CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical derived from cannabis plants, is turning up in everything from food and beverages to cosmetics and pet treats, and for good reason — more people than ever are searching for information about CBD and what it can do for their pain and overall wellness. But with the heightened demand for CBD comes a serious question: What if the consumer is taking other medications? Will CBD affect the way those medicines work? Your CBD Store in Keller values cannabidiol education and awareness, so we’ve researched possible CBD drug interactions to keep our customers safe and informed. Here’s what we found.
CBD and the “Grapefruit Rule”
It might sound like a funny rule, but certain medications do come with a label that warns users not to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking the meds. These include cholesterol medicines, blood pressure medicines, and antidepressants. One of the chemicals in grapefruit (there are hundreds, and the culprit has yet to be isolated and identified) binds to one of our liver enzymes and increases absorption of the drugs in question. This causes the drugs to enter the bloodstream faster and the drug levels in our blood to spike.
What does this have to do with CBD? It appears that CBD inhibits the same liver enzyme as grapefruit, so use caution if you take medications regularly, and always ask your doctor before adding any supplement to your regimen. Even natural products can have potent effects.
Suspected Drug Interactions
Blood Thinners. Blood-thinning drugs like Warfarin or Coumaden could cause excessive bleeding or hemorrhages if their potency is boosted by grapefruit or CBD.
Anti-Anxiety Meds. Drugs like Xanax and Ativan can have more pronounced effects when mixed with CBD.
Beta Blockers. Medicines for heart disease, such as Coreg, can also receive a boost from grapefruit or CBD.
Foods, Herbs, and Natural Sedatives
CBD can cause sleepiness in some people, which is a selling point for many consumers. But if you take CBD with herbs or supplements that also cause drowsiness, you could find yourself extremely fatigued. These natural sedatives include melatonin, L-tryptophan, valerian root, St. John’s Wort, and others.
There have also been studies done on the combination of CBD and high-fat foods. Results showed that a fatty meal can increase the body’s absorption of CBD, strengthening its effects.
Safety Measures You Can Take
If CBD really is similar to grapefruit with regard to our liver enzymes, it could be necessary to take precautions to minimize the chance of increased drug potency. First, low doses of CBD rarely cause problems, so start small and work your way up until you know how CBD will affect your other medications.
Second, the dosing method plays a big part in drug interactions. Sublingual oils and tinctures are more likely to boost drug potency than CBD-infused lotions and other topicals.
Finally, spacing out your doses of CBD and your other medications seems to help minimize interactions. Give yourself plenty of time between taking your regular meds and dosing with CBD.
The Bottom Line: Ask Your Doctor
CBD, especially in low doses, is considered safe to use with most drugs. However, if you take one of the medications mentioned above, or if you have a chronic health issue, we recommend talking to your doctor about CBD use.
Your CBD Store in Keller: Organic, Non-GMO CBD Products
We source our organically-grown CBD from Denver, CO, where it is grown in optimal conditions without harmful pesticides or genetic modification. CO2 extraction provides us with the most potent and highest-quality CBD, which we proudly offer to our many happy customers. If you have questions about our products or CBD in general, call us or stop by our Keller shop today!