Can CBD be Mixed With Medications?

woman taking medication

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become quite popular due to its potential in easing symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and a whole range of other health concerns. And, although studies are ongoing to see the effectiveness of CBD, many individuals are continuing to try it.

To date, research shows CBD is generally safe, and doesn't come with many side effects. The few it does have are minor. However, there's still one caveat — it does have potential of interacting with certain medicines. And, this concern has much to do with how your body metabolizes different substances.

So, before you try CBD, it's important you consult with your doctor about all supplements, vitamins, and medications (OTC or prescription) you're taking. But, let's explore this further.

Does CBD Interact With Other Medications?

Some medications CBD have been shown to have the potential of interacting with are as follows:

  1. Medicines that the Liver Metabolizes

Since the liver also metabolizes CBD, it does tend to interfere with other medicines that are also being metabolized by the liver such as:

  • Blood thinners
  • Antidepressants
  • Seizure medications
  • Benzodiazepines

Researchers do suspect CBD might interact with a lot of medicines. Almost 60% of the medicines on the market are actually metabolized through a series of liver enzymes known as CYP450 (cytochrome P450). And, coincidentally, these are the same enzymes that break CBD down.

Prior research shows CBD is a potent CYP450 enzyme inhibitor, meaning if you take CBD while you're taking another medicine, it could block these crucial enzymes, and allow more of the medicine to flow through your body.

Take for example, benzodiazepines such as Ativan or Xanax, which help to treat anxiety. If you take CBD while you're using one of these medications, it can increase the side effects, possibly causing you to feel more drowsy and sedated. In certain rare cases, combining these could also interfere with your respiratory system, or become toxic.

  1. Supplements and Herbs with Sedative Properties

CBD could cause drowsiness or sleepiness. If you use it along with supplements or herbs that produce the same effect, it may cause too much sleepiness. Some of these supplements and herbs include:

  • Catnip
  • Calamus
  • Kava
  • California poppy
  • Melatonin
  • Skullcap
  • L-tryptophan
  • Jamaican dogwood
  • Hops
  • Sassafras
  • SAMe
  • Sage
  1. Medicines with Grapefruit Warnings

Medicines with grapefruit warnings are also probably likely to interact with CBD. But, even if you're taking one of these medicines, your physician may be able to come up with a treatment plan where you can take CBD as long as you're being closely monitored.

Can You Safely Try CBD While Taking Medicine?

The best advice here is if you want to try CBD to supplement your current medicine to ease symptoms of a particular condition, just speak with your doctor first. Always consult with your doctor first.

Your doctor might be able to help you determine if CBD is safe to take with your current medicine, and come up with a schedule and dosage you should follow. For some scenarios, your physician might wish to monitor your levels of blood plasma of certain medicines you take.

Never stop taking your current medicine to try CBD, unless you've been directed to do so by your doctor, and they say its safe.

Keep in mind there are other CBD options such as:

  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Salves

Topicals don't usually enter your bloodstream like edibles, oils and vaping methods do. Just be sure they're not a transdermal solution that's made to do so.

Side Effects to Watch For

If you're taking medication and you try CBD, it's essential you pay attention to any possible changes in how CBD or your medication is affecting you.

Some side effects you should watch for are:

  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Breakthrough seizures
  • Decreased effectiveness of your medication
  • Changes in weight or appetite

Remember, the only CBD product actually approved at the moment by the FDA is Epidiolex, and it's only available by prescription. If you buy anything that's not FDA-approved, the product could come with risks, and some of the products' quality assurance is questionable. You'll want to do your research, and check to see if the products are lab tested and certified.

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One of the greatest things about CBD pillows is they provide you with microdoses of CBD over a lengthy time period. So, rather than having the effects wear off after several hours of taking, say a CBD gummy, you can rest or sleep comfortably throughout the night while the pillow continues doing its job.

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