With growing use of CBD for health, more people are curious about the risk of CBD interacting with other medications and substances. Some combinations may increase side effects or decrease effectiveness of a drug when taken with CBD.
Understanding key mechanisms of CBD interactions allows you to minimize risks and get the most benefit from CBD.
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How CBD May Impact Other Drugs
While generally well-tolerated, CBD may impact how your body processes certain compounds via:
Cytochrome P450 inhibition – CBD can temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in metabolizing many drugs, causing higher levels in your system .
Drug transporters – Studies show CBD may inhibit activity of transporter proteins like p-glycoprotein which carry drugs across membranes .
Pharmaceutical sequestration – CBD is hydrophobic so may bind to some lipid-based drugs in the blood, raising concentrations .
Synergistic effects – CBD’s own effects may complement or enhance action of some substances.
Opposing effects – In some cases, CBD may counteract or weaken the intended effects of another compound.
Gastrointestinal changes – By altering GI function, CBD could impact absorption of oral medications .
Potential CBD Interactions to Monitor
Based on its mechanisms of action, CBD may potentially interact with:
Blood thinners – CBD’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 may increase coumadin or warfarin levels.
Benzodiazepines – Studies show CBD can raise benzodiazepine concentrations and enhance sedation .
Immunosuppressants – CBD could raise cyclosporine levels, requiring dosing adjustments .
Beta blockers – CBD may cause higher beta blocker levels in the blood by competing for metabolism.
Antidepressants – Combined serotonergic effects of CBD with SSRIs could increase risk of side effects.
Anesthesia – CBD may prolong action of chloroquine, ketamine, and other anesthetics.
Antihistamines – By competing for enzyme metabolism, CBD may increase antihistamine concentrations.
Chemotherapy – CBD may competitively inhibit doxorubicin elimination, raising toxicity risks.
Epilepsy drugs – CBD may reduce effectiveness of valproate, stiripentol, clobazam, and other antiseizure meds.
Minimizing Risk of CBD Drug Interactions
To reduce chances of interactions, follow these precautions:
Consult your doctor – Discuss taking CBD with your physician, pharmacist, and other providers.
Take note of dosing – Closely monitor effects with dosage changes of other medications.
Separate dosing – Take CBD and pharmaceuticals at least 1-2 hours apart if possible.
Start low and go slow – Gradually increase CBD doses allowing time to assess interactions.
Monitor lab results – Watch for changes in medication levels through blood tests.
Track effects – Keep detailed records of timing, doses, and results to optimize combinations.
Buy clean products – High quality, third party tested CBD should have fewer unpredictable interactions.
Should You Take CBD with Medications?
Working closely with your doctor allows you to safely incorporate CBD into a medication regimen when warranted. While interactions are possible, proper monitoring and dosage adjustments reduce risks allowing you to harness CBD benefits.
But always consult a physician before adding CBD or making changes to any prescribed medications or supplements to ensure your health and safety.
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