In recent years, people have started taking cannabidiol (CBD) to alleviate a variety of medical ailments, such as glaucoma, anxiety, cancer-related pain, seizures, and more. As more companies advertise CBD products and more average people try taking CBD for health issues, it’s important to understand if or how does CBD interact with other drugs or medications you might be taking.
Let’s take a closer look at how CBD interacts with other drugs and medications, as well as whether any of these combinations can cause health hazards. Are there medications that you shouldn’t take in combination with CBD?
What Is CBD?
First, let’s cover some basics. Originally cultivated in China, cannabis has been used in the field of medicine for more than 6,000 years. The recent debate about the legalization of cannabis and its products have made it important to consider the scientific evidence for using cannabis for various health issues.
Most people are familiar with two cannabis extracts: CBD and THC. THC is known for its psychotropic (euphoric) effects, while CBD is non-intoxicating and known for its anti-anxiety effects. The FDA has approved CBD products to treat childhood seizures, chemotherapy side effects, and eating disorder recovery, and the UK has approved a CBD spray to relieve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Researchers are working on potential CBD treatments for addiction and opioid use, and many people use CBD to help with insomnia, anxiety, and more. U.S. law has made it difficult for scientists to study the effects of cannabis and CBD in humans, but you can see a couple of large-scale studies on the benefits of CBD using this tracker.
These products are becoming more popular and mainstream, but before you take them, it’s important to consider how CBD products might interact with other drugs or medications you might be taking.
CBD and Drug Interactions
Taking CBD at the same time as you take other medications can lead to interactions between the two substances. That’s because the chemical compounds in each drug interact within your body, and these interactions can increase, modify, or cancel out the effects of each drug, or potentially combine to cause adverse effects. For example, combining certain drugs with CBD can lead to adverse reactions including swelling, increased blood pressure, or even a coma or death. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor before taking CBD if you are also taking any other medications or drugs.
Some commonly used drugs that don’t combine well with CBD are Gabapentin, Warfarin, Oxymorphone, cocaine, Pentobarbital, and Disulfiram. CBD can also influence the effects of commonly used drugs such as antidepressants (i.e., Prozac), anxiolytics (i.e., Valium), and mood stabilizers (i.e., lithium). You should also be careful when combining CBD products with alcohol, because both compounds are processed by the liver, and their effects might combine.
Many of these interactions depend on how your body absorbs each substance (by mouth, inhalation, injection, dissolved under your tongue, etc.) as well as how long it takes to process the compounds and excrete them through your kidneys, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. These factors have a large influence on how much CBD is available in your body to combine with other substances.
Cannabinoids accumulate easily in fatty tissue and can be released into your bloodstream over time, even up to a few weeks after you use a CBD product. So when you’re talking to your doctor about medication, it’s important to share details about what products you use, how you use them, how often you take them, and when you last used them.
What Drugs Does CBD Interact With?
CBD can interact with many medications in various ways. Here’s a list of some of the most common drugs CBD interacts with. However, this list isn’t exhaustive, and we recommend that you talk to your doctor before combining CBD with any medications, drugs, or supplements.
- Pitavastatin (Pravachol)
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Amiodarone (Cordarone)
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Carvedilol (Coreg)
- Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
- Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
- Gemifloxacin (Factive)
- Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
- Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
- Ofloxacin (Floxin)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Pitavastatin (Pravachol)
- Midazolam (Versed)
- Quazepam (Doral)
Blood Pressure Medications
- Diltiazem (Cardizem)
- Nifedipine (Procardia)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
- Verapamil (Verelan)
- Torsemide (Demadex)
- Amlodipine (Norvasc)
- Isradipine (DynaCirc)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol)
- Buspirone (BuSpar)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Paclitaxel (Taxol)
- Etoposide (Eposin, VePesid)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Quetiapine (Seroquel)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
Other Common Medications That Interact with CBD
- Lovastatin (Mevacor): Cholesterol and lipid-lowering treatment
- Simvastatin (Zocor): Cholesterol and lipid-lowering treatment
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral): Antifungal treatment
- Itraconazole (Sporanox): Antifungal treatment
- Artemether (Artenam, Paluther): Malaria treatment
- Viagra (Sildenafil): Erectile dysfunction treatment
- Fexofenadine (Allegra): Antihistamine treatment
- Terfenadine (Seldane): Antihistamine treatment
- Troglitazone: Anti-inflammatory
- Methylprednisolone: Anti-inflammatory
CBD and Drug Interactions: The Bottom Line
As we learn more about cannabis through research, we’ll have a better understanding of the medicinal use of CBD for chronic pain, epilepsy, movement disorders, and mental health support, as well as how it can combine with various other medications.
For now, it’s important to remember that taking CBD and other medications at the same time can lead to complications. To make sure you avoid these drug interactions, it’s important to talk to your doctor about how to safely take CBD along with your medication.