CBD is generally safe and has few to no side effects. However, because of the way your body, specifically drug-metabolizing enzymes in your liver, metabolizes CBD, it can potentially interact with some prescription medications.
Please contact our SETI consultant's on stand by with any questions. Always seek medical advice for anything health related.
Why Does Metabolism Matter?
When food enters the body, it has to be broken down into individual compounds. For example, if you eat a piece of pizza, the carbohydrates in the crust will be broken down into sugars. The proteins in the cheese and meat contribute amino acids, and the fats provide triglycerides. With the help of enzymes, the body then transforms these compounds into building blocks and fuel for the body.
Like food, any therapeutic compound that you ingest has to be broken down. This includes CBD and prescription medications.
CBD can change the way your body processes certain medications by either promoting the enzymatic activity or through a competitive inhibitory effect.
CBD may influence any therapeutic compound broken down by the CYP family of enzymes. Some drugs may break down more slowly, which could increase side effects or in extreme cases cause an overdose. Other drugs may metabolize more quickly, which makes them less effective.
Your doctor can address both situations by adjusting your dosage and through close monitoring of medication levels in your system. It is wise to consult your physician before adding CBD.
The Grapefruit Warning
One quick way to know that your medication may interact with CBD is the grapefruit warningin the insert. Like CBD, grapefruit, Seville oranges, tangelos, and pomelos can disrupt the normal function of CYPs. More than 85 drugs interact with grapefruit.
Here are some medications that commonly contain a grapefruit warning or that are likely to interact with CBD:
Angiotensin II blockers
Anxiety, Depression, and other mood disorder medications
Blood pressure medications
Calcium channel blockers
Erectile dysfunction medications
Heart rhythm medications
HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
Immunosuppressant and Immune modulators
Oral hypoglycemic agents
Not all medications that may potentially interact with CBD are on this list, nor will every category of drugs listed cause an interaction. The best plan is to tell your prescribing doctor you plan to take CBD.
CBD and Side Effects
CBD may specifically increase side effects in a few common drugs. They include:
Antidepressants like fluoxetine or Prozac.
Medications that may cause drowsiness like antipsychotics and benzodiazepines
Heart medications, including some calcium channel blockers.
Macrolide antibiotics, such as clarithromycin and erythromycin.
If you have added CBD to existing medications, symptoms to watch for include drowsiness, nausea, breakthrough seizures, fatigue, or diarrhea.
Alcohol and CBD
In the human body, a few different metabolic pathways break down alcohol. One of them is in the same CYP family as the enzymes that process CBD.
For individuals who drink occasionally, other pathways will metabolize the alcohol entirely, and there should be no interaction with CBD.
However, people who drink heavily or chronically are overloading the primary metabolic pathways used to process alcohol. Their bodies will need to use the CYP enzymes in their liver to assist with the overload.
However, CBD interacts with many systems in the body and is metabolized by the same liver enzymes as many medications. If you are older, have liver damage, or are taking medicine for a health condition, consult your doctor before adding CBD to your regime.