When taken by mouth: CBD is possibly safe to take in appropriate doses. Doses of up to 200 mg daily have been used safely for up to 13 weeks. With the guidance of a healthcare provider, a specific prescription CBD product (Epidiolex) has been used at higher doses and for longer durations.
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Special precautions & warnings:
Liver disease: People with liver disease may need to use lower doses of CBD.
Laws passed in 2018 made it legal to sell hemp and hemp products in the US. But that doesn’t mean that all CBD products made from hemp are legal. Since CBD is an approved prescription drug, it can’t be legally included in foods or dietary supplements. CBD can only be included in “cosmetic” products. But there are still CBD products on the market that are labeled as dietary supplements. The amount of CBD contained in these products is not always the same as what is stated on the label.
CBD can be taken with food or without food. But taking it with food can cause the body to absorb more CBD than when it is taken without food. This might increase the effects of CBD.
Cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid, has potential therapeutic effects over a broad range of disorders. Recently, there has been increased interest in CBD, as several studies showed promising anticonvulsant efficacy with few side effects. In 2018, a CBD-based oral solution, Epidiolex®, was approved by the FDA to treat two severe forms of pediatric epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Although only these two syndromes are recognized indications for CBD, it has been consumed in an unregulated fashion for a variety of indications including chronic pain, muscle stiffness, inflammation, anxiety, smoking cessation, and even cancer. While CBD legislation in the USA is confusing due to the differences in state and federal laws, CBD has proliferated in the US market in several forms such as CBD oil or capsules, hemp oil/extract, and also as an ingredient in several dietary supplements, syrups, teas, and creams. With the ever-increasing use of CBD and its widespread availability to the general public, it is important to examine and report on possible drug-drug interactions between CBD and other therapeutic agents as well as addictive substances such as alcohol and tobacco. A detailed literature search for CBD’s possible interactions was conducted using online databases. As expected, CBD has been reported to interact with anti-epileptic drugs, antidepressants, opioid analgesics, and THC, but surprisingly, it interacts with several other common medications, e.g. acetaminophen, and substances including alcohol. This review provides a comprehensive list of interacting drugs. The possible mechanisms for these drug-drug interactions are presented in table format. Given the growing popularity of CBD as a medication and the dearth of available information on CBD drug-drug interactions, it is critical to be aware of current drug-drug interactions and it will be important to investigate the impact of CBD upon concomitant medication use in future randomized, controlled trials.
Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabinoids; cytochrome P450; drug–drug interactions; mechanism.
Many drugs are broken down by enzymes in the liver, and CBD may compete for or interfere with these enzymes, leading to too much or not enough of the drug in the body, called altered concentration. The altered concentration, in turn, may lead to the medication not working, or an increased risk of side effects. Such drug interactions are usually hard to predict but can cause unpleasant and sometimes serious problems.
CBD has the potential to interact with many other products, including over-the-counter medications, herbal products, and prescription medications. Some medications should never be taken with CBD; the use of other medications may need to be modified or reduced to prevent serious issues. The consequences of drug interactions also depend on many other factors, including the dose of CBD, the dose of another medication, and a person’s underlying health condition. Older adults are more susceptible to drug interactions because they often take multiple medications, and because of age-related physiological changes that affect how our bodies process medications.
CBD can alter the effects of other drugs
The researchers further warned that while the list may be used as a starting point to identify potential drug interactions with marijuana or CBD oil, plant-derived cannabinoid products may deliver highly variable cannabinoid concentrations (unlike the FDA-regulated prescription cannabinoid medications previously mentioned), and may contain many other compounds that can increase the risk of unintended drug interactions.
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) seem to be all the rage these days, promising relief from a wide range of maladies, from insomnia and hot flashes to chronic pain and seizures. Some of these claims have merit to them, while some of them are just hype. But it won’t hurt to try, right? Well, not so fast. CBD is a biologically active compound, and as such, it may also have unintended consequences. These include known side effects of CBD, but also unintended interactions with supplements, herbal products, and over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.
Does the form of CBD matter?
Absolutely. Inhaled CBD gets into the blood the fastest, reaching high concentration within 30 minutes and increasing the risk of acute side effects. Edibles require longer time to absorb and are less likely to produce a high concentration peak, although they may eventually reach high enough levels to cause an issue or interact with other medications. Topical formulations, such as creams and lotions, may not absorb and get into the blood in sufficient amount to interact with other medications, although there is very little information on how much of CBD gets into the blood eventually. All of this is further complicated by the fact that none of these products are regulated or checked for purity, concentration, or safety.