You’ve heard CBD has impacted countless lives and you’ve decided it’s time for you to be one of those people.
Now that you’ve made the decision to move forward with your research it’s brought you to a critical moment in an assessment of your knowledge about CBD. If you’re wondering if CBD will interfere with your medications you’re wise to bring up this question.
The majority of the population strictly views CBD as a savior compound (because we’d be lying if we said it doesn’t offer some incredible value), rarely taking into account how variable factors might negatively impact the outcome.
The truth is that there are certain medications that don’t mix well with CBD or THC. This is similar in the way that certain prescription medications have horrible complications when mixed with alcohol. The trouble is associated with the way the body metabolizes particular substances.¹
Read on for more information!
How Do Medications React With the Body?
To gain a better understanding of how drugs and medications are broken down in the body, let's clarify the role and function of our enzymes.
According to Britannica Encyclopedia, an enzyme is defined as “a substance that acts as a catalyst in living organisms, regulating the rate at which chemical reactions proceed without itself being altered in the process.”²
In other words, enzymes speed up the biological processes and chemical reactions in our body without getting used up themselves.
When prescription medications enter the bloodstream, they are ultimately metabolized before being eliminated by enzymes found in the liver—more particularly, the cytochrome P450 (CYP) group of enzymes.³ Out of this family of enzymes, CYP3A4 is the most plentiful CYP enzyme found in the liver. Not to mention it’s the enzyme that is in control of metabolizing an approximate 50% of prescriptions utilized in a doctor’s office.³
Alas, this family of CYP enzymes are also known to be the reason for many chemical interactions gone wrong. Certain medications kick off the metabolic activity, and others have the ability to delay it. This delay can actually impact the potency of drugs present in the body.³ This process of speeding up or delaying the intended metabolic action is what can be dangerous and may even lead to a bad reaction.
Which Drugs Should Not Be Taken With CBD?
So now that we have a grip on this concept of enzymes metabolizing the drugs we have in our system, (therefore in charge of how quickly or slowly chemical reactions are happening), let’s look at some specific medications that have the potential to cause a bad reaction when combined with CBD.
To date, the following list of medications should be avoided in combination with CBD or THC for your own safety:
Warfarin - This is a prescription medication commonly given to prevent blood clots from taking place in the blood vessels and is typically prescribed to those who have suffered a heart attack or individuals with replacement heart valves.⁴
Theophylline - Theophylline is a medication that works to allow for the opening up of the airway. Those who are most often prescribed this medication might suffer from asthma, COPD, or other lung issues.⁵
Clobazam - Clobazam is a medication that is typically used in conjunction with other prescriptions in an effort to treat seizures brought on by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome - which is a very serious breed of childhood epilepsy.⁶
Valproate - This medication is often prescribed to those suffering from Bipolar disorder, some forms of epilepsy, and sometimes for those who are suffering from migraine headaches. This mood stabilizer works with the brain to take control of our brain chemistry and level out one’s mood.⁷
Please remember this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of medications as research is still ongoing and it would be reckless to claim this is a complete list of medications to avoid when taking CBD.
If you or someone you know is on any of these prescription medications and currently taking CBD, bring them aside and tell them what you’ve learned today.
Safety and Warning Signs to Watch Out For
If you are someone who is currently taking your medications in addition to regular doses of CBD, make sure you’re always paying close attention to your body.
Even if you’ve had little to no issues for weeks on end, you never know when your body is going to say enough is enough. Staying in tune with the way you’re feeling is important and can help you avoid a bigger medical problem.
Regularly check in with yourself to ensure you’re not experiencing any of the following warning signs of a negative CBD/medication interaction.
- Sudden drowsiness
- Sudden intense nausea or vomiting
- Crippling fatigue
- Notable changes in appetite
- Notable changes in weight
What to Do if You Think You’re Having a Negative Reaction From Mixing CBD and Prescription Medication
If you believe you’re having a negative reaction between your CBD and prescription medication get to a doctor right away.
If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs and you’re all alone, it’s best to call a friend or family member to stay with you until you can get to your health professional.
Obviously you should not consume more CBD nor anymore medications until your body and liver are further evaluated. It’s likely that once you arrive at a hospital or doctor’s office, steps will be taken to ease whatever side effects you might be experiencing before a period of observation.
Chances are good that you won’t experience any problems when you start taking CBD on a regular basis. In fact, we hope you get to enjoy all the good things that taking CBD can bring into one’s lifestyle as a result.
But it’s always a good idea to stay informed. And with so many people in the world on medications that could potentially be harmful when paired with CBD, this is exactly why you need to always stay in the know.
As with any kind of supplication or vitamin you are adding into your daily habits and lifestyle, its always a good idea to check with your doctor and do your research before trying CBD.
Make sure to tell your doctor about every single over-the-counter medication you’re on regularly, as well as the prescriptions. Never try to replace an important medication with CBD without talking to your doctor first for an opinion and counsel.
- Medline Plus
- National Alliance on Mental Illness