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Cannabidiol (CBD) products are mainly popular for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antiemetic, and sleep-inducing effects. So, people are using them to treat the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments. It is a better option than pharmaceutical painkillers because there are not many side-effects to CBD. Also, it does not have the risk of developing an addiction, and this is the major reason it was legalized at the federal level in the US. However, there is a big caveat, i.e. CBD interacts with certain medications causing adverse side effects. This article will focus on the topic of CBD and drug interactions.

CYP450 Enzymes And Drug Metabolism

Pharmaceutical drugs are metabolized in the liver by a group of enzymes called Cytochrome P450 (CYP450). However, certain substances affect the metabolizing effect of CYP450, and either speeds or slows it down. As a result, the overall drug metabolism rate of the liver is affected. This alters how your body metabolizes certain medicines or supplements; CBD has such an effect.


Related: Learn more about the best CBD products for sublingual consumption. Click here.

CYP450 And CBD

CYP450 is a family of metabolizing enzymes in the liver, and they metabolize pharmaceutical drugs, as well as cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) specifically interacts with the enzyme CYP34A and inhibits its action; this enzyme is responsible for the metabolism of 60% of clinically prescribed medicines. So, it slowly metabolizes medication, and as a result, the medicine remains longer in your body than originally intended. Due to this, the effects of the medicine are exaggerated causing harmful side-effects.


Due to CBD’s inhibiting effect on the CYP450 family of enzymes, you must consult with the physician if you are consuming any kind of medication for ailments. This enables them to determine the precise cannabidiol dosage, such that it does not cause any kind of drug interactions. In some cases, doctors monitor your blood plasma levels before this. However, you need not worry about this when using CBD topical products as the cannabidiol is not entering the bloodstream.

Grapefruit Warning

Like CBD, the chemical furanocoumarins in grapefruit also interact with the CYP34A enzyme. So, avoid consuming CBD products if you are taking a pharmaceutical drug with grapefruit warning; listed below are common medicines with this warning.

  • Pain medications
  • Cholesterol medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Antibiotics and antimicrobials
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Cancer medications
  • Blood thinners
  • Heart disease medications
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Medications for treating gastrointestinal disease
  • Psychiatric drugs for treating anxiety, depression, and mood disorders
  • Prostate medications
  • Medications for erectile dysfunction


More researches are conducted to better understand how CBD interacts with prescription medicines that you consume for many common ailments. You must also know that the severity of this effect varies from person to person.

Related: Are you new to CBD? Click here for a list of commonly asked questions about CBD oils.



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