Does CBD Affect Other Medications
A good 60% of people take CBD to help with a medical issue.
The common ones are:
- Blood pressure
Needless to say, these issues also have lots of medications associated with them.
We won't get into the side effects of many of those meds (insomnia, stroke, communicating with animal spirits, etc).
What we do need to talk about is whether taking CBD will affect how those medications are processed.
This is very important and there's a way to address it.
It all comes down to our liver!
Let's take a look.
Can CBD interact with other medications?
Depending on how that medication is processed by the body (more on that below).
The body has certain pathways by which it metabolizes or breaks things down.
Those pathways have finite resources.
They can only process so much at a time.
If CBD happens to use the same pathway as another medication, it will affect how well each is absorbed and used by the body.
In some cases, the other medication may not reach its full level in the bloodstream.
In other cases, it might be stronger than intended.
This primarily comes down to our processor in chief...the liver!
Let's look at this in more detail.
How is CBD metabolized
CBD is primarily processed by the liver.
The liver is in charge of many chemical transformations in our body.
Essentially, it breaks down things we ingest (primarily) and breaks them down into smaller pieces we can actually use within the body.
CBD is no different.
The liver also has a protective role in clearing out foreign or excess chemicals that we ingest.
Your poor liver gets the fun job of quickly breaking down alcohol and fat for example.
Most of this gets rendered down and excreted by the liver.
We'll talk about how to take advantage of this aspect later to maximize the amount of CBD that can actually be used by the body.
Let's look at the specific pathway before turning to the medications most affected by CBD.
CBD and P450 liver pathway
It's called the P450 pathway in the liver.
It's a pretty major thoroughfare.
Many medications use this same pathway as CBD.
Here's the deal.
When we take CBD orally, the P450 pathway is going to be busy processing it.
This means it can't get to other "packages" waiting for processing.
This could be certain medications.
Some (probably most) medications are given in doses expecting that the liver will break them down at a certain rate.
If the liver is busy with CBD, these medications may be at a higher level than intended and for a longer period of time than intended.
Also, some medications need the P450 pathway to make it's core ingredients actually usable by the body.
In this case, less of the intended medication amount will make it into the body.
Both cases can affect the effectiveness of the medication.
Also, CBD's natural effect may mirror or counter the intended result of a medication.
A known side effect of CBD can be lower blood pressure.
If you're taking a medication to lower or raise blood pressure (yes, the later actually exists), that can affect results.
Let's look at those drugs and then we'll address how to best handle this.
What drugs should not be taken with CBD
Many popular medications use the P450 liver pathway.
You can see a list of the medications here:
There are very common medications for blood pressure, antiobiotics, antidepressants, and you name it!
Make sure to look at the list and make sure to check with your prescribing doctor regarding CBD use in conjunctions with your meds.
He/she will be impressed when you drop the P450 pathway!
If they don't know what you're talking about, RUN don't walk.
Interestingly, many people are on multiple meds.
Many of those might affect how each other is processed in the same P450 pathway mentioned above.
That's one of the issues with multiple meds and their interactions!
How do we use this information to get the most out of CBD and be safer?
When's the best time to take CBD if you have medications
Here's the general rule of thumb.
Try to take CBD at least 2 hours away from other medications.
As we mentioned in our Best Time to Take CBD article, we ideally want to take CBD after meals and our fattiest meal if possible.
Why is this? Why a fatty meal?
The liver has to break down fat.
If it's busy managing that, more CBD can slip through and actually go to work in the body!
You can learn all about taking CBD with food here.
We just want to make sure to take the CBD at least 2 hours away from medication.
We're going to need a scheduler!