CBD and Drug Interactions
Drug interactions is a growing problem for chronic pain sufferers who are taking more than one drug, taking a few different types of medications, and seeing several different doctors.
When taking CBD to treat a medical condition, it’s important to know whether or not it can interact chemically with other medications. Thus, CBD and drug interactions is a particular concern for those people who have heard about the benefits of CBD and want to include it as a complementary part of their pain management regimen.
Fortunately, however, those pain afflicted people don’t have to suffer from CBD and drug interaction once they know how to mitigate the side effects of CBD while taking advantage of all the great benefits.
That’s what you’ll learn about in this post.
Specifically, you’ll learn exactly how CBD interacts with drugs. You’ll also find out how you can specifically know if the medication you are taking can be combined with CBD. And you’ll even discover how CBD can in some cases increase the effectiveness of certain medications so that the user ends up needing less of the medication.
So, without further introduction, let’s jump in with a discussion of CBD and drug interactions…
How Drug Interactions Happen
Two drugs taken for different purposes may have the same effect, producing something like an overdose. “ A common example of this is when over-the-counter pain relievers—aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and to a lesser extent, acetaminophen (Tylenol)—are taken with blood thinners like warfarin and clopidogrel (Plavix). Since the pain relievers also have anti-clotting effects, the combination can result in severe bleeding.” 
For up-to-date information on safe medication practices check (www.consumermedsafety.org)
How CBD Interacts With Drugs
Here is the connection with CBD. Epilepsy studies found that “there were very clearly increases in the blood levels of some other anti-epileptic drugs when people were on CBD,”. 
This could mean that people taking anti-epilepsy drugs alongside CBD will need to adjust their dosage downward to avoid side effects of increased blood levels.
CBD Interactions With Herbs And Supplements
Cannabidol can cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Using it along with other herbs and supplements that have the same effect might cause too much sleepiness. Some of these herbs and supplements include calamus, California poppy, catnip, hops, Jamaican dogwood, kava, L-tryptophan, melatonin, sage, SAMe, St. John’s wort, sassafras, skullcap, and others. 
Here is More
A drug, supplement, or food may effect how long a medication stays in the body, often by stimulating or inhabiting the production of specific enzymes in the liver or intestine. These enzymes are part of the cytochrome p450 system, which plays an important role in metabolizing many medications.
What is Cytochrome P450?
Cytochrome P450 is one of the enzymes that is used to process medications. Opiates. Anxiolytics. Anti-Epileptic, etc. There are other subgroups such as CYP2D6 which is one of the most critical for metabolization of drug molecules, solely responsible for an estimated 25%
Why are these Cytochrome’s Important?
Well, as stated above they are what metabolize all the medications you take to alleviate the various symptoms that exist. Pain, Seizures, Anxiety, Depression. These Cytochromes are what help make all of that go away.
CYP450 + CBD?
CBD has been shown in large quantities to interact with your CYP450, essentially “deactivating” it. This obviously being not good as it can cause adverse reactions with medications, especially anxiolytics. (Heighten/weaken strength, or activation of side effects like nausea, etc)
Drugs That Interact With Cannabidiol
Any drug metabolized by CYP450 enzymes could potentially interact with cannabidiol. According to the Indiana University Department of Medicine, drugs known to use the CYP450 system include:
•HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
•Calcium channel blockers
•Angiotension II blockers
•Oral hypoglycemic agents
The Advantages of Using CBD with Other Drugs
CBD can enhance another drug’s effects so well that the user can decrease the dosage of the other drug.
Let’s go back to our example of epilepsy medication that we spoke about earlier. For some people, combining CBD with their daily epilepsy medication allows them to decrease the dose of their epilepsy medication.
This is a big deal. By taking a smaller dose of the epilepsy meds, the patient doesn’t have to deal with side effects such as blurred vision, skin rushes, slurred speech, and unsteadiness that they were experiencing from the higher dose they were using before they added in the CBD.
CBD And The GrapeFruit Test
Here is how you can tell if CBD will interacts with your medication. Do the “grapefruit test”.
The “grapefruit test” is when you ask your doctor if any of the medications you are taking are affected by eating grapefruits. The way our body metabolizes grapefruits can affect many commonly used drugs. CBD acts in the same way as a grapefruit, only even stronger.
If your doctor says yes to the grapefruit test, you know you need to discuss your CBD usage with him as well.
CBD And Chemotherapy
Nausea, vomiting, and the loss of appetite are some of the nasty side effects experienced from chemotherapy. CBD has anticancer effects of its own and enhances the effects of chemotherapy drugs since it also prompts the death of cancer cells.
“Like chemotherapy, CBD has demonstrated the ability to kill different types of cancer cells including breast, colon, leukemia, lung, prostate, and brain cancer cells. But unlike chemotherapy, CBD doesn’t harm healthy cells (chemo can harm good and bad cells at the same time). Instead, CBD, as a potent antioxidant, protects non-cancerous, healthy cells while killing off cancerous cells.”
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You have just learned about CBD and drug interactions. And that means you can now have a better understanding of how to take advantage of using CBD to enhance the effectiveness of your medication so that you can take lower dosages and experience less adverse side effects. You also discovered an easy way to tell if CBD is going to interact with your medication and if you should have concerns. The benefits of CBD far outweighs the negatives. That said, you should always consult your doctor when using CBD with medication.
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Linda A. Parker, et al. August 2011.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids.
DI Abrams, MD. March 23, 2016.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Integrating cannabis into clinical cancer care.