In general, it’s a good rule of thumb if you’re supplementing with CBD and taking other medications to give the heads up to your physician and monitor how you’re feeling.

Your doctor may want to check your blood levels to see if CBD has any influence on how your liver breaks down other medications. They may want to adjust the doses of the other drugs you’re taking to account for CBD’s effects on the P450 enzyme group.

Effects of CBD

CBD has become highly sought after in recent years as more people discover how the natural benefits of the cannabinoid help the body maintain balance for peak performance.

By interacting with cannabinoid receptors, CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system and encourages balance in your body’s various functions so that your body can run at its best. Because of the range of functions that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating — such as sleep, energy balance, and immune response — CBD supplements have become extremely popular among athletes and people who are active.

CBD has shown in studies to be safe and well tolerated. It is non-psychoactive, so it won’t cause you to get high or experience any adverse side effects. Hemp-derived CBD oil naturally contains only trace, if any, levels of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.

Because CBD oil is so low in THC, in most cases it will not cause a positive drug test when consumed at suggested servings. In rare cases, hemp oils can cause a positive result, so anyone who is concerned about having a positive drug test should avoid consuming CBD oil, including Dixie Botanicals® CBD hemp oil products.

CBD supplements with non-detectable THC, such as Dixie Botanicals® CBD Isolate, are available for those interested in the balancing properties of CBD while avoiding THC.

Learn More about CBD

Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in the United States and in over 40 countries, no doctor’s recommendation needed. You can learn more about CBD through the Dixie Botanicals® blog, or get started with CBD oil today through our online shop.

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