How CBD Affects The Cytochrome P450 System

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How CBD Affects The Cytochrome P450 System

CBD, a cannabinoid found within hemp, is considered by science to be safe, non-toxic, and non-psychoactive. In the grand scheme of things, science has found that CBD appears to be able to elicit a sought after effect without inducing a myriad of undesirable side-effects. However, while it may be fine on its own, this doesn’t mean that CBD plays well with other drugs, and can cause complex interactions outside of its normal scope. In particular, this is relevant to the cytochrome P450 system within the body.

The cytochrome P450 system can be found within the liver. It is basically a collection of roughly 50 different enzymes that work to breakdown drugs and toxins that enter the body. In fact, dosing for most prescription medicines is usually worked out taking into consideration how efficiently this system works within the average person.




So what does this have to do with CBD? According to pre-clinical research, when ingested at certain amounts, CBD can start to alter the cytochrome P450 system, thus changing the rate at which other drugs are broken down, and thus how they interact with the body.

It is worth noting here that there has never been a recorded death resulting from the use of CBD. However, its potential to alter the interaction with other drugs should not be ignored.


CBD changes the cytochrome P450 system by competing and displacing enzymes within it. When enzymes are displaced as they compete with CBD, they are unable to metabolise any other drug passing through the system, as they have their hands full. The intensity with which the CBD binds to the area, the amount of CBD present, and whether it is an isolate or taken with other compounds from hemp all affect the severity of such effect.



So what is the take away from it all? Firstly, it is important to keep this bit of info in the back of your mind. Doctors are able to see test how well the cytochrome P450 system is working. So if in doubt, get a check-up. Secondly, other cannabinoids and terpenes can affect the ways in which CBD interacts with our bodies, and whole plant extracts seem to have the most well-rounded results - making them preferable if you are considering using CBD supplements.




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