What drugs should not be taken with CBD?

Suppose you’re taking prescription drugs and looking to start taking CBD products. In that case, it’s essential to be aware of the potential drug interactions. The research on specific drug interactions for CBD is still ongoing, so the recommendation from most medical professionals is to proceed with caution and seek advice from your doctor.

At The Leaf Life, we want to ensure that our customers are informed about all aspects of CBD before making a purchase. That’s why we’ve put together an overview of potential drug interactions.

The current body of knowledge on CBD and drug interactions

Most of the scientific research has focused on drug interactions with CBD formulas like Epidyolex. (1) This is because Epidyolex has been certified as a medicine in the UK and is prescribed for treating epileptic disorders like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Sativex, a 50/50 mix of THC and CBD, has also been studied concerning drug interactions. However, most of the research on drug interactions with CBD has been conducted in relation to Epidyolex.

The advice from medical professionals

At present, there is no definitive answer on whether or not it’s safe to take CBD with other drugs. The current advice from medical professionals is to proceed with caution and speak to your doctor before taking CBD if you’re currently taking prescription medication.

This advice is based on the lack of knowledge around drug interactions between CBD and other drugs. Until more research has been conducted, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

The potential drug interactions between CBD and other drugs

A few potential drug interactions between CBD and other drugs have been identified so far. (2)

CBD can potentially interact with:

– Blood thinners

– Certain antibiotics

– Cytochrome P450 enzymes

– Calcium channel blockers

– Antihistamines

– HIV medications

Please speak to your doctor for more information on specific drug interactions between CBD and other drugs.

What you can do to minimise the risk of drug interactions with CBD

If you’re taking a prescription medication and looking to start taking CBD products, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of drug interactions:

– Speak to your doctor before taking CBD. They will advise you on whether or not it’s safe for you to take CBD based on your current medication.

– Start with a low dose of CBD and increase gradually over time. This will help you gauge how your body reacts to taking CBD and whether or not you experience any adverse effects.

– Keep a record of the CBD products you’re taking and the dosage. This will help you to monitor any potential drug interactions.

– Be aware of the potential side effects of CBD and seek medical attention if you experience any adverse effects while taking CBD.

Understanding Drug Metabolism: How Drugs Interact

When we introduce a new drug into our system, metabolism is the process that breaks it down. This occurs primarily in the liver, and different drugs are metabolised at different speeds. CBD oil is broken down quickly by the stomach and intestines, so it doesn’t have a lot of time to interact with other drugs.

Cannabidiol and the Cytochrome P System

There is research suggesting that CBD can interact with the cytochrome P450 system in the liver. (3)This is a group of enzymes responsible for metabolising a wide range of drugs.

CBD may interact with these enzymes by binding to the site where enzyme activity occurs, acting as a “competitive inhibitor.” This means that it displaces other compounds metabolised by the enzyme and prevents them from being broken down.

The Effect of CBD on Other Enzymes

So far, research suggests that CBD may also interact with other enzymes in the liver. This includes the P-glycoprotein transporter and the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes.

P-glycoprotein is responsible for transporting a wide range of drugs across cell membranes. UGT enzymes are involved in drug metabolism and detoxification.

The grapefruit warning

Suppose you are on any medication where it is advised that you should avoid eating grapefruit. In that case, it is also recommended that you avoid taking CBD. This is because grapefruit inhibits the activity of the CYP450 enzymes in a similar way to CBD.

While more research is needed, it is best to exercise caution and avoid taking CBD if you take any medication where grapefruit is contraindicated.

CBD may affect the effects of other medications in your body

It is mainly through the liver that CBD can interact with other medications in the body. Therefore, CBD may increase or decrease the effects of other drugs in your system by:

– Inhibiting the activity of enzymes that break down other drugs

– Increasing the amount of time it takes for other drugs to be broken down

– Reducing the absorption of other drugs into the bloodstream

– Inducing the formation of drug metabolites that may be more or less active than the original drug

CBD is a relatively new compound, and more research is needed to understand how it may interact with other drugs in the body.

However, there is some evidence to suggest that it can interact with a wide range of medications. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the potential drug interactions and speak to your doctor before taking CBD.

CBD and Medications: The way you take it matters

CBD products come in many forms, including tinctures, oils, capsules, and edibles.

The different ways you take CBD contributes to the interaction with medication. It all boils down to how much of the substance makes its way to the bloodstream, which varies based on the method.

Sublingually

When taking CBD sublingually (under the tongue), a small amount enters the bloodstream through the mucous membranes. This method bypasses the digestive system, so more CBD enters the bloodstream than when taking CBD orally in the form of capsules or edibles.

Ingesting

Eating or drinking CBD also results in absorption through the digestive system. However, because it takes longer for the CBD to be broken down and enter the bloodstream, there is a greater risk of interactions with other drugs.

Inhaling

CBD that is inhaled reaches the bloodstream more quickly than when taken orally. This is because it bypasses the digestive system and enters the lungs, where it then diffuses into the bloodstream.

Topically

If you are applying CBD to your skin, the amount that enters the bloodstream is even less. This is because CBD only penetrates the top layer of skin and does not enter the bloodstream directly or in significant amounts.

In general, the more CBD you take, the greater the chance of drug interactions. This is because there is more CBD in your system that could potentially interact with other drugs.

To avoid potential drug interactions, it’s important to start with a low dose and increase slowly over time. This gives your body time to adjust and allows you to see how the CBD affects you.

CBD drug interactions: The bottom line

CBD is a relatively new compound, and more research is needed to understand how it may interact with other drugs in the body. However, there is some evidence to suggest that it can interact with a wide range of medications.

It’s important to be aware of the potential drug interactions and speak to your doctor before taking CBD. When starting out, start with a low dose and increase slowly over time.

If you are on any medications where it is advised that you avoid grapefruit, it is also recommended that you avoid taking CBD. This is because grapefruit inhibits the activity of the CYP450 enzymes in a similar way to CBD. Whilst more research is needed, it is best to exercise caution and avoid taking CBD if you are on any medication where grapefruit is contraindicated.

CBD may also have a time-related effect on other medications in your body. This is because it is mainly through the liver that CBD can interact with other medicines. Therefore, taking CBD simultaneously as other medications may increase or decrease the effects of those drugs.

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