CBD, or cannabidiol, has become incredibly popular in recent years. After the production of industrial hemp was legalized in the United States, CBD products became readily available in big box stores and even local pharmacies. But how do you know that it is safe for you to take CBD?
CBD is one of many naturally occurring compounds — known as cannabinoids — found in the cannabis plant. Like anything else that you may ingest, CBD has the potential to interact with other medications, supplements and substances. That is why it is critical to consult with your doctor before adding anything new to your diet.
Research on how CBD interacts with particular drugs is still ongoing. A good rule of thumb when it comes to CBD is to avoid taking it if your medicine has a “grapefruit warning.” If your doctor does give the green light for you to use CBD, be sure to shop for high quality products through a trusted source — such as Green Wellness Life.
How CBD May Interact with Certain Drugs
When you ingest any substance, whether it is a prescription medication, street drug, supplement, over-the-counter medicine, or alcohol, your body must metabolize it. This is the process of breaking down the substance. Drug metabolism happens throughout the body, but primarily occurs in the liver.
Our body makes specific enzymes, cytochrome P450 (CYP450) that convert foreign substances so that they can be eliminated from the body. Certain medications or substances may affect CYP450, by slowing down or speeding up the metabolism of drugs. This can change how your body processes medications, supplements, and other substances.
CYP450 is a broader term for a group of enzymes responsible for metabolizing drugs and other substances. The enzyme CYP3A4 is responsible for metalizing several cannabinoids, including CBD. When CYP34A processes CBD, it may interfere with the enzyme’s ability to process other substances.
This is important because CYP34A is responsible for metabolizing approximately 60% of the medications that we take. When CBD inhibits the work of this enzyme, it may not be able to effectively metabolize other medications. Similarly, many medications inhibit CYP34A, making it more difficult for your body to process CBD.
The end result is that medications — or CBD — may not work in the way that they are supposed to, or produce the intended result. If the medication is metabolized too slowly, it may remain in your system for longer than it should, causing side effects. If it is metabolized too quickly, then it may not have a chance to work properly. This is known as a drug interaction.
Which Drugs May Interact with CBD?
Research is still ongoing on how CBD may affect certain drugs. Several studies on the interaction between certain epilepsy medications and CBD found that CBD may increase the levels of clobazam and desmethlyclobazam in patients’ bodies. If you are on any anti-epileptic medication, check with your doctor about whether it is safe to take CBD.
One method that you may use to avoid an interaction between CBD and your medications is to avoid CBD if your medicine has what is known as a “grapefruit warning.” Consuming grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and similar citrus fruits while taking certain medications can cause a higher concentration of those drugs in your system. This may lead to unwanted side effects, or even an overdose.
There are more than 85 drugs that are known to interact with grapefruit, pomelos, tangelos, and Seville oranges. The chemicals in these fruits are known to inhibit CYP34A, just as CBD does. For this reason, if you shouldn’t eat grapefruit while on a particular medicine, then you should also avoid CBD.
There are broad categories of drugs that are known to interact with grapefruit — and may also interact with CBD, including:
- blood thinners
- medications that treat cancer
- antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
- blood pressure medications
- medications to lower cholesterol
- erectile dysfunction medicines
- prostate medications
- GI medications, such as to treat GERD or nausea
- heart rhythm medications
- mood medications, such as to treat anxiety, depression, or mood disorders
- pain medications
If your medication falls into one of these classes, check the label or packaging for a grapefruit warning. Some specific medicines within these groups may not have a known negative interaction with grapefruit. If you have any questions, consult with your doctor.
Should I Take CBD?
CBD is considered to be safe, with few side effects. However, you should talk to your doctor first if you are considering trying CBD to alleviate symptoms of a condition or experience the overall general wellness benefits.
Your healthcare provider can help you determine if it is safe to take CBD in conjunction with your current medications. They may even order blood work to make sure that you are getting the proper levels of medication while taking CBD. Depending on their experience with CBD, your physician may also be able to suggest a particular product, serving size, or schedule for taking CBD.
If you are currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications for any medical or mental health condition, do not stop taking them in order to try CBD. Consult with your doctor about using CBD, how it may interact with your medications, and only stop these medicines if your doctor says that it is safe to do so.
You may also ask your doctor about using topical CBD products, which typically do not enter the bloodstream. A CBD lotion, cream, or salve applied to an affected area may be a way to take advantage of the benefits of CBD without it affecting how your body processes your other medicines. Keep in mind that topical products that are designed to be transdermal, like some CBD patches, may still cause an interaction.
How to Buy CBD from a Trusted Source
If you have talked to your doctor about using CBD, and are confident that it will not negatively affect the medications that you take, you may be ready to take the next step. But with so many CBD products on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. We are here to help.
At Green Wellness Life, we only offer independently tested CBD products made from hemp grown in the United States. You can trust the quality of the CBD that we sell — and verify it yourself by reviewing test results. To learn more about CBD or for assistance with selecting a product that is right for you, reach out today at 888-772-7875, or email us at any time.
Tried & True CBD Products To Consider
While we are always here to help you select the right CBD product for you, we also wanted to include some of our favorite products for your consideration. If you’re new to CBD the sheer number of brands and types of products available can be overwhelming. We’ve selected a few favorites based on our own experiences and the experiences and feedback provided by our customers.
Papa & Barkley’s Releaf CBD Drops combine the benefits of full spectrum CBD with a delicious lemongrass ginger flavor. The tincture is easy to take, which makes it great to work into a daily routine. The drops are also produced using a whole plant infusion process, which allows your body to metabolize the cannabinoids faster.
WYLD CBD Gummies are delicious edibles designed for snackers. The gummies contain broad spectrum CBD combined with real fruit. There are no artificial flavors or coloring and the gummies come in two different flavors: lemon and raspberry. We’ve tried a lot of gummies and we feel WYLD gummies are hands down some of the best tasting CBD gummies available.
Endoca’s whipped body butter adds a smooth, moisturizing texture to your skin. It’s great for targeted pain relief, workout recovery, burn relief, and relief from skin irritation or inflammation. The body butter may be able to help with acne, eczema, psoriasis, and a number of other skin-related conditions.
Social’s CBD Patch is a transdermal patch, which means it does get absorbed into the body. The patch is high-strength and comes in 20 and 60mg CBD options. CBD from the patch is released over 12 to 24 hours, which allows you to earn the calm and relaxing effects of CBD over a decent duration of time. It can provide targeted relief in the general area where it is applied.
For more product recommendations or to learn more about CBD and what it can do for you, do not hesitate to call 888-772-7875, press the live chat button, or fill out a contact form to speak with one of our CBD product experts.