Disclaimer: If you plan on incorporating CBD into your routine while taking medication, the first step should be to speak with your physician.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural chemical compound derived from the hemp plant, and as a cannabinoid.
It has the incredible ability to keep the body and mind in a state of balance through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
CBD is nontoxic to the human body, as well as non-intoxicating, which is why it can be purchased legally online, and why so many people are able to take even strong doses of this compound daily without any ill effects.
However, one thing to consider is whether or not you’re taking medications alongside your daily CBD routine.
As research has shown, there’s evidence that cannabidiol may conflict with certain medications in a way that could lead to reconsidering how you take your daily serving of CBD.
CYP3A4: What is It? What Does It Do?
The concern revolving around cannabidiol, and possible medication interactions has to do with an enzyme in the body known as CYP3A4.
This is an enzyme that’s responsible for metabolizing a number of common medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
CYP3A4 levels must be high enough for medications to metabolize properly, or else they’ll simply accumulate in the body over time, which can potentially lead to toxicity due to an overabundance of their compounds in the bloodstream.
How Does CBD Interact with CYP3A4?
As it turns out, cannabidiol is also metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme. Since there is a finite amount of this enzyme in the body at any given time, taking CBD and a medication together can mean that there isn’t enough of the enzyme to metabolize both effectively.
While CBD accumulating in the bloodstream is less of a concern, the same isn’t true of medications, many of which can cause toxicity in high dosage amounts.
If these medications can’t metabolize because CBD is binding up the body’s supply of CYP3A4, this could, in extreme cases, lead to an overdose of the medication.
Another thing that CBD can do is make the effect of a medication stronger.
Medications begin metabolizing shortly after we consume them, but if there is not enough CYP3A4 readily available to begin this process, because CBD is taking up all of the enzyme in the body, then the effects of the medication can be more potent.
This can be dangerous if the medication has a low toxicity threshold. It can also be dangerous if the medication is a sedative, since combining CBD with a sedative could cause the sedating effects to be even stronger.
Does CBD Conflict with All Medications?
About 40%-60% of medications are broken down by CYP3A4 – so about half of all medications, give or take, do not interact with CBD in any way. But, those that do require special consideration.
To list every medication metabolized by CYP3A4 would be unrealistic since there are simply an array of them. But, we can say that the medications below are some of the most common ones that are metabolized by CYP3A4:
- Corticosteroid drugs
Again, the list is extensive, so it would be helpful to look up a medication you’re taking to see if it’s metabolized through this enzyme.
Another thing to keep in mind is that any medication that comes with a “grapefruit warning”, i.e., a warning on the label that advises against consuming grapefruit, is a drug that’s metabolized by CYP3A4.
Why? Because like CBD, grapefruit can also bind up this enzyme, preventing the medication from metabolizing properly.
What You Need to Take Into Consideration
Let’s say you’re on a medication that does get metabolized through CYP3A4, and you’ve taken a dose of CBD without realizing the interaction risk. Before you panic, consider the things below.
- Dosages: The number of milligrams of both CBD and the medication that are in your system play an important role in how extensive the interaction can be.
- Timing: When you take each substance also matters. Both CBD and medications break down a good amount within about an hour of consuming them, although they don’t fully clear from the body for up to a couple of days.
- Delivery Method: The delivery method may matter. It’s believed that topical CBD products bind up CYP3A4 levels less than products that are taken orally like gummies and oils, because topicals are broken down differently in the body.
- Your Metabolism: Your metabolism plays a role too, in terms of how efficiently it metabolizes both substances, and how much CYP3A4 is present in your body.
Talk to Your Doctor to Be Safe
Ultimately, if you wish to take both cannabidiol and a medication, the only real way to do so safely is to talk to your doctor beforehand.
Only a doctor can offer medical advice, and they know the nuances of your daily routine in terms of both your medications and the way in which you consume CBD.
It’s imperative to ensure that your doctor is fully aware of how many milligrams of CBD you take, how often you take it, and the delivery method that it comes in.
All of these factors can impact the likelihood of a interaction between CBD and the medication.
Also, tell your doctor of any over-the-counter medications you’re taking as well, along with herbal supplements.
Ultimately, cannabidiol may interact with certain medications, so we recommend you to speak with your doctor before using HalalCBD products.
Only if your doctor tells you that it’s safe should you start a CBD routine.
Similarly, if you are a daily HalalCBD user who has been prescribed a medication, make sure that you tell your doctor about the CBD-infused product that you’re using, and the frequency of your routine.