Medical Interactions with CBD

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, has gained the media and medical spotlight as of late, for its potential in easing symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, and a wide variety of other common health conditions. This article explores drug interactions with CBD that could be potentially harmful.

While there is still much testing and research to be done to determine the absolute effectiveness of CBD, more and more people have been trying it, and the vast majority reports great results.

With any drug or supplement, people are skeptical at first, and for good reason.

Is it really as safe as everyone thinks it is? 

Are there any side effects? 

How does it interact with other medications?

To date, research has shown that CBD is generally very safe with little to none side effects. That being said, CBD affects every person differently, and does have the potential to interact with medications you may be taking.

Let’s take a closer look of just how CBD affects the body, and some potential interactions with other drugs to look out for.

CBD & The Liver

Have you wondered how CBD may affect different parts of your body?

Recent studies have brought concern to the liver in particular. These studies show evidence that extremely high doses of CBD can be damaging to the liver. 

This research, however, while conducted on mice, is still in its early stages and more information and testing will be needed to make any conclusive findings. 

That being said, should you be concerned about liver damage if you’re a moderate to casual CBD user, or looking to try CBD for the first time?

For the most part, doctors say, no. 

Experts report that while patients absolutely need to be informed about whatever they are ingesting, especially accurate dosage information, the amount of CBD that these animals were exposed to is far greater than what most humans would take.

For example, many people know that taking too much Tylenol or Aspirin in one sitting, can have detrimental effects, specifically to the liver. CBD is generally the same. When taken in moderate doses (Therapeutic CBD doses range from 0.5 mg/kg/day to 20 mg/kg per day), there is no evidence of harm by itself. 

Potential Drug Interactions

So far, research has pointed out that CBD is virtually harmless by itself. It’s always a good idea to be mindful of the other medications you may be taking, especially ones which could have a potential for interaction with CBD.

CBD can change the way that your body processes certain medications. If you’re looking to try CBD as an add on or a supplement to ease symptoms of a certain condition, it’s advised to consult with your doctor first. 

In many cases, a doctor will be able to recommend a viable CBD product. They can suggest correct dosing information and a schedule that is safe to take with your current medications that won’t cause drug interactions with CBD. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that topical CBD products (think lotions, creams, or body oils), don’t enter your bloodstream, which means that potential for interaction with other drugs goes down close to zero.

Rule of Thumb

While studies are still ongoing to determine particular drug combinations that may pose a problem with CBD, it is a safe idea to follow the grapefruit warning rule of thumb.

This warning indicates that people taking the medication should avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice. It is quite popular in a number of medications. The reason why, is that chemicals in grapefruit known as furanocoumarins inhibit CYP3A4, in a similar method that CBD does. The result is a slowed metabolization of medications.

For reference, these are some types of medications that typically have a grapefruit warning:

  • antibiotics and antimicrobials
  • anticancer medications
  • antihistamines
  • antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
  • blood pressure medications
  • blood thinners
  • cholesterol medications
  • corticosteroids
  • erectile disfunction medications
  • GI medications, such as to treat GERD or nausea
  • heart rhythm medications
  • immunosuppressants

That being said, this is just a rule of thumb — no matter the medications you’re taking or your proposed CBD products, it is always advised to consult with your doctor first. 

Effects of CBN as A Sedative

While we’re on the topic of potential interactions of cannabinoids with other medications, we feel it’s a good idea to bring up CBN.

CBN, like CBD, is a cannabinoid that is not psychoactive in nature, like THC is. However, CBN is most known for its anti-insomnia effects as a sedative.

Since CBN is harder (and more expensive) to produce than CBD, it’s common to see CBD products that also contain CBN.

This is just another caution sign to look out for, especially if any current medications you’re taking advise against taking sedatives at the same time.


CBD has long been hailed for its drastic positive effects that its had on patients, in a generally harmless and non addictive manner.

That being said, while there is still much research to be done on the effectiveness of CBD and any drug interactions with CBD, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor or a medical professional before starting any new treatments or medications.

We hope you’re able to do your own research, and try out a CBD product that works for you for yourself. See if you can join the millions of patients in creating a more balanced and healthy life with CBD.

Disclaimer: The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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