Can CBD Affect Prescription Medication?
CBD is more popular now than it ever has been. There are a variety of reasons for that, including recent changes in its legal status and a variety of scientific evidence which indicates that CBD may make a positive impact on a variety of physical and emotional ailments. More research does need to be done, but it appears that CBD might have the potential to help quite a few people.
Indeed, our scientific understanding of how CBD works and what parts of your body it impacts seem to be evolving every day. For example, there is at least one prescription drug which has CBD as an active ingredient – Epidiolex – that can be used to treat two rare seizure disorders in children. Other CBD based drugs appear likely in the future.
CBD is also available for sale in almost all 50 states and many other countries throughout the world. In many of those places, CBD is available in over the counter or food supplemental format. However, don’t let the ease of access fool you: CBD can be a potent chemical, and the same chemical composition which may provide relief from negative bodily sensations can also potential negatively interact with certain drugs.
A variety of evidence indicates that CBD can have an impact on certain drugs. In many cases, it appears that CBD can strengthen already potent effects. This occurs because CBD inhibits the CYP450 enzymes. This enzyme, produced in your liver, helps to break down medications when they enter your body. When this liver enzyme production is inhibited, it can result in your body absorbing more of a type of medication, resulting in enhanced effects. Examples include:
- Blood Thinners: At least one study has shown that CBD has the potential to increase the blood-thinning effects of blood-thinners, like Warfarin or Coumadin, to potentially dangerous levels.
- Sedatives: CBD can already create sedative-like effects in users, creating a sense of calm and peace. However, when taken with sedatives, CBD and the sedatives interact to strengthen the impact of both. Depending on the user and situation, this can be dangerous.
The Grapefruit Test
Numerous drugs come with a specific warning about not taking the drug while also consuming grapefruit. The reason for this is the same as the reason which CBD may present a negative interaction with medication: Grapefruit inhibits liver enzyme production, which may result in additional absorption of a particular medication. As such, a warning against consuming grapefruit with a medication may serve as a good proxy for a warning about a potential CBD interaction.
Consult Your Doctor
At the end of the day, CBD is still a substance that needs a lot more research. Before consuming CBD (in any form), it is best to consult with your Doctor and make sure it will not have a negative interaction with any medication you are taking or with any illnesses from which you suffer.