Can I Take CBD with Other Medications?
Cannabidiol, known more widely by its acronym, CBD, has become popular for providing many of the benefits associated with marijuana, but without any of the “high”. These benefits can include stress and anxiety relief, pain and inflammation management, help with sleep, and more.
The CBD used in CBD products is extracted from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant. Legally, hemp contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC so it won’t make users high. Hemp does contain high levels of CBD, up to 25%. According to many studies, CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. Adverse effects may be attributed to interactions with other drugs.1 Many wonder if it is safe to take CBD with other medications in their wellness routine. Let’s look at the specifics.
When it comes to CBD’s interaction with other medications, the first thing we want to mention is do not stop taking any prescribed medications or changing your dosage before talking to your doctor. While CBD is generally well-tolerated, some medications may be affected when co-administered with CBD. Common adverse effects include light-headedness, drowsiness, and nausea.
This occurs because CBD affects the production of compounds called cytochrome p450 enzymes (CYPs) that metabolize many medications. This is similar to the grapefruit warning label you may see on medications. Like CBD, grapefruit can slow the process that breaks down medications so it may stay in your system for longer than intended. This can lead to increased side-effects.2,3 One study mentioned that CBD’s effects on CYPs create a high potential of drug-drug interactions.4
It can work the other way as well. Some medications inhibit the enzymes that breakdown CBD and other cannabinoids. This could lead to a longer duration of effects from cannabinoids.5 This can make dosing a little tricky as you may be metabolizing slower than normal so the effects are more potent than you are used to.
So which medications do you need to be careful using with CBD? Penn State University, College of Medicine, made a list of 57 common medications that could interact negatively with CBD. The U.S. National Library of Medicine also gives a comprehensive list. We have prepared an infographic that lists common types of medications6 to be careful with while using CBD and what side-effects to watch out for. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor before adding CBD to your wellness routine.
It can be a tad overwhelming trying to wade through all the CBD options on the market. Drops here, balms there, gummies everywhere. So how do you find a quality CBD product? First and foremost, look for lab-test reports. These should detail the levels of CBD and other cannabinoids in the product. If the levels of CBD are below what they advertise or if the product has more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, maybe skip that product.
The type of CBD product you use is also important. Topical products like CBD Muscle Gel are more suited towards pain in a specific area. Smokable products like CBD Hemp Flower have a higher absorbency rate than edibles such as CBD Gummies. Take your time researching the best product for you. If you have any questions, a company representative should be able to provide you with a timely, knowledgeable answer.
Once you have your CBD product, it is time to decide how much to take. Dosing with CBD is based on a lot of factors and unique to everyone. The severity of your affliction, your weight, your metabolism, and more all play a role. If you have more anxiety than your friend, you may need a higher dose. If you weigh less than your friend, you may need a lower dose. There is no upper limit to dosing, but we suggest starting low and building up slowly.
A good place to start is between 10-20mg. After about six hours, if you feel like you may benefit more from a higher dose, go ahead and bump up the dosage. It may be useful to keep track of certain things like your level of pain, anxiety, tiredness, and general well-being. Over time you will develop a better understanding of how a specific dose of CBD will affect you.