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  • by Nicola Boulton January 13, 2023 5 min read

    CBD Drug Interactions: Does CBD Interfere with Medication?

    Taking CBD oil alongside specific drugs could result in various side effects, such as sedation and gastrointestinal issues. These drugs include anticoagulants and opioids. This blog highlights the various prescription drugs that should not be consumed alongside CBD oil, including the meaning of CBD oil, how CBD oil affects medication and the side effects of taking CBD oil alongside other medications.

    CBD, known as cannabidiol, is one of the primary active chemical compounds in the hemp plant. It is mainly preferred to the marijuana plant since it has high amounts of CBD and low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is another prevalent chemical compound in the cannabis plant. It is responsible for the ‘high’ effect linked to smoking marijuana. Like any other supplement, it interacts with specific drugs broken down in the same body region. Fortunately, most interactions are harmless. In some cases, various medications and cannabidiol oil work synergically, bringing more positive results than negative ones. Before taking CBD oil while under any other medications, it is vital to speak to a certified health practitioner.

    Understanding CBD Oil

    CBD oil is regular oil infused with CBD as its main active ingredient alongside another base oil such as MCT or coconut oil. This product is generally safe to use and rarely causes any side effects when consumed in the right amount. Unlike THC, it does not cause any mind-altering effects. CBD oil boasts multiple benefits, such as; reducing pain and inflammation, alleviating anxiety and depression, curbing cancer-related symptoms and improving sleep.

    CBD oil is available in three formulations;

    Full spectrum

    Full-spectrum CBD oil features all the chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, such as flavonoids, terpenes, Cannabigerol and cannabinol. It also contains low amounts of THC, not exceeding 0.2 per cent. It is considered to be the most effective due to the entourage effect. It is a process whereby all the other chemical compounds work synergically with CBD to boost its therapeutic and health benefits.

    Broad spectrum

    Broad-spectrum CBD oil features most of the compounds in the hemp plant, excluding THC. It is mainly preferred by individuals who want to benefit from the effects of other compounds, excluding THC.


    CBD isolate oil only contains CBD. All the other compounds are extracted during manufacturing. It is an excellent choice for users who want to benefit from the effects of CBD only.

    Drugs To Avoid When Taking CBD Oil

    Thyroid Medications

    Mixing CBD oil and thyroid medications result in nauseatic feelings. The CYP450 processes both substances, so mixing them causes hyperthyroidism since thyroxine is eliminated more than metabolised.


    CBD and corticosteroids are both CYP450 inhibitors. So, taking them together increases the systemic side effects caused by corticosteroids because of a reduction in glucocorticoid clearance.


    MacCallum et al. (2021) suggested that taking CBD oil simultaneously with opioids increases the chances of adverse effects like respiratory diseases. In worse cases, this may lead to coma, depression and death.


    Since immunosuppressives affect the liver, taking it with CBD oil enhances this risk, weakening liver function.


    CBD oil interferes with liver enzymes that metabolise most medications, such as antidepressants. CBD’s interaction with antidepressants may cause insufficient or too much medication, which may cause an overdose. It also increases the chances of dizziness and headaches. Nonetheless, CBD helps reduce anxiety and stress by enhancing the production of dopamine and serotonin and reduces antidepressant intake.

    Various Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

    Using CBD oil and anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenacsimultaneously increases the chances of liver problems and gastrointestinal upset. This typically results when both drugs are taken in high amounts.

    Anticoagulants and Antiplatelets

    Consuming CBD oil and antiplatelet enhances the effects of the antiplatelet drug. It also enhances one’s blood levels. Wasay et al. (2019) highlighted that anticoagulants are blood thinners, which may cause effects such as clotting, heart rate, and wound healing problems. CBD inhibits antiplateletmetabolisation, enhancing their levels in the circulatory system.


    Meissner et al. (2022) noted that ingesting CBD oil and benzodiazepinestogether enhances the chances of numerous side effects, such as difficulty concentrating, confusion and dizziness. The CYP3A4 enzyme metabolises most benzodiazepines. Cannabidiol oil interaction with these enzymes interferes with benzidinemetabolisationby the liver. As a result, it leads to adverse effects. Benzodiazepines contain anti-anxiety effects that help alleviate anxiety and other mental health-related symptoms. Consuming CBD oil mat reduces its intake.


    Since cannabidiol oil possessesantipsychotics, it may be utilised solely or together with antipsychotics to manage psychosis. However, its interaction with some antipsychotics causes increases in drowsiness, tiredness and accidental falls. Apart from that, CBD may interfere with their metabolisation.


    Taking CBD together with antihistamines enhances their sedative properties.

    Other drugs include;

    • Anaesthetics
    • Antiarrhythmics
    • Angiotensin 11 blockers
    • Anti-seizure
    • Beta-blockers
    • Calcium channel blockers

    How CBD Oil Affects Medications

    CBD oil affects how drugs behave by:

    Interfering with their metabolisation by the liver. It may be because CBD desensitises certain liver enzymes, such as CYP450. As a result, it may enhance the number of other medications in the body and reduces their metabolisation leading to an increased likelihood of adverse effects.

    Since CBD contains soothing properties may enhance the sedative result of other medications interacting with dopamine and serotonin receptors.

    Being a potent anti-inflammatory agent, CBD may interfere with the anti-inflammatory qualities of other drugs.

    Importance of Consulting a Doctor Before Taking CBD Oil and Other Medication

    CBD oil does not necessarily interact with the mentioned drugs above. However, it is vital to talk to a medical doctor, especially one with experience in the cannabis world, to help you find the proper routine for the drugs and CBD oil to avoid any adverse reactions. Since some chemical compounds work together with CBD to boost its medical benefits, it is essential to talk to a doctor to help maximise these benefits.

    Side Effects of Consuming CBD Oil and Other Drugs

    Balachandran et al. (2021)noted that taking CBD oil alongside specificmedications may cause effects such as:

    • Fatigue
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Drowsiness
    • Sedation
    • Changes in appetite and weight
    • Liver problems


    CBD oil is one of the most popular ways of taking CBD. This product tackles multiple health conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, stress, pain, inflammation and epilepsy. It is not recommended to take CBD oil alongsideothermedications such as antidepressants, blood thinners, antipsychotics, antihistamines and benzodiazepines since it increases the likelihood of their side effects. Consuming them together may result in dizziness, nausea and other adverse side effects. Before taking CBD oil, it is recommended to talk to a doctor, especially when taking other medications.


    Balachandran, P., Elsohly, M., & Hill, K. P. (2021). Cannabidiol interactions with medications, illicit substances, and alcohol: a comprehensive review. Journal of general internal medicine36(7), 2074-2084.

    MacCallum, C. A., Eadie, L., Barr, A. M., Boivin, M., & Lu, S. (2021). Practical strategies using medical cannabis to reduce harms associated with long term opioid use in chronic pain. Frontiers in Pharmacology12, 633168.

    Meissner, H., &Cascella, M. (2022). Cannabidiol (CBD). In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

    Wasay, M., Khan, M., Rajput, H. M., Farooq, S., Memon, M. I., AlRukn, S. A., ... & Awan, S. (2019). New oral anticoagulants versus warfarin for cerebral venous thrombosis: a multi-center, observational study. Journal of stroke21(2), 220.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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