What Should You Know About Taking CBD Along with Prescription Medications?

By now a good majority of us know people who take CBD daily, and even swear by it. One of the biggest appeals that cannabidiol (CBD) has to offer is the fact that it’s totally natural. But, sometimes natural isn’t enough. Maybe you’re on a medication, and you’re wondering if it’s okay to incorporate CBD into your routine. Perhaps you’re an avid hemp user who isn’t sure whether or not they need to stop their daily routine in order to accommodate a newly prescribed drug. Well, allow us to share with you everything that we know.

Is CBD Toxic and Can I Overdose from It?
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. CBD is nontoxic to the human body. Why? Well, because cannabidiol is a “cannabinoid”, and cannabinoids feed the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS very cleverly stores excess levels of cannabinoids for later use rather than causing a toxic reaction. This is why there are no known cases of CBD overdose ever in history.

Can CBD Be Combined with Prescription Medications?
So, does CBD’s nontoxic status mean that it can be combined with any prescription medication? Well, we aren’t sure. There are some things that we do know. One is that as of now, there haven’t been any reported cases of people running into serious trouble by consuming CBD along with their prescription meds. That’s good news. However, there are some other things to take into account before you simply take the two together.

Our bodies produce an enzyme known as “CYP34A”. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down many of the most commonly prescribed drugs. CYP34A is imperative, because without it, drugs would stay in our systems for far longer than they should, which could interfere with dosing and bodily levels.

The problem is, there are some substances which can inhibit production of CYP34A. Meaning, these substances can prevent certain drugs from breaking down in our bodies. So, why is that a problem? Well, let’s say you take a daily dose of Xanax. We’re aware that excessive levels of Xanax can be dangerous, which is why we space out our dosing. But, if that Xanax dose that you took today doesn’t break down properly due to dysfunction of CYP34A, it will still be in the system when you take your second dose later on in the day, which means that you could end up with twice the amount of Xanax in your system than was intended. This can be dangerous as high levels are linked to toxicity.

So, what does this have to do with CBD? Well, there have been some clinical trials done showing that CBD has the potential to inhibit this enzyme. These studies need to be conducted on a wider scale prior to drawing any accurate conclusions. But it’s definitely something that needs to be kept in mind.

Are There Certain Medications I Should Not Combine CBD with?
We mentioned that CYP34A is required to break certain drugs down. Knowing what those drugs are, however, can determine how safe it is to take CBD with your particular medication. So, how can you know what drugs those are? Well, it’s actually quite easy. Many drugs come with a warning label that suggest a person avoids grapefruit while they’re actively taking the medications. This due to grapefruit being a proven inhibitor of CYP34A. So, if your medication bottle says to avoid grapefruit, you might want to avoid CBD as well.

Drugs that’re known to require CYP34A include antihistamines, blood pressure medications, blood thinners, benzodiazepines, immunosuppressants, and pain medications like opioids. There are always exceptions though, so simply look at the label to know for sure.

How Should I Go About Combining CBD with Prescription Medications Safely?
Now, we understand if you’re worried about taking CBD along with a prescription that you have. The best way to go about it is to simply have a conversation with your doctor. He or she will be able to help you determine how safe it is to take CBD while you’re on the medication that they have prescribed for you. Your doctor/physician knows better than anyone else the nature of those prescriptions, and how they will interact with you based on your present circumstances and your medical history. Hopefully, they know enough about CBD to be aware of the information that we have explained above. If they are not aware, you can ask them to do some research on the topic in order to provide you with safe and accurate information that you can then apply to your daily routine. We are not authorized to tell you whether or not this combination is safe, but your doctor is.

What We Know So Far
As of now, there have been no known reports of people having severe complications due to combining CBD with a prescription drug. But again, in order to be safe, we urge you to speak to your doctor prior to combining them. They can consider factors such as your medical history and dosage levels in order to help you come up with an ideal solution that’s both safe and effective.