CBD and Drug Interactions

Yes, cannabis can interact with certain medications in positive and negative ways. CBD is generally safe to use but it is also known to have a few side effects.
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Can CBD Interact With My Medication?

The answer is yes, Cannabis can interact with certain medications in positive and negative ways. CBD is generally safe to use but it is also known to have a few side effects. This is especially true when taking large doses of CBD. We already know that cannabis can interact with other foods and drinks such as mangoes and coffee. It’s also worth noting that if you are taking any medications, CBD can also potentially interact with them. We will explain everything you need to know about how to safely use CBD if you are also taking other medications.

How Does CBD Interact With Certain Medications?

The way that your body metabolizes CBD can interfere with how your body will metabolize other medicines you take. If the medication you are taking does not get metabolized properly, it will linger in your body for a long amount of time, causing negative side effects and even complications. In particular, this can be an issue with blood thinners such as Warfarin. Taking Warfarin with CBD can make the Warfarin stay in your system for too long. Because Warfarin thins your blood and limits the ability for blood to clot, any individual consuming a CBD product should pay close attention to changes in blood levels of Warfarin, and adjust their dosage as instructed by their healthcare provider.

There Are Some Good Interactions

Just because CBD interacts with certain medications doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always a bad interaction. In fact, CBD can make other drugs more effective,  sometimes enabling people to lower their current medication dose, which can ultimately reduce any uncomfortable side effects.

What is the Grapefruit Test?

If your doctor tells you that you can’t eat grapefruit with your medication, you should be careful about combining it with CBD. Do your research. Does CBD break down in the same way as a grapefruit? Is it still safe to take CBD and eat grapefruit with medications?

The Grapefruit Test

The Grapefruit Test is a simple way to understand if CBD could interact with your medications.

Adrian Lee of Project CBD describes this Grapefruit Test. CBD interacts with other medications in your body in the same way as grapefruit. If you are advised by your health care provider not to take your medication with grapefruit then it’s probably advisable to avoid using CBD with it.

There is a family of compounds in our body called cytochrome P450. This compound interferes with the metabolism of certain medications. CBD also interacts with the same compound.

Simply ask your doctor if it’s safe to eat grapefruit while taking this medication. Chances are, they will know exactly what you are talking about. Remember that if your health care provider advises you to avoid grapefruits with your medication, you should be cautious about taking CBD with it.

Our Recommendation

The grapefruit test is a good way to tell if it is safe to mix CBD with any medication especially if the person prescribing the medication is not familiar with CBD. However, we always recommend that you tell your doctor you want to use CBD. It is advisable to let your doctor know about any medicine you are taking or planning to take, even he or she does not normally prescribe cannabis.

If your doctor is aware of your CBD usage, it may be easier to get detailed advice on how to combine CBD with your medication, or if you need to take any medication at all while using CBD. Your doctor may also decide to monitor your blood work closely or advise you to avoid taking CBD at the same exact time of the day that you take your other medication. It’s always best to speak with your doctor before taking ANY supplements or medications.

Alyssha Bal

Alyssha Bal is the editor of Hemppedia.org. She’s a Philadelphia native who has a keen interest in alternative and natural medicine, especially the use of cannabis for healing. She is a graduate from Pennsylvania State University, holds an MBA in communications, and is certified in Cannabis Therapeutics from Medical Cannabis Mentor. Since 2011, Alyssha has worked for sensible marijuana policies in her home state of Pennsylvania and grassroots campaigns to pass federal medical marijuana legislation. She has volunteered her time with The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the U.S. Alyssha reports and educates about cannabis as it relates to policy, politics, science, and culture. Her goal is to be a contributor to a safe, fair, and legal cannabis industry.

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