If you’re interested in CBD but also regularly take either prescription or over-the-counter medications, you’re probably wondering: Can CBD oil interact with medications? And the answer is yes, though it’s not quite as simple as you might think.
Many of the substances that you may consume in day to day living can interact with medications that you’re taking. These include alcohol, caffeine, grapefruit juice, and even cheese. So the question is less “does CBD interact with other medications?” and more “are those interactions something to be worried about?”
CBD oil is commonly used for medicinal purposes, so it’s important that you examine how it might interact with other drugs that you take. CBD oil and antidepressants, for example, can result in amplified side effects from the antidepressant, though there is not much research that has looked into this and it’s thought that newer classes of antidepressants have less of an interaction with CBD oil than older ones.
The reason that CBD interactions with other drugs are even on the radar is because of how CBD works in the body. When you consume CBD—as an oil, food additive, and so on—your body inhibits the cytochrome P450, an enzyme in the liver that regulates how you metabolize drugs. Other medications in your system, such as the aforementioned antidepressants, may then take longer to pass through your system; hence the idea that CBD enhances side effects.
Any drug that passes through your liver requires cytochrome P450 to metabolize and thus can be affected by the consumption of CBD oil. This applies not just to pharmaceuticals, but also herbs and supplements. For this reason, it’s always recommended that you take inventory of all of the substances you currently take before adding CBD oil to the mix.
CBD as a Natural Alternative to some Medications
There is good news in all of this, which is that in some cases interactions can be avoided by using CBD oil as a natural alternative to the substance that you are concerned about interactions with. CBD’s benefits may provide many of the same benefits that people seek to get from other drugs, including anxiety relief, pain relief, and nausea relief. And in most cases, it is a safer alternative, with less inherent side effects.
If you are interested in using CBD alongside other medications, have an open conversation with your doctor about it and check back in with them regularly so that they can monitor how you’re doing.