CBD & Other Medications

Updated: Oct 19

Are there any known negative interactions between CBD and other medications? As with so many issues in the CBD industry, there is not enough research out there to give a specific answer.  In addition, we ALWAYS ask that you consult a physician if you have concerns about supplementing with cannabidiol (CBD) especially when taking medications regularly.  The most common drug interaction that is known is a result of CBD acting as an inhibitor of the enzyme CYP 450 or cytochrome P 450. What does this mean? In most cases, it means that cannabidiol is blocking the enzyme that breaks down other medications in the liver and therefore more of that medication can make it into the bloodstream.    This is commonly called the “grapefruit rule” as citrus fruits do the same thing as CBD, inhibit the enzyme CYP 450 from breaking down other medications in the liver. 


Things to consider -- How best to dose CBD  –  Transdermal patches and creams go directly into the bloodstream. Therefore they can be more accurately dosed by surpassing the gastronomical first pass metabolism.   Be careful you’re not losing all the product to the first pass metabolism. You might need a lot less!  Where a liposoluble pill will yield approximately a 6-10 % absorption rate, a good transdermal product will yield a 90% absorption rate!   Topicals (not to be confused with transdermals) – These will not have a large systemic absorption rate, and if any, it will be very negligible.   CBD topicals are great for localized areas of discomfort without too much concern about interaction with other drugs.  Sublingual drops – Sublingual drops are a great way to supplement your body systemically with CBD.  The absorption rate of sublingual drops is approximately 40 – 60%.  However, we have heard of people touting macro doses, in some cases hundreds to over a thousand milligrams per day!  Without consultation with a medical professional, we are not supporters of these large doses. 

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Serving size of CBD - We are big on this here at Arcanum. Micro dosing CBD is more effective and your body will utilize the cannabinoids quicker and more efficiently.  Furthermore, there will be less interaction with the enzymes in your liver.   When you are dosing with CBD vs other medications – CBD metabolizes in approximately 4-6 hrs.  Spacing this out in between doses of pharmaceuticals could potentially cut down on the two interacting negatively.  If you’re treating something specific and trying CBD or cannabidiol therapy, talk to a medical professional about a serving size plan, keeping dosing methods in mind.  The common push back to the aforementioned statement is that Western medical professionals do not like to talk about a CBD.  Recently medical professionals have been forced to do some research on CBD due to the popularity of the supplement. While your doctor might not prescribe CBD, he or she should be learning about CBD especially when it comes to interactions with medications commonly prescribed in their specific expertise.  ​Until next time, Stay healthy, my friends! 

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