CBD and Drug Interactions: What You Need to Know

CBD and Drug Interactions: What You Need to Know

Posted by Kyle Burton on

CBD can heal and treat, but it also has the potential to interact with other products such as other herbal products, OTC, and prescription medicines. Some medications, especially those prescribed by a doctor, shouldn’t be used in conjunction with CBD at all. On some occasions, the use of certain medications together will need to be monitored, modified, or reduced in dose to prevent these interactions. 

CBD Can Change How Your Body Processes Medications

While studies are ongoing, Cannabidiol or CBD has gained popularity in easing specific debilitating symptoms found in anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and other health conditions. 

Research has proven that CBD is primarily safe for consumption and has very little chance of harmful side effects. However, CBD might have the potential to interact negatively with other medications.

Before you try CBD, it’s good to be aware that you should discuss supplements, vitamins, and other meds with your doctor and healthcare professionals. CBD continues to be studied closely and has shown signs that it can change how your body processes certain substances. 

Related: 5 Best CBD Muscle Rubs

Drug Metabolism and CYP450 Enzymes

CYP450 Enzymes are responsible for metabolizing many different cannabinoids in your body’s system, like CBD. Many enzymes are members of the CYP450 family. Such as the enzyme CYP3A4, which is in charge of metabolizing over 50 percent of clinically prescribed medications you take. So if you take CBD, it might inhibit the CYP3A4. This interaction will then affect how the body breaks down these things in your system. 

Many prescription drugs inhibit CYP3A4. If you then add CBD into the mix, your body won’t effectively process the CBD. You may experience bouts of more medications getting into your system at one time or even metabolizing a medication too slowly and not getting relief. As these levels increase or decrease, your system could fall victim to unwanted or dangerous side effects.

Why does CYP450 matter when mixing CBD and medications?

Research has discovered over 65 different molecular targets in CBD. Some of them rely on receptors in our bodies to work properly, and this is how we reap all those CBD benefits. CBD can help modulate the endocannabinoid system, which is a prominent network in all of our bodies. 

CBD affects a variety of enzymes in our regulatory network, especially those in the liver. CYP450 enzymes are metabolized by this organ and play an essential part in how our bodies metabolize anything we ingest. Metabolizing something too fast or not receiving enough of any medication in your system affects the treatment and outcome

Metabolism is often thought of as a way to gain or lose weight. But it is so much more. In simple terms, when you eat, your liver breaks it down into individual compounds so they can be effectively utilized throughout the body. The metabolism is controlled by chemicals known as enzymes, which the body uses for many purposes.

Trying CBD safely while taking medications.

Trying CBD as an add-on treatment has proven to ease symptoms and promote overall good health. A doctor might even have to closely monitor blood plasma levels and the number of drugs in your bloodstream in certain situations. Here are some quick tips on how to incorporate CBD safely into your daily routine:

  • Don’t stop taking or add new medications before first talking with your healthcare professionals
  • Application: Try CBD product alternatives like ointments, lotions, and creams
  • Give CBD time and a chance to work 
  • Research: Be aware of everything you take and eat, and watch out for possible drug interactions
  • Look for CBD products made with locally grown pure organic hemp
  • Always start with a lower dosage and work up

Related: Legs Sore After Squats? How to Recover Fast

Herbal Ice offers organic CBD in its pain relief cream. Shop now.

Potential drug interactions

Look for the Grapefruit Warning

Look out for a grapefruit warning. You can follow one solid rule: Avoid CBD if you take medications with this warning. These types of warnings are common when dealing with several kinds of medicines. Check your medication list, scan your insert information, or ask your doctor if your medication has a grapefruit warning

There are other citrus fruits to watch out for, such as oranges, tangelos, and pomelos. There are almost 100 known drugs that possibly interact with grapefruit and these other citrus products. 


SCIENCE! Specific chemicals in these fruits known as furanocoumarins inhibit CYP3A4, resulting in a slow down of metabolization. Also, it can lead to overly high concentrations of medicines in your bloodstream at one time.

Current Research on Interactions Between CBD and Medications

Research is still ongoing, so scientists are still determining whether CBD causes interactions with other medications. A study of 25 children with epilepsy was recently treated with both seizure medicines and CBD. The research discovered that there were elevated levels of prescription drugs when taken with CBD. Luckily, this was still a safe limit, but it needed to be closely monitored by a professional.

In another study, adults were given their regular medicines and an increased dose of CBD. With this addition, they started to show drug levels going outside the normal therapeutic range. These studies, in short, proved that CBD could affect the levels of medications in your system, even when taking the correct dose. 

Related: Can Straighten Your Arms After a Workout? Here’s What to do.


Suppose you decide that taking CBD with your morning medicinal routine is right for you. It is vital to keep your eye out for any changes in your day or how you feel throughout the day. Always check with professionals if you feel extra drowsy, nauseous, tired, or experience changes in weight or appetite. However, a quality CBD product could be a significant game-changer to your life, and the benefits list is growing every day. 

The soothing touch of CBD can provide you with a great alternative to fast-acting pain relief with little to no interactions. Shop Herbal Ice today for premium CBD relief. 

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