If you are thinking about taking CBD oil regularly and you’re also on prescription medications, it’s essential to ask the question: “What drugs should not be taken with CBD?”
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active agent in the cannabis plant, a cannabinoid that, unlike THC, doesn’t cause a “high,” and produces no effects that lead to abuse or dependence. There has been no evidence that the use of pure CBD, when taken by itself, causes any health-related issues. But that doesn’t mean CBD oil is for everyone, or that there aren’t potential side effects that need to be considered when mixing CBD and prescription medicine.
There are many substances that we consume on a daily basis that can interact with medications, including alcohol, caffeine, and grapefruit juice. Similarly, CBD has been shown to have an effect on the efficacy of certain drugs. In this article, to help you along in your research, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most common medications that could potentially interact with CBD.
It’s important to note here that you should always consult your doctor before deciding to take CBD oil, particularly if you’re on other medications or have underlying medical conditions such as heart issues, epilepsy, or kidney or liver disease.
And don’t forget the time-tested motto for cannabis consumption: “Start low and go slow.”
How Does CBD Work in the Body?
Without getting too technical, the reason that CBD can interact with other medications is that it inhibits an enzyme in the liver that regulates how a person metabolizes both pharmaceuticals and herbal supplements. This can have the unintended consequences of slowing or speeding up the metabolization process, leading to either too much, or too little, of the medication in your bloodstream, which could then create unwanted or even harmful side effects.
What Medications Interact with CBD?
The general rule of thumb is to avoid combining CBD and pharmaceuticals if the medication has a “grapefruit warning” on the label. This may include blood thinners, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, antimicrobials, and even cholesterol and erectile dysfunction medications. Among the most common medications cited for their interaction with CBD oil include:
- Warfarin (blood thinner)
- Amiodarone (heart rhythm medicine)
- Levothyroxine (thyroid medicine)
- Clobazam (anti-seizure)
CBD Oil and Antidepressants: What Are the CBD Interactions With SSRI Drugs?
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are commonly used to treat depression. Because CBD inhibits the hepatic enzyme CYP2D6, which metabolizes SSRI antidepressants, the serum concentrations in the blood may be higher for longer periods of time, leading to possibly unpleasant side effects. One study in which CBD interactions with SSRI drugs were tested showed a synergistic or “additive” mechanism, by which the combination of CBD oil and antidepressants showed an increase in the drug's antidepressant effects.
CBD Oil and Tramadol: How Does CBD Interact With Painkillers?
Tramadol is an opioid agonist, used to treat moderate to severe pain by binding to pain receptors in the body. As with all painkillers, there are potential interactions with CBD. Specifically, because CBD can have side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, and dry mouth, these symptoms might be greatly increased when CBD oil and Tramadol or other painkillers are combined. Other reported side effects include:
- Dizziness and confusion
- Excessive drowsiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired thinking and judgment
If you are considering taking CBD, check out our extensive selection of CBD oils, gummies, and topicals. And if you want to learn more about any of our products, contact My Health Etc. to chat with an experienced and helpful team member!