CBD and Prescription Interaction

A Review of CBD and Prescription Interaction

CBD’s popularity continues to grow.  We offer CBD educational classes on the farm and the demand is high.  People want to know more.  At a recent festival, I was appalled when I over-heard a sales presentation insisting that CBD is completely safe and has zero contraindications with prescriptions.  That resulted in this review CBD and Prescription Interaction.

With the massive interest in CBD,  more and more research is being released on CBD and it’s review by the medical community.  There are many people who would like to try CBD but they are taking serious prescriptions and want to be sure there are no potential biological conflicts.  It is irresponsible to promote CBD as a cure-all or miracle oil that is safe in all circumstances.

So is there a concern?  There are several prescription medications that cannot be combined with Grapefruit.  Grapefruit contains compounds known as Cytochrome P450 and CYP3A4 enzymes.  When grapefruit (or the juice) is consumed, the ability of these enzymes to break down a drug for elimination from the body is reduced. This means that the blood level of the drug may rise, resulting in a risk for additional side effects or possibly worse ones.**

Like grapefruit, CBD can temporarily deactivate P450 enzymes, thus altering how drugs are metabolized. SO, either MORE or LESS of the drug will enter the system than what was originally prescribed by your physician. The ones of concern are;

  • Chemotherapy Medication
  • Blood-Thinning medications (Warfarin, Ibuprofen)
  • Cholesterol Medication (Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor, Vytorin)
  • Anti-histamine (Allegra)
  • Sedative Medications
  • Anti-Seizure Medication

The point here is that if you are either taking CBD or wanting to try it, a frank discussion with your physician is critical.  Your physician needs to be made aware of the CBD in order to recommend appropriate dosages.  This is critically important in Chemotherapy treatments and Anti-Seizure medication.

So, the bottom line is please discuss your desire to use CBD with your physician.  He or she may be on-board with the idea. But either way, it should be noted in your records for continuity of quality care.


**Iffland, Kerstin and Grotenhermen, Franjo. “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, Volume 2, No 1. An Update on the Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol; A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” Available: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2016.0034. 1 June, 2017

Dustin Sulak, D.O.“The Endocannabinoid System. Healer.” Available: https://healer.com/the-endocannabinoid=-system/


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