Is CBD Always Safe? CBD Oil and Medication Interactions

May 13, 2020

Many patients worldwide are opting to use CBD oil in replacement of prescription drugs used for chemotherapy, behavioral symptoms, pain relief and more. Cannabinoids have shown to have a positive effect on patients enduring a wide range of conditions from autism to cancer.

For instance, a Remedy Review survey said 40% of the parents use CBD to soothe hyperactivity in autistic children. In an opioid user survey, 81% of users said cannabis was more effective than opioids in treating conditions. Furthermore, in 2017 the World Health Organization stated CBD posed no risk for health or addiction abuse. If CBD doesn’t cause impairment or fatal overdosing, then could the natural molecule be safer to use?

For this reason, we want to discuss CBD and cannabinoid effects on prescription medications based on current research. Many patients want to try CBD, but don’t necessarily want to stop taking their current prescriptions. If you fall within this category, you may want to know if you can take CBD as an additional supplement without interfering with the effects of other drugs.

As always, consult your doctor or practitioner before consuming CBD with other medications.

CBD Side Effects with Medications

Common side effects of CBD include drowsiness, hyperactivity, jitteriness, and increased heart rate. As mentioned above, none of these side effects have been fatal in a patient. Nonetheless, why do some users get jittery while others get sleepy? One potential factor could be CBD’s interaction with medications such as steroids, antibiotics, and anesthetics.

Clinical trials have shown the potential risk of CBD increasing medication dosages when taken together. For example, children given clobazam and CBD to treat epilepsy had higher levels of clobazam compared to children who weren’t administered CBD. Fortunately, the levels were still safe but doctors do recommend extra supervision.

Epilepsy medications are just one example, but other prescriptions could include blood thinners, blood pressure medicine, and more.

Such interactions could be explained by looking at the enzymes in our liver. Enzymes P450 and CYP450 break down CBD and about 60% of medications on the market.

According to current research, low doses of CBD have less of an effect on medications and taking CBD at a different time of day as a medication can also lower risks. But these theories still need further examination.

The Grapefruit Test

One question you can ask your doctor is if grapefruit should be avoided with your prescriptions. You can also check for a grapefruit warning on any labels. Grapefruit and CBD oftentimes parallel the same interactions with certain medications. 

Double check your specific CBD oil too, because some CBD oils include additional essential oils such as grapefruit in the formula. CBD Livity Broad Spectrum oil does not contain grapefruit EO, but it does include copaiba, ginger, and lemon essential oils.

CBD Topical Use

So far, this article has mainly referred to taking CBD orally when it comes to medication interactions. But what about CBD topical creams? Since a topical lotion does not enter the bloodstream, it does not get processed with the liver. For this reason, it would very rarely have an effect on oral prescriptions. Which means you can still use our soothing CBD Livity salve for discomfort!

Please remember smoking, vaping, and transdermal patches also enter the bloodstream. If you’re using CBD in these ways or sublingually, interactions with other drugs could occur.

If you are using prescription topical creams for skin conditions, a CBD lotion might interfere with its effects. Ask your doctor if using a CBD topical is safe if you are prescribed any dermal ointments. Also ask if you can use the creams at different times of day, which might be a safe and easy solution.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-and-drug-interactions-what-you-need-to-know#interactions

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cbd-medication-interaction_l_5c9271efe4b08c4fec336ff2?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAADML_BhEdOQfL15qX2byZ5VetwVIqT-EJONeaf4uwvGma0GjjCpM2foiVoCPotN-NsFjU7Si8LRXn6PUcKUqHSIvjrZLE_fIcbpFQ7J2cjh8dg9nP6I_Sol1SmDjDwIMDmOwexxAXF3XtztqL5McPvRedsPedR3nt4L6eJtKIK66

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"We encourage you to discuss CBD with your physician or healthcare practitioner if you have any specific health related questions or concerns. There are also many independent research studies about CBD available on the internet."

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease.

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