CBD and Drug Interactions

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A frequent question asked and at times can turn into a very heated debate is the topic of CBD and drug interactions. How it becomes a serious debate is that CBD is from a natural plant therefore there should be no drug interactions with it. Although CBD is safe to take, just like all plants, it is the chemicals and enzymes contained in the plant that helps it live and grow that can interfere with chemicals and enzymes in supplements and prescription medications. So let’s see why and what would cause drug interactions with CBD…. But first let us take a brief walk.


Regardless if it is grown naturally, there is always a chance natural supplements will not vibe together with other supplements and or medications due to their enzymes and or chemical makeup. Take for example a well-known supplement Ginkgo Biloba. Gingko Biloba is a putrid-smelling nut of a female tree grown in Asia. It is the terpenoids (naturally organic chemical) that is in this nut that produces a blood-thinning effect. Gingko Biloba, if taken with an anticoagulant medication (blood-thinners), can cause the anticoagulant from doing its job preventing clots in the blood. Therefore using Ginkgo Biloba with any blood-thinning medication is strictly prohibited. Just like Gingko Biloba, are you ready for this? Grapefruit, yes folks I said grapefruit and no I have not lost my mind. Grapefruit has an enzyme that can interfere with cardiovascular medications. It is due to the grapefruits enzyme that causes more or less of the medication to be released into the blood stream which can result in serious even dangerous side effects. That is why you will see warning labels stating not to consume grapefruit while taking certain medications. These are just a few examples of medications that can be effected by any natural source. To find out how this drug interaction starts and works let’s look at how our body process the medications we take.


Most medications we take are metabolized by our liver. Talk about taking one for the team, GO LIVER. The liver is the main site for the metabolization of medications that enter our body. Metabolizing medications properly, involves various enzymes in the body. As harsh as some medications can be to our organs and our body, how does the liver do it? With a little help from, its enzyme friend CYP3A4.


No, it is not another Star Wars character, much like R2D2 was to C3PO, without this important enzyme, the liver could not do what it needs to do. Cytochrome P450 also known as CYP3A4, is an enzyme not only found in the liver, but is also present in the intestines and various organs in the body. Cytochrome (CYP) is one of the largest classes of drug-metabolizing enzymes in the body. It is from a super-family of enzymes that metabolizes 60-80 % of all medications we take. Cytochrome (CYP) plays an important role in our body’s hormone synthesis, by removing foreign substances from the body by process of elimination.


Natural supplements that share a common pathway of enzymes and or chemicals have a potential for drug interactions by altering the body’s response to medications. It can either increase or decrease the effect of the medications. Much like the grapefruit, CBD also has the same CYP3A4 enzyme in its chemistry make up. As a matter a fact, the enzyme CYP3A4 is more potent in CBD than in grapefruit. Therefor it is in the best interest to avoid CBD if any of your medications have a grapefruit warning on the label.


As we mentioned earlier this is a very touchy subject. Although CBD is safe it still has that chemistry make up that does not play well with other medications. So please consult with your medical provider or a provider that has knowledge of CBD to make sure that you do not have a drug interaction while taking CBD as your wellness regimen along with your medications. So what are your thoughts on this subject?

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