CBD and Drug Interactions

CBD and Drug Interactions

Research to date shows that CBD is generally safe. However, not enough is known about potentially dangerous interactions when mixing CBD with other drugs.

Before trying CBD, it is important that you talk with a health professional about all of the different prescriptions and other medications you may be taking (including vitamins and supplements). If you don't have access to a health professional, make sure you do your research!

Why it matters:

All drugs you ingest are metabolized by your body. This magical process that our bodies go through, scientists know, is regulated by a family of enzymes called cytochromes P450 (or CYP450). We also know that these enzymes are responsible for metabolizing a large percentage of prescribed, pharmaceutical drugs.1-4 and that CBD can interfere with this process. This interaction between drugs can sometimes lead to metabolizing more or less of the desired medication, causing undesired side-effects. This is true whether you are taking CBD or any other drug. Because of this, consumers should be cognizant of the chemical make-up of all the ingredients in the CBD products they purchase.

If you are considering CBD and are taking other drugs, we always recommend you talk to your doctor first. They would be the best qualified to understand the inner workings of these systems and how the different drugs you are taking may or may not interact. If you are concerned about drug-drug interactions, you might try a topical option. Topicals are not metabolized since they don't enter the bloodstream. These can also be a very effective way of using CBD.

  1. Zanger UM, Schwab M. Cytochrome P450 enzymes in drug metabolism: regulation of gene expression, enzyme activities, and impact of genetic variation. Pharmacol Ther. 2013;138(1):103-41.
  2. Michiru Nagao, Yukako Nakano, Masataka Tajima, Erika Sugiyama, Vilasinee Hirunpanich Sato, Makoto Inada, and Hitoshi Sato.Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.ahead of print http://doi.org/10.1089/can.2019.0098
  3. Yamaori S, Ebisawa J, Okushima Y, Yamamoto I, Watanabe K. Potent inhibition of human cytochrome P450 3A isoforms by cannabidiol: role of phenolic hydroxyl groups in the resorcinol moiety. Life Sci. 2011;88(15-16):730-6.
  4. World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-review Report Agenda Item 5.2 and Peer Review. World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2017. Google Scholar
  5. Yamaori, S., Koeda, K., Kushihara, M., Hada, Y., Yamamoto, I., & Watanabe, K. (2012). Comparison in the In Vitro Inhibitory Effects of Major Phytocannabinoids and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Contained in Marijuana Smoke on Cytochrome P450 2C9 Activity. Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, 27(3), 294–300. doi:10.2133/dmpk.dmpk-11-rg-107 

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