CBD Risks: What Drugs Should Not Be Taken With CBD

by | May 20, 2022 | CBD | 0 comments

CBD is a natural substance that has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for a variety of ailments. It is not psychoactive and does not produce any mind-altering effects, which makes it an attractive option for those who wish to avoid getting high while using marijuana products.

However, there are some important things that you need to know about CBD and other drugs when used together. Some people tend to believe that because CBD is a natural substance, it must be safe to use with any other medication.

However, this is not always the case. Studies have shown that using CBD along with certain medications can lead to adverse reactions that can be life-threatening. This is why it is important to know how different types of drugs interact with CBD.

This guide has discussed how CBD interacts with certain medications and what drugs should not be taken with CBD.


What Drugs Should Not Be Taken With CBD

tablets and capsules scattered on the table


Here is a list of drugs that should not be taken with CBD based on medical research and studies:

  1. Antidepressants (such as Prozac)
  2. Benzodiazepines (such as Valium)
  3. Blood Thinners ( such as warfarin, or Coumadin)
  4. Diabetes medications
  5. Macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin)
  6. Seizure Medications ( such as Carbamazepine, or Tegretol)
  7. HIV medications (such as ritonavir, or Norvir)
  8. Steroids (such as prednisone, or Deltasone)
  9. Antihistamines (such as cetirizine, or Zyrtec)
  10. H2 Blockers (such as famotidine, or Pepcid)
  11. Prokinetics (such as metoclopramide, or Reglan)
  12. SGLT2 Inhibitors (such as canagliflozin, or Invokana)
  13. Antibiotics (such as erythromycin)
  14. Antipsychotics ( such as chlorpromazine, or Thorazine)
  15. Sedatives
  16. Cancer medication
  17. Statins ( such as atorvastatin, cerivastatin, and fluvastatin)
  18. Anticonvulsants
  19. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (such as omeprazole and rabeprazole)
  20. Beta-blockers (such as metoprolol)
  21. Calcium channel blockers (such as amlodipine and nifedipine)


How The Body Metabolizes Drugs and CBD


The way that the human body metabolizes a drug is usually through what is known as the Cytochrome P450 pathway. In this process, an enzyme called CYP2C19 breaks down many of the medications we take into smaller compounds that can be more easily eliminated from the body.

CBD also metabolizes through this pathway, which is why there is a potential for drug interactions. When CBD is metabolized by CYP2C19, it can inhibit the enzyme’s ability to metabolize other medications. This can increase the levels of those drugs in your system, which could potentially cause side effects or make them more potent than they would be otherwise.

A similar issue arises when CBD is broken down by another enzyme, CYP3A4. While this pathway is slower than CYP2C19, it’s still responsible for metabolizing a significant number of drugs. This can lead to the same issues as with the previous pathway, which is why certain drug interactions via this method are also possible.


CBD and Drug Interactions


CBD and Antidepressants

CBD interacts with antidepressants differently, depending on the specific medication you’re taking. If you are taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant like Prozac or Lexapro, it may make you feel more relaxed or sleepy than usual. If you are taking an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) antidepressant like Nardil or Parnate, it can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting. And if you are taking a tricyclic antidepressant like Elavil or Tofranil, it could increase your risk of experiencing side effects like drowsiness or dry mouth.


CBD and Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Restoril (temazepam). These drugs work by binding to GABA receptors in the brain, which causes relaxation in some people. However, they can also cause drowsiness, dizziness, muscle weakness, and even impair your ability to think clearly.

So when benzodiazepines are used together with CBD, there is a risk of these side effects becoming more pronounced. Additionally, benzodiazepines may increase the side effects of CBD, such as liver toxicity.


CBD and Steroids

Steroids are often used by athletes who want to improve their performance through increased muscle mass and strength gains. They work by increasing testosterone levels in male bodies which leads to increased muscle mass production after workouts or heavy lifting sessions at the gym.

However, taking steroids also comes with a host of potential negative side effects including liver damage, high blood pressure, and increased aggression. When combined with CBD, the user may experience even more side effects such as increased heart rate and cholesterol levels.


CBD and Antipsychotics

Antipsychotics are drugs that are prescribed to treat psychosis and other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They are usually prescribed alongside other medications like antidepressants or mood stabilizers.

While they are effective at treating mental disorders, they have also been seen to cause side effects like drowsiness and sleepiness. These side effects can be severe enough that they can reduce the user’s quality of life or interfere with their ability to function properly.

CBD has been shown to interact with antipsychotic medications in two ways. It can increase the levels of some antipsychotics in the body, which may lead to increased side effects. It can also reduce the levels of other antipsychotics in the body, which may make them less effective.

Second, it has been seen to increase the levels of antipsychotics in the bloodstream, which can lead to an increase in their side effects.

Interestingly, these two effects are thought to be dependent on the type of antipsychotic medication a patient is taking.


CBD and Antibiotics

Antibiotics are one of the most common types of drugs that can have a negative interaction with CBD. This is because antibiotics like penicillin, tetracycline, and amoxicillin reduce the body’s immune response to infections by killing bacteria, but they also kill good bacteria in the gut that help fight off bad bacteria.

These good bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which help regulate the body’s immune system. When you take these antibiotics and kill off these good bacteria, it can cause inflammation in your body and lead to an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis.

When combined with CBD, this could be even more dangerous because it can suppress the body’s immune system even further.


CBD and Antihistamines

Antihistamines are medications that treat allergies by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance released by the body during an allergic reaction. This means that when a person takes CBD and antihistamines at the same time, they could experience some unpleasant side effects.

That is because CBD and antihistamines affect the body’s histamine response in different ways. While antihistamines block the effects of histamine, CBD may actually increase histamine levels in the body, which could make allergy symptoms worse.


CBD and Blood Thinners

Blood thinners (or anticoagulants) are used to treat conditions such as heart attacks and strokes by reducing the risk of clots forming in the body. They work by blocking substances in the body that would otherwise activate clotting factors.

When taken with CBD, two things can happen. CBD can either decrease the effectiveness of the drug by reducing its ability to clot blood. Or it can lower the body’s ability to produce enough coagulants (clotting agents), which can lead to excessive bleeding, especially in those who are already taking certain types of blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix, or Aspirin.


CBD and Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers are commonly used for high blood pressure and heart problems. They work by blocking beta receptors in the heart and lungs, which slows down the heart rate and reduces blood pressure. These drugs are often prescribed together with other medications, such as diuretics (water pills).

Combining beta-blockers and CBD can lead to increased beta-receptor activity, which can cause problems. Some people have reported difficulty breathing, feeling lightheadedness, and heart palpitations after taking a beta-blocker and CBD together.


CBD and Proton Pump Inhibitors

CBD and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a common combination that can cause some serious issues.

Proton pump inhibitors are medications that reduce the amount of acid secreted by the stomach into the stomach. They are used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, and other gastrointestinal disorders.

The problem is that CBD causes an increase in gastric pH levels, which makes it harder for these medications to work properly. This is because CBD inhibits gastric acid secretion, which is needed for the proton pump inhibitors to do their job. This can potentially lead to a higher risk of gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


CBD and Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers are a class of drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure, migraines, and heart disease. They work by blocking calcium channels in the body to reduce blood pressure and help prevent heart attacks.

The problem with using CBD with calcium channel blockers is it can reduce the potency of the drugs. This can make them less effective, which can be dangerous if a person is dealing with a serious medical condition like high blood pressure or heart disease.


Why CBD Interacts With Other Drugs


The human body, like all mammals and most other organisms, has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a system of receptors that are activated by naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoids.

The ECS helps regulate many functions, including pain, memory, mood, and appetite. Some evidence suggests it may also play a role in regulating the immune system.

Because CBD is also an endocannabinoid agonist (meaning it activates these receptors), it has the potential to interact with drugs that also target these receptors. It’s also worth noting that CBD can inhibit the metabolism of other drugs, meaning it may stay in the system longer and potentially increase their effects.


How To Avoid CBD and Drug Interactions


CBD may be incredibly useful for many people, but sometimes a combination of CBD and other drugs can have adverse effects. In some cases, the combination could lead to mild side effects while in others they may be more severe.

When using CBD, it’s important to keep in mind that it may interact with other drugs and supplements. Many medications are processed through the body’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which can mean that consuming CBD at the same time as medication could increase or decrease its effects.

CBD can also interfere with the absorption of some medications. And as such, it’s important to talk to a doctor before using CBD if you are taking any other medication, including over-the-counter medications.

It is also important to discuss any other supplements or vitamins you are taking before using CBD. This is because the safety of combining CBD with herbal supplements is not known.


Final Remarks


CBD-drug interactions are not a major concern for most people, but it is always important to be aware of potential risks. If you are taking any medications, it is always best to talk to your doctor before starting CBD. Additionally, if you have any concerns about possible drug interactions with CBD, make sure to ask your pharmacist or other healthcare professional.









The statements expressed on this website are purely opinion of the author and not factual. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referenced on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s highly suggested to consult with your medical professional prior to any use of the products referenced on this website. This website and author specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the products contained on the website.


Michael Lagnese

Michael Lagnese is the co-founder and CEO of Mojave Rx - a consumer-focused CBD brand specializing in creating high potency products to support athletic performance, physical rehabilitation, and muscle recovery. Outside of his professional endeavors, Michael is also passionate about his personal growth journey. Exercise, meditation, reading, journaling, and continued education are all of the utmost importance and, in his opinion, the key to becoming a more effective leader. Above all, Michael is passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives, and through Mojave Rx and their top-quality products, he hopes to continue on this journey for many years to come.