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Can CBD Cause Medical Interactions with Prescription Drugs?

In recent years, much has been researched and written about CBD’s role in managing pain, anxiety, depression, and other types of conditions—and products that include oil, pills, gummies, tinctures, and more have absolutely flooded the market. CBD products are seemingly everywhere—and because of this accessibility, many people who suffer from a variety of health conditions have begun to inquire about how CBD could help them, and if these products present the potential of interacting with existing prescription drugs and other medications.  In this blog, we will explore the subject and expand your education. 


How CBD Interacts with Your Body

CBD is a cannabinoid, and it’s the primary ingredient in hemp, which is just one type of cannabis plant and separate from the marijuana plant. We note this right off the bat so you understand that CBD will not get you “high.” However, CBD interacts with your body in a different way. Namely, it connects with cannabinoid receptors and could result in effects that are welcome to sufferers of arthritis, joint pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and much more.

To back this up, research was presented at the 2019 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology that noted 52 percent of individuals reported trying CBD for medical reasons and 93 percent noted it helped with their condition.  Many stated that they would have welcomed more information and input from their doctor, but that their physicians were not able to comment in whole because of the fact that information is still emerging about CBD and its effects. 

In this regard, two physicians were consulted; Nina M. Bembed, PharmD, BCPS—a specialist in drug interactions—and Rachna Patel, DO—a doctor who consults on medical marijuana and CBD.  


Can Drug Interactions Happen With CBD?

There are a large number of medications that are broken down by enzymes found in one’s liver.  Called CYP450, this enzyme has an impact on CBD; however, CBD can also inhibit some enzymes in this family, meaning a drug will be broken down slower, thereby enhancing the effects on a person’s body unless dosage is adjusted.  At the same time, CBD can also induce the breakdown of other enzymes in this family, meaning that a drug’s effects would be lessened because it is metabolized faster—again, unless dosage is increased. 

For example, some enhanced side effects may be experienced if you take any of these drugs in addition to CBD:

  • Prozac (aka fluoxetine)
  • Antipsychotics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Erythromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Heart medications, including calcium channel blockers

The most direct information comes from studies related to the only FDA-approved CBD product, a medication called Epidiolex, which treats rare forms of epilepsy.  When combined with CBD, Epidolex has been found to increase blood levels of the blood thinner warfarin by about 30%.  If you have been prescribed Epidiolex, be sure to consult with your physician prior to using any CBD product. 


What About Interactions with NSAIDs?

While CBD can interact with some drugs, the good news is that because of the way it is metabolized, it is not likely to interact negatively with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  This includes many arthritis or joint pain medications.  However, again, before embarking upon using CBD for the first time, consult with your doctor. Additionally, if you are on an NSAID for pain relief or treating inflammation, and want to take CBD as well, make sure your doctor performs regular liver tests to ensure your levels stay normal. 

In closing, CBD products are generally very safe to use—and most people only stand to benefit from them.  However, if you do have major underlying health concerns or are on a cocktail of varied medications and prescriptions, it is always wise to consult with your doctor first before starting on any CBD product. Ultimately, taking the time for this consultation is only likely to improve your experience and the results you get from a high-quality CBD product. 

Of course, the team at Asé Pure Naturals would love to speak with you about our premium products, our manufacturing process, and the high levels of quality that we are committed to.  Please visit us online for more information.

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