prescription medicines

Can I take CBD with prescription drugs?

When you introduce a substance into your body, whether that substance is food or medicine or something else entirely, your body has to metabolise, or break it down into its component parts, for it to be useful and usable by the body’s systems.

Whichever way a substance enters the body, once absorbed it is the responsibility of the gut and the liver to process it and send it throughout your system.

This is no different in the case of CBD, whereby the CYP450 family of enzymes metabolise CBD and transport its components throughout the body, including the blood, brain and endocannabinoid system.

When CBD is not alone

The key thing to point out here is, although there are a host of biological and neurological health benefits to the intake of CBD Oil, as with any medicinal drug we must always keep in mind that this will likely not be the only substance to enter your body simultaneously with CBD.

It is particularly important to be mindful that, just as with any drug, there exists a range of chemicals and compounds can interact with the functioning of CBD Oil in unexpected ways.

These can sometimes be benign, in as much as they have an inhibitory effect, or potentially more sinister, causing adverse harm to the user.

So why does it matter?

Intrinsically, there are a host of drugs that are broken down by a group of enzymes labelled the CYP450 enzyme family.

The reason why this is particularly important is that this family of enzymes is also in charge of metabolising various drugs used for anti-depression, cholesterol, immunosuppressants, as well as antibiotics and blood thinners, to name a few.

Now, while most medications tend to have a frightening number of ‘potential’ side effects, it is important to note that even if this side effect was observed in 1 patient of a study of 10,000, it has to be included nonetheless, so a common-sense approach is recommended.

Use ‘The Grapefruit Warning’ as a Guideline

Interestingly, one chemical-level effect of CBD is that it inhibits CYP3A4, an important enzyme within the CYP450 group, in much the same way as consuming grapefruit does.

This is not to belittle the effect; the furanocoumarins present in grapefruit, as well as much of the citrus family, interfere with the normal function of CYP3A4 to such an extent that warning labels can be found on many different kinds of medications.

The primary risk in the inhibiting of CYP3A4 is that it stops the body from processing foreign substances in the normal way, and so over a period of time a much higher concentration of CBD can build up in the bloodstream.

It is worth mentioning that the number of fatal overdose cases involving CBD is ZERO, in fact for arguments sake, the World Health Organisation puts the toxic dose level at 20,000mg (or one thousand CBD gummies in one sitting).

This being said, it never hurt anyone to err on the side of caution. No one can account for all combinations of pharmaceuticals in every person, so as always – start low, go slow, build up gradually as required.

For more advice and guidance on this, we recommend having a thorough read of our Dosage Guide and remember to always consult a doctor prior to introducing new substance, for your specific health needs.





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