Can CBD be combined with medication?

This is a very good question; especially because many people use CBD in order to relieve existing symptoms. These symptoms can have a medical origin. If you are using medication, it’s always good to know whether they can be dangerous if used in combination with other substances, such as CBD dietary supplements for instance.

Research

Most of the many different substances found in our body are broken down by our liver. After the liver has done its job, the resulting products are fit for use by our body. We could use some of these products to generate energy, for example, while others can be safely removed from the body, as happens with medication. If your liver stopped breaking down these chemicals, you would slowly poison yourself. One the things we do not know about CBD yet, is how exactly this substance is broken down by the body.

These days, there is a substantial body of research investigating the way CBD works, and its interactions with medication, among other things. These studies have been conducted on animal test subjects as well as on human populations. By adding up and comparing all the findings of these studies, scientists have concluded that there are no immediate side-effects, such as those associated with alcohol combined with certain sleeping pills, for instance. The latter example is a clear illustration of dangerous interactions between two different substances. Alcohol and sleeping medication boost each other’s sedative effects, which can make this particular combination extremely dangerous. Well, fortunately, this is not the case for CBD.

Broken down by the liver

There is one thing that does deserve your attention, however. One of the facts that we do know about CBD in the liver is that it is broken down by an enzyme called CYP450. Incidentally, this enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of a considerable share of all medication: about 60% of it, in fact. If you use large amounts of CBD, CYP450 will start to break it down in your liver. That will leave less CYP450 available for the breakdown of medicines. As a consequence, the concentration of such medicines in the body may rise, because they are not broken down fast enough by CYP450. Having too much of certain medicines in your body can be harmful. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576600/.

Less need for medication

Although the above may sound like a negative side-effect of CBD, the question remains whether this is actually a bad thing. A study of children suffering from epilepsy, for instance, demonstrated that the use of CBD reduced the amount of medication needed to help the children. In addition to the fact that CBD helps reduce epileptic seizures, it turns out that the regular medication had longer-lasting effects because it was broken down at reduced speed. The effects of CBD caused these kids to need less medication to achieve the same positive effect. This in turn reduced the negative side-effects they had to go through.

Consult your doctor

The types of medication broken down by CYP450 are known and documented. You can find a summary here: http://medicine.iupui.edu/clinpharm/ddis/main-table/
If you use any of these medicines, we advise you to consult your doctor on the use of CBD. Although low dosages of CBD are unlikely to cause any harm, it is still important to determine whether you’ll need to adjust the dosage of your medication. With a bit of luck, however, CBD will allow your doctor to lower your regular prescription.