Hemp products are popping up on every corner and friendly local drug stores are stocking up on it too. If you’re eager to try CBD to relieve your pain or ease your sleepless night, run the idea past your doctor or pharmacist first. CBD is generally safe to use, but it can mess with medications you’re already taking and leave you with unwanted or harmful side effects.
Here’s why it’s important to talk it over with your doctor. CBD can inhibit enzymes that metabolize some prescription medicines. Slowing metabolism can leave more medications in your body than intended and exaggerate their impact. You might also see the opposite effect. Many medications inhibit the body from metabolizing CBD. If you’re taking these medications, your body can’t process CBD effectively.
Talk with your doctor not only about your prescription and over-the-counter medications but also about all the vitamins and supplements you’re taking. And don’t ditch your prescription medications outright to try CBD unless your doctor approves the plan.
Your physician may combine your meds and CBD.
Your health care professional may be able to recommend a CBD edible product, oil or vaping solution that’s safe with your medications. Topical CBD lotions, creams and salves that don’t enter the bloodstream as easily may be an option for you.
If your doctor recommends a plan that allows you to take CBD along with your medications, you can expect careful supervision under your physician’s watchful eye. Supervision may include monitoring levels of the medication in your blood or keeping an eye on your liver function.
You should watch for any changes in how the CBD or medication affects you. Side effects that you might see with CBD are changes in appetite or weight, diarrhea or fatigue. Side effects with your medication could be new or increased signs of drowsiness or nausea or a drop in your medication’s effectiveness.
One rule of thumb that researchers recommend is avoiding CBD if you take medications that carry a grapefruit warning. However, your doctor may be able with careful supervision to allow you to use CBD along with even medications that carry the grapefruit warning.
Why heed the grapefruit warning?
Researchers are conducting studies to determine how CBD interacts with various medications. Initial results show that CBD definitely can affect medication levels in your system, but researchers say they need more work to understand the severity of those interactions.
In the meantime, researchers recommend avoiding CBD if your medication label carries a warning against consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice if you’re taking certain medications can even cause an overdose in addition to side effects. The drug can interact with the grapefruit and create a higher concentration of the medication in the bloodstream.
Chemicals in grapefruit can inhibit enzymes much like CBD does and slow your body’s metabolization of medications. These are some categories of medications that carry the grapefruit warning, but keep in mind that not every medication within a category requires avoiding grapefruit. Consult your doctor about your medication if you have a question. You can also read your medication’s insert information.
Types of medications that warn against eating grapefruit.
- antibiotics and antimicrobials
- anticancer medications
- antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
- blood pressure medications
- blood thinners
- cholesterol medications
- erectile disfunction medications
- GI medications, such as to treat GERD or nausea
- heart rhythm medications
- mood medications, such as to treat anxiety, depression, or mood disorders
- pain medications
- prostate medications