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Take CBD With Rx Drugs?

Table of Contents

The FDA says CBD is a drug

Drug-to-drug interaction is something you and your doctor should discuss. Hundreds of published scientific articles have reported how CBD is effective, well tolerated and relatively safe. When you take CBD orally it usually has no effect on other Rx medications you are taking. There are rare occasions when CBD taken orally may increase or increase the blood levels of other Rx drugs.

Every body reacts differently

It certainly applies to all of cannabis (including CBD). You’ve likely experienced or heard someone say something like this: “But, we ate the same cannabis edible that we bought at the same dispensary together.  We took the same amount at the same time and even ate the same things for breakfast!  So, why is my twin brother reacting so differently than me?” 

Cannabinoids are molecules and are arguably a drug. Due to how chemicals interact, almost every substance, including CBD, will interact with other chemicals. This is why the one-size-fits-all practice of prescribing, dispensing and ingesting medicines is fraught with danger, which is why choosing a cannabis-educated doctor as your primary care doctor gives you the best of both wellness worlds: cannabinoid and pharmaceutical medicines.

Side effects can happen

It’s highly unlikely anyone finds anything good about side effects; at best maybe they tolerate them.  They’re not caused by bad luck, bad timing or bad manufacturing practices; they’re almost exclusively caused by how your unique genetics (your metabolism) responds to chemicals (aka, molecules) when they pass through your liver. And side effects can occur all by themselves when taking a drug (or, compound), and also when you have two or more drugs in your bloodstream at the same time.

CBD is powerful!

While CBD is not psychotropic (ie, like THC give you a feeling of euphoria or being high) it can also reduce, increase or have no identifiable effect when taken at the same time someone has certain prescribed drugs in their bloodstream at the same time. This interaction occurs throughout our many receptors throughout our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS).  But first, it changes what happens in our liver’s cytochrome P450; which is a group of liver enzymes responsible for breaking down drugs and toxins which enter our bodies through our mouth. By inhibiting the activity of this enzyme, CBD can temporarily deactivate its activity, which can alter how other compounds are metabolized; which means that what you (and your physician who prescribes a medicine) expect to happen (e.g., treat favorably your medical condition) might not happen!

There are very many details to consider when taking any drug orally, and they include risks of: bleeding, sedatives, seizures, chemotherapy, to name a few. This is not to say that it happens frequently, because it does not; but….are you prepared to take this risk?


If you’re taking CBD and Rx drugs

Here’s an explanation that should tell you a lot about what to expect when taking CBD when you have one or more Rx drugs in your bloodstream at the same time:

Grapefruit juice interacts with drugs in very much the same way that CBD does — by changing/restricting the cytochrome p450 enzymes, which process everything which goes through our liver. The difference is that grapefruit juice is more commonly referenced on medication labels as a warning to the doctor and pharmacist.

Since both grapefruit juice and CBD can inhibit the metabolic process quite the same, it’s logical that any drug or medication that is advised not to be consumed with grapefruit juice, should also not be consumed with CBD; lest you expose yourself to possible problems.

CBD and grapefruit react similarly

NOTE: If you click on any of the them you will be leaving the GoodFOR.us website:

Other Rx meds might interact

NOTE:  We strongly inform you that the above list does not include all drugs that can interact with grapefruit or CBD, and we also recommend that you consult with a cannabis-educated physician before taking CBD.

CBD topicals don’t interfere

We are unaware of any adverse drug reaction when someone applies CBD topically to their skin.

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