CBD is one of the most popular treatment options at the moment. There are a lot of people who are turning to it due to its effectiveness. Additionally, CBD is cheap and its side effects are minimal. However, there have been reports regarding CBD Drug Interactions. There is a possibility of this compound slowing down or increasing the metabolism of certain drugs. But how does this happen? Well, let’s find out more about this here.


A Breakdown CBD

CBD or cannabidiol is a compound that’s found in the cannabis plant. It’s popular for its numerous health benefits. As one of the most used compounds from the cannabis hemp plant, CBD is highly effective. The nonpsychoactive compound has a wide range of health properties. What makes it a great source of alternative medicine isn’t not only its properties but also trace THC levels?

Does CBD Interacts With Other Medications?

Although CBD might possess many health benefits, it can interact with other medications. CBD acts just like grapefruit. This is why physicians usually advise patients to avoid eating grapefruit a short moment before or after taking a medication.

CBD may increase the activity or slow down how the concentration of medication in the blood. That’s why it’s highly advisable for you to consult your physician first before using CBD. This is particularly beneficial if you are using prescription medications.

How CBD Does Interacts With Other Medications?

When CBD interacts with certain medications, it will certainly lead to side effects. CBD interaction with different drugs usually happens because of the metabolism process. When you take a medication, the body needs to metabolize it i.e. break it down. While the metabolism of drugs happens throughout the body, the liver plays a crucial part. This organ contains the CYP450 enzyme that converts foreign substances for easier elimination.

But when you take certain substances, they affect the effectiveness of CYP450. These substances may either accelerate or slow down how this family of enzymes work. As a result, there will be a significant change in the rate of metabolism. This eventually affects how the body processes medications. This process is what is known as “drug interaction.”

It should be noted that CYP450 enzymes normally metabolize cannabinoids including CBD. CYP3A4 is an enzyme that belongs to the CYP450 family. It’s responsible for handling this specific task. But during the process of metabolism, CBD also interferes with CYP3A4. It’s important to note that CYP3A4 also metabolizes almost 60% of clinical drugs. So, when you take CBD while on certain drugs, the CYP3A4 enzyme will get inhibited. So, it will fail to effectively work and break down medications.

On the other hand, there are certain drugs that can also inhibit the function of this enzyme. This means that if you take CBD while you are on these drugs, then you won’t experience the full benefits of CBD.

Either way, a slow or faster metabolism of these drugs are harmful to the body. For instance, a slow metabolism means that you will end up with a higher drug concentration in your system. Meanwhile, a faster metabolism means that the effects of the medication will end up getting depleted much faster. So, you will fail the gain any benefit.

Note: To ensure that you avoid drug interactions, kindly consult with your doctor first.

CBD and Cytochrome P450

The Cytochrome P450 is what doctors depend on when calculating appropriate medication dosages. This is usually done by finding the average amount of time that it will take for drugs and medications to be processed by this system.

For instance, if a drug is being processed and this system is healthy, then the average will provide the best dosage information. However, the ability of this system to function optimally can be affected by certain substances.

CBD can impact how the Cytochrome P450 system metabolizes medications. This can lead to an overall increase or decrease in the processing times. Depending on the type of effect, the inhibition can result in an overdose or underdose of the drug in the body.

Drugs that Interacts with Cannabidiol

Drugs that are metabolized by CPY450 enzymes can interact with CBD. There are several types of these drugs and the most common ones include:

Blood Thinners

CBD has the potential of increasing the effects of blood thinners like warfarin. A study by Grayson et al. indicates there is an interaction between these two substances. This usually leads to high levels of warfarin in the body, resulting in higher effects of the blood thinner. If you are using warfarin, then make sure that you monitor INR levels.


More than 12% of Americans from age 12 and above use antidepressants. This is according to the CDC. The most commonly used antidepressants are Sarafem and Prozac for depression. These drugs are SSRIs. So, they can help treat anxiety, bulimia, and OCD as well.

Because of the effectiveness of CBD in treating these conditions as well, patients might decide to use them together. However, CBD can significantly increase the amount of these antidepressants in the body. Although the side effects are rare, it can result in hypomania. This is a mild form of mania.


There are millions of people worldwide who suffer from HIV/AIDS. The most appropriate medication used to manage HIV/AIDS is ARV. Note that HIV usually weakens the immune system. On the other hand, those who use CBD believe that it can help to boost the immune system. Some patients may, therefore, decide to use these drugs concurrently. But due to interactions, CBD can increase the level of serum concentration. This will cause unwanted side effects.

The Bottom Line

There is doubt that CBD is one of the best sources of alternative medications. You can use it to treat various health conditions. However, you need to exercise caution. This is because it normally interacts with certain drugs. As a result, it can worsen your health condition. So, before using it, make sure that you first consult with your doctor.

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