In today's modern age, it is not uncommon for us to take a variety of different medications. Given CBD’s influence on several biological systems, knowing whether it can be taken alongside these regular medications is an important topic. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
The different ways in which CBD can support the body continue to be unveiled, but one factor remains constant—the compound’s favourable safety record. CBD is well tolerated, even in doses of up to 160mg a day, with minimal side effects. To put that in perspective, an average dose of CBD oil is 3–4 drops three times a day; this totals approximately 24mg/day (based on Cibdol 4% CBD oil).
Furthermore, the compound has been acknowledged as possessing a good level of safety by the World Health Organisation after they conducted an in-depth review. Their conclusion of current CBD research was the following:
“CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be the result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications”.
The review took into account a broad range of research papers, alongside clinical and preclinical trials. Their findings are encouraging because it outlines that, based on what we currently know, the side effects of CBD are minimal. You can read more about what those potential side effects might be here. However, it is important not to disregard that these side effects may be the result of drug-drug interactions. The critical part of their statement is the word “may”, as it indicates that we still don’t fully understand every possible interaction or complication that could occur inside the human body.
CBD, like many forms of medication, needs to be metabolised by the liver before it can be distributed around the body. Once the digestive system has processed CBD, it will go through a “first-pass” process in the liver. It is at this point that the liver uses special enzymes to help break the CBD down into smaller core components (metabolites) and distribute them around the body via the circulatory system. This process is perfectly natural.
The potential problem with CBD is that when it is consumed alongside other medication, it basically takes all of the liver's attention. The special enzymes we mentioned, specifically the cytochrome P450 enzyme, becomes distracted by CBD, and this can stop it from breaking down any other medication present into smaller parts. This is where adverse effects can occur. If certain medications are left in the body for longer than they should be, the body can start to experience side effects.
Any drug that is metabolised by the P450 enzyme could be affected by CBD. Many types of steroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, beta blockers, and antihistamines fall into that category, amongst several other forms of medication. However, just because these types of medication are broken down by enzymes in the liver doesn't mean that interaction with CBD will definitely occur. When deciding to take CBD, you should always consult a doctor first, especially if you have concerns about its impact on your prescribed medication.