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November 16

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Does CBD Interfere With Medication?

By Harrison Payton

November 16, 2020


The Need To Know

The short answer to the important question in our blog title is yes, but it depends. As always, we highly recommend speaking with your physician before beginning to use CBD, as they may have insight into possible interactions or conditions to be aware of. While there is still not enough research into all the potential interactions with medications and treatments, there is some evidence that certain drugs may be affected by CBD consumption and how your endocannabinoid system responds differently. 

The body processes each chemical we consume differently. For some, CBD has possibly given them relief from insomnia, anxiety, and joint pain, among other conditions. The primary issue with CBD potentially reacting with medications is how it alters the metabolization of those compounds. Let’s take a look at how CBD can affect your body’s processes. 

Enzymes And Body Process Changes With CBD

Something many of us typically don’t think about when we take medicine is just how exactly our body receives that medication. Our livers and kidneys play a large role in processing many of our medications and one of the ways it does so is through enzymes. 

Enzymes such as the family known as cytochrome P450 (CYP450) are responsible for changing foreign compounds that are consumed into something that can be Danu taking medicineeliminated from the body. Why does this matter? There is research that shows some medications can affect the efficiency or speed of CYP450 processing within your body. 

CBD may interfere with a specific enzyme within the CYP450 family called CYP3A4. Surprisingly, this enzyme is used to process over half of prescription medications. The speeding up or slowing down of your body’s medication digestion process may lead to potentially negative effects, depending on the medicine. You may have too much of the medication remaining in your system, or oppositely, you may have processed it too quickly.  

Different Processing Routes

The amount of CBD that makes it into your body’s processing systems and the speed at which it does so greatly depends on the form of consumption. If you are applying CBD to your skin for localized pain, such as joint or muscle pain, CBD affecting your CYP450 family of enzymes is relatively slow.

This is due to how little CBD makes it directly into your circulation system when it is applied topically. It can still potentially provide relief, but the absorption will be more into tissues in the area rather than your bloodstream. 

Other forms are much quicker. Ingesting CBD products is much more efficient than topical application, however it still must make its way through your digestive system.

Other ways that are even faster include putting a CBD IV into your bloodstream, taking it under the tongue (sublingually), or vaporizing it to be inhaled. These methods are all very quick and are most likely to cause an interaction, if an interaction has the potential to occur. 

The Grapefruit Warning Label

A surefire way to quickly recognize whether or not many medications will interact with CBD is if there is a “grapefruit warning label” on your prescription. Similar to 

Danu grapefruit warning

grapefruit juice, CBD also may lower or raise levels of medication processing enzymes in your body.

There are a lot of factors that go into how much these medicines may or may not be affected by CBD, such as weight, height, and dosage. If you are concerned about a possible interaction, it is always best to talk to your healthcare providers before adding CBD to your diet.

A Natural Alternative To Some Medications

At Danu Apothecary, we prefer to take a natural approach to wellness and to avoid strictly unnecessary medications that may have unwanted side effects. We believe that taking care of one’s body may start with something as simple as taking advantage of the potential benefits of CBD oil. If you’ve spoken with your doctor about adding CBD to your day, we invite you to try our full selection of CBD Tinctures, Softgels, Gummies, and Topicals. Visit our store today!

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