When you take a supplement, it is smart to determine if it may interact with any prescription medications you are taking. Supplements will interact with each drug in unique ways, ranging from making them more potent (in some cases to a dangerous level) to nullifying their effects altogether. This is something you should fully understand before using any supplement, including CBD.
A Primer on Drug Metabolism
Before answering the question of CBD's potential effects on prescription medications, you need to understand how drugs are metabolized, which means how they are broken down. Your body uses enzymes to break down everything taken in. This includes supplements, foods, drinks, and medicines. If you influence this enzyme activity, you will impact drug potency.
The Effect of CBD on Enzymes
CBD can block or inhibit liver enzymes that are called cytochrome P450. These are used to metabolize some drugs. What this means is that it will interact with how some medications are metabolized in the body. What is interesting is that some compounds in grapefruit will do the same. That is why you may have heard some people state they cannot eat grapefruit when taking some medicines.
The Effects of CBD Can Vary
As you can see, there are some situations where CBD may affect certain medications that are metabolized by the P450 enzymes. What you may wonder is how this occurs. Will it diminish or increase their total potency?
The answer to this question is complicated. CBD may affect a medication potency in either direction. It could make them weaker or stronger. Unfortunately, most experts agree additional research is needed to determine what doses of CBD may impact the metabolism of various drugs. According to a research study conducted in 2013, there were no interactions within the CYP metabolic pathway when doses of CBD up to 40 mg were consumed. However, a later study showed that doses of just 25mg of CBD would block the proper metabolism of certain epilepsy drugs.
What Can You Do?
Because there is a level of uncertainty present, you must talk to your doctor or health care provider about adding CBD to your routine. This is especially crucial if you are taking more than one prescription medication. In some situations, your doctor may want to monitor your health and blood levels of the medication to ensure you aren't getting too much or too little when you add CBD to your routine.
Finding the Right CBD Product Matters
It is important to note that every CBD product is unique. As a result, it is essential to find a high-quality product that will provide the desired results. While finding the right product can take time, it is worth it.
Remember, CBD has the potential to provide an array of benefits. While this is true, you have to be careful when first taking it, especially if you are taking other medications. Being informed is the best way to ensure you get the most potential benefits from CBD.