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What Drugs Should Not Be Taken with CBD?

ULU Tea tree oil guide

The CBD industry is fast becoming one of the biggest in the health and wellness sector. Many people are reporting the health benefits of CBD and experiencing positive changes in their everyday lives. With so many people benefitting from CBD and this natural supplement becoming more well-known, it is unsurprising that those with health complications are interested in finding out more.

However, many people with existing health conditions are already on prescription medications. What drugs should not be taken with CBD? Are there medications that interact negatively with CBD? Is it safe? Can you take CBD alongside a prescription? Here at ULU, we get asked all these questions and more, so we thought we’d write an article that tells you everything you need to know about CBD and other medications. 

Before we continue, it is important to note that this blog is merely here to inform your decisions and it should not be taken as medical advice. If you have any concerns about taking CBD alongside your current medications, you must consult your doctor first. Now, let’s get started. 

As with most other things to do with CBD, research into the full effects of CBD and its interactions with other medications is still ongoing. As such, it is always important to seek the professional advice of your doctor before taking any natural supplements alongside your current prescriptions. 

Here in the UK, CBD products are sold as health supplements and there is only one CBD formula that has been certified as a medicine and that is Epidyolex (prescribed for treating epilepsy). As a result, most of the UK’s research into CBD and how it interacts with prescription drugs is carried out in relation to Epidyolex.

There have been very few studies carried out detailing the full effects of combining CBD and prescription medications in the human body. As such, there is still a lot of work to do. However, the few studies that have been carried out so far have shown that CBD does interact with other medications and while closely monitored, it is possible these interactions could have positive effects. 

For example, one study discovered that giving CBD and clobazam together in children required monitoring throughout treatment to ensure levels remained safe. During the study, 25 children with hard-to-treat epilepsy were studied. 13 of these children were given clobazam and CBD and results showed there were elevated levels of clobazam in these children. 

Another study carried out on 39 adults and 42 children taking AEDs discovered that when given CBD in the form of Epidiolex and increasing the CBD dose every 2 weeks, serum levels of the AEDs in subjects remained within the therapeutic range. However, for some of the subjects taking clobazam and desmethylclobazam, the serum levels increased outside of the therapeutic range.

Both of these initial and very small studies show that CBD can definitely impact the medication levels within the human body, even when you are careful to take the prescribed dosage. As such, significantly more research is required and must be carried out to truly determine the severity of CBD and its interactions with different medications across the spectrum in order to develop more accurate recommendations for patients looking to take CBD alongside their prescription medications. 

Which Drugs Not to Take with CBD

As you read above, research into the full effects of CBD and its reaction with other drugs in the body is still ongoing and we have a limited understanding of its full effects. However, at this point it is thought that CBD interacts negatively with the following medications. 

Blood Thinning Drugs 

Taking CBD alongside blood-thinners can be problematic. Some studies have found that CBD may increase the effects of blood thinning drugs within the body (this includes drugs such as ibuprofen). When CBD is ingested alongside these medications, it can prolong the presence of blood thinners within the body, therefore increasing your risk of bleeding. As such, it is best to avoid taking CBD alongside blood thinners. If for some reason you have to take CBD while you’re taking blood thinners, seek the advice of your doctor and be sure to carefully monitor any changes in your symptoms. 

Anti-seizure Medications 

According to Epilepsy Action, “a recent evidence review found that one in every 8 people taking CBD would have a 50% of greater reduction in seizures. A much smaller number (less than 1 in 150) would become seizure free.” There is quite a lot of evidence that suggests CBD supports the reduction of epileptic seizures in people. 

However, the simultaneous use of CBD and anti-seizure drugs can be problematic, interfering with the metabolism with anti-seizure drugs in the livre and leading to serious interactions. The combination of CBD and anti-seizure medications may also increase the risk of side effects such as breathlessness, dizziness, constipation, and even depression. 

Statins and CBD 

Statins are a drug prescribed to many people with high cholesterol levels. Statins help reduce the risk of heart diseases in humans and can support the improved function of the body. However, when combined with CBD some findings indicate that CBD inhibits the liver enzymes from effectively breaking down the statins and, as a result, concentration of statins in the bloodstream can approach toxic levels. If taken over the long-term, people may experience adverse health effects and dangerous chemical accumulations within the body. 

Sedative Drugs 

CBD can have a calming effect on the body which is why so many people take CBD to help with sleep. However, when CBD is combined with sedative drugs it can produce harmful and addictive effects, depending on the individual. As such, it is best to avoid taking CBD alongside sedative drugs where possible. 

Antibiotics

Most people have taken antibiotics at some point over the course of their lives. These miracle drugs are excellent at fighting off sickness and restoring health. However, there has been very little research carried out into the interactions between antibiotics and CBD. As such, this is not something we feel comfortable commenting on. Therefore, if you wish to find out more about CBD and antibiotics, we strongly recommend you speak to your doctor. 

Be Aware of the Side Effects 

If you have already started taking CBD alongside your existing prescriptions, you might be worried about how/whether CBD is interacting negatively with the medications already in your system. Thankfully, our bodies typically have methods to alert us to any problems and CBD is no different. As soon as you start experiencing any of the following side effects, you should seek advice from your doctor: 

  • Drowsiness 
  • A decrease in how effective your medications are
  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss 
  • Hunger increase
  • Fluctuating weight 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Fatigue 

Always Consult Your Doctor 

As we have highlighted throughout this article, it is always important to consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication, whether prescription or otherwise. The list of medications we have shared above is by no means definitive. There are without a doubt numerous other medications that may interact negatively with CBD, so just because the medication you take is not listed does not mean it is safe to consume alongside CBD. 

Always console your doctor to establish the best solutions for your medical care. 

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