Can I Take CBD with Other Medications - Glow Bar London

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  • September 02, 2023 8 min read

    Curious about using CBD alongside your current medications? This article delves into the potential interactions between CBD and other drugs, offering insights and precautions for a safe and informed approach to incorporating CBD into your wellness routine.

    In recent years, the popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) has surged as a potential natural remedy for various health issues, from anxiety to chronic pain. As more people explore the benefits of CBD, a common question arises: can CBD be taken alongside other medications? This article aims to provide an insightful exploration of potential interactions between CBD and different drugs, along with important considerations to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

    Understanding CBD and Its Mechanism

    Before diving into potential interactions, let's understand what CBD is and how it interacts with the body.Tzimas et al (2021) established that CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in hemp. It's believed to exert its effects by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors that help regulate various physiological processes. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn't induce a "high."

    Types of CBD Products

    CBD Oil and Tinctures

    CBD oil is one of the most common and versatile forms of CBD. It's extracted from the cannabis plant and mixed with a carrier oil (such as coconut or hemp seed oil). Tinctures typically come with a dropper, allowing for precise dosing. They can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) for fast absorption or added to food and beverages.

    CBD Capsules and Softgels

    CBD capsules and softgels contain pre-measured doses of CBD oil. They offer a convenient way to incorporate CBD into your daily routine, especially for those who prefer a tasteless option. However, they might take longer to take effect compared to sublingual methods.

    CBD Edibles

    CBD-infused edibles include gummies, chocolates, beverages, and more. They provide a discreet and enjoyable way to consume CBD. Keep in mind that edibles pass through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream, which can lead to a delayed onset of effects.

    CBD Topicals

    CBD topicals come in the form of creams, balms, lotions, and even patches. These products are designed to be applied directly to the skin, targeting localized issues such as sore muscles, joint pain, or skin conditions. They generally do not enter the bloodstream and thus have a limited potential for interacting with systemic medications.

    CBD Vapes and Inhalables

    Vaping involves inhaling CBD vapor through a vape pen or vaporizer. Inhalable CBD products offer rapid effects due to their direct absorption into the bloodstream through the lungs. However, caution is advised due to potential lung health risks associated with vaping.

    CBD Isolates and Crystals

    CBD isolates are pure CBD in crystalline form, devoid of other cannabinoids and compounds. They offer high concentrations of CBD and can be ingested or added to other products. While isolates contain no THC, they may lack the "entourage effect," where multiple cannabinoids work synergistically.

    Full-Spectrum CBD

    Full-spectrum CBD products contain a range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant. This blend can potentially enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD through the entourage effect. However, these products may contain trace amounts of THC.

    Broad-Spectrum CBD

    Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD but with the THC removed. This option provides the potential benefits of multiple cannabinoids without the risk of THC-induced psychoactive effects.

    Nano CBD

    Nano CBD involves breaking down CBD molecules into nano-sized particles. This can enhance bioavailability, allowing for faster and more efficient absorption. Nano CBD is often found in water-soluble products.

    CBD Patches

    CBD patches are adhesive patches infused with CBD that are applied directly to the skin. They release CBD gradually over time, offering a consistent dosage without the need for frequent administration.

    Possible Interactions

    CBD's interaction with the ECS and certain enzymes in the liver can potentially affect how other medications are metabolized. Some drugs are metabolized by the same enzymes that CBD interacts with, leading to the potential for interactions. Primarily, these interactions fall into three categories:

    Inhibition of Enzymes

    CBD has been found to inhibit certain liver enzymes responsible for metabolizing various drugs. When these enzymes are inhibited, it can lead to higher levels of the medication in the bloodstream, possibly causing adverse effects or altering the intended therapeutic effects.

    Induction of Enzymes

    On the other hand, CBD can also induce some enzymes, leading to faster metabolism of certain medications. This can result in reduced effectiveness of the medications, potentially compromising their desired outcomes.

    Competition for Receptors

    CBD might compete with other medications for binding to receptors, potentially affecting their absorption or effectiveness.

    Potential Benefits of CBD Interactions

    Enhanced Therapeutic Effects

    CBD's interactions with certain medications might enhance their therapeutic effects. For example, combining CBD with certain pain medications could result in more effective pain relief. This synergy could potentially allow for lower doses of other medications, reducing the risk of side effects.

    Reduction of Side Effects

    CBD's ability to interact with various receptors in the body might help alleviate some of the side effects associated with certain medications. For instance, CBD's anxiolytic properties could complement the effects of medications that might cause anxiety or nervousness.

    Anxiety and Mood Enhancement

    According to Spinella et al (2021), CBD is effective at reduce anxiety and improving mood. Combining CBD with antidepressant or anxiolytic medications might lead to a more comprehensive approach to managing anxiety disorders or mood imbalances.

    Potential Cardiovascular Benefits

    Jadoon et al (2017) established that CBD may have cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing blood pressure. If taken alongside certain blood pressure medications, CBD could potentially contribute to better overall cardiovascular health.

    Neuroprotective Effects

    CBD's neuroprotective properties could be beneficial when combined with medications used to manage neurodegenerative diseases. It might enhance the protective effects of these medications and slow disease progression.

    Sleep Aid Enhancement

    CBD's potential to improve sleep quality could complement medications prescribed for insomnia. This combination might lead to more effective sleep management without relying solely on higher doses of sedative medications.

    Anti-Inflammatory Effects

    CBD's anti-inflammatory properties could support the effects of medications used to manage inflammation-related conditions such as arthritis or autoimmune diseases. This combination might lead to better overall symptom control.

    Potential Anticonvulsant Synergy

    CBD has gained attention for its potential in managing epilepsy. Combining CBD with existing antiepileptic drugs might lead to a more comprehensive and effective seizure management strategy.

    Reduced Dependency on Opioids

    CBD's pain-relieving properties might reduce the need for high doses of opioid medications, which can be addictive and have significant side effects. By combining CBD with opioids, individuals might experience better pain control with lower opioid doses.

    Support for Chemotherapy

    According to Mortimer et al (2019), CBD might help alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting. Combining CBD with antiemetic medications could lead to more effective management of chemotherapy-induced symptoms.

    Immune System Modulation

    CBD's potential to modulate the immune system might complement medications used in autoimmune conditions. This combination could provide a more comprehensive approach to managing immune responses.

    Potential Antioxidant Effects

    CBD's antioxidant properties might enhance the effects of medications used to manage oxidative stress-related conditions. This combination could contribute to overall cellular health.

    Adverse Effects and Reflags

    Understanding the potential adverse effects and recognizing red flags when combining CBD with other medications is essential for ensuring your safety and well-being. While CBD holds promise, it's important to be aware of possible complications. Here are some adverse effects and red flags to be mindful of:

    Adverse Effects

    Drug Interactions

    CBD's interaction with enzymes in the liver can affect how other medications are metabolized. This might lead to increased levels of certain drugs in the bloodstream, potentially causing adverse effects or altering their intended effects.

    Sedation and Drowsiness

    CBD can have a calming effect on the central nervous system. When combined with medications that also cause drowsiness, such as sedatives or opioids, it might amplify the sedative effects and lead to excessive drowsiness or impaired coordination.

    Gastrointestinal Issues

    Some individuals might experience digestive issues, such as diarrhea or changes in appetite, when taking CBD. If you're already on medications that affect the gastrointestinal system, these issues could potentially be exacerbated.

    Dry Mouth

    CBD can lead to dry mouth due to its influence on salivary glands. This might be more noticeable when combined with medications that also cause dry mouth as a side effect.

    Blood Pressure Changes

    CBD's potential to influence blood pressure can be concerning when combined with medications that also affect blood pressure. The interaction could lead to unpredictable changes in blood pressure levels.

    Liver Function

    CBD might impact liver function, particularly when combined with medications metabolized by the liver. Regular monitoring of liver function might be necessary in such cases.

    Red Flags and Caution

    Rapid Changes in Medication Effects

    If you notice sudden changes in the effects of your medications after introducing CBD, such as increased drowsiness, heightened anxiety, or altered pain relief, it could indicate an interaction.

    Unexplained Symptoms

    Be vigilant about any unexplained symptoms that arise after starting CBD. This could include changes in mood, appetite, energy levels, or physical discomfort.

    Allergic Reactions

    While rare, allergic reactions to CBD can occur. If you experience skin rashes, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling, seek medical attention immediately.

    Dosage Adjustments

    If your healthcare provider recommends adjusting your medication dosages after introducing CBD, follow their guidance closely. Avoid making changes to your medications without professional supervision.

    Monitoring and Documentation

    Keep a journal to track your CBD use, the medications you're taking, and any changes in symptoms. This documentation can help you and your healthcare provider identify patterns or potential issues.

    Discontinue if Necessary

    If you experience severe adverse effects, such as intense dizziness, significant mood changes, or severe gastrointestinal issues, discontinue CBD use and seek medical attention.

    Pediatric and Geriatric Populations

    Special caution should be exercised when considering CBD use in children or the elderly, as these populations might be more susceptible to adverse effects or drug interactions.

    Common Medications with Potential Interactions

    It's important to note that while CBD can potentially interact with a variety of medications, not all interactions are significant or harmful. However, certain classes of medications warrant extra caution:

    Blood Thinners

    Drugs like warfarin, which are used to prevent blood clotting, might interact with CBD due to potential enzyme inhibition, leading to an increased risk of bleeding.

    Antiepileptic Drugs

    CBD has gained attention for its potential in treating epilepsy, but interactions with other antiepileptic medications are possible and can impact seizure control.

    Antidepressants and Anxiolytics

    CBD's anxiolytic and antidepressant properties raise questions about its interaction with existing medications in these categories. Close monitoring is advisable.

    Heart Medications

    Blood pressure medications and CBD both have cardiovascular effects. Combining them might lead to unforeseen interactions, so medical supervision is crucial.


    CBD's impact on the immune system could interact with immunosuppressive drugs, which are often used after organ transplants to prevent rejection.

    Precautions and Considerations

    If you're considering using CBD alongside your medications, here are some important steps to take:

    Consult Your Healthcare Provider

    Before introducing CBD, have an open and honest discussion with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate potential interactions based on your specific medications and health condition.

    Start Low and Go Slow

    If you and your healthcare provider decide to proceed, start with a low dose of CBD. Gradually increase the dosage while closely monitoring for any adverse effects or changes in your medication's efficacy.

    Monitor for Side Effects

    Be vigilant for any side effects that could indicate an interaction. These might include changes in blood pressure, heart rate, dizziness, nausea, or changes in mood.

    Consider CBD Product Quality

    The purity and quality of CBD products vary. Opt for products that have undergone third-party testing and are sourced from reputable manufacturers.

    Keep an Updated Medication List

    Maintain an updated list of all medications and supplements you're taking. This will help your healthcare provider make informed decisions and monitor for potential interactions.


    While CBD holds promise as a natural remedy, its potential interactions with other medications highlight the importance of cautious and informed use. Your healthcare provider's guidance is crucial in navigating these interactions and ensuring your safety. As research continues, a better understanding of CBD's interactions will emerge, leading to more precise recommendations for those seeking to incorporate CBD into their wellness routines.


    Jadoon, K. A., Tan, G. D., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2017). A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI insight2(12).

    Mortimer, T. L., Mabin, T., &Engelbrecht, A. M. (2019). Cannabinoids: the lows and the highs of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Future Oncology15(9), 1035-1049.

    Spinella, T. C., Stewart, S. H., Naugler, J., Yakovenko, I., & Barrett, S. P. (2021). Evaluating cannabidiol (CBD) expectancy effects on acute stress and anxiety in healthy adults: a randomized crossover study. Psychopharmacology238, 1965-1977.

    Tzimas, P. S., Petrakis, E. A., Halabalaki, M., &Skaltsounis, L. A. (2021). Effective determination of the principal non-psychoactive cannabinoids in fiber-type Cannabis sativa L. by UPLC-PDA following a comprehensive design and optimization of extraction methodology. AnalyticaChimicaActa1150, 338200.