Medications and CBD: Factors to Consider When Using Both
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Medications and CBD

The wide variety of cannabis products available have caught the interest of many people to help further alleviate symptoms of their various illnesses. However, if these illnesses are already being treated with over the counter or prescription medications, there may be side effects if taken with cannabis products. If you’re considering adding CBD to your therapy, be aware of the form of CBD, side effects, altered effects, and how a grapefruit warning can help you.


Does the form of CBD matter?

Yes. Each type of product gets absorbed by the body at different rates. Inhaled gets absorbed the fastest, reaching peak concentration within 30 minutes of use. Edibles require the body to fully digest a product first before it can be absorbed and have an effect. Edibles may never reach peak concentration due to digestion times but may have a longer lasting effect. Topical formulations rarely have a high enough absorption rate to cause interactions with other medications, but this possibility does exist.


Extra Side Effects

While generally considered safe, CBD may cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and, in rare instances, damage to the liver. Taking CBD with other medications that have similar side effects may increase the risk of unwanted symptoms or toxicity. Any over the counter or prescription products that also have these side effects can see the effect compounded by the addition of CBD products.


Altered Effects of Prescribed Medication

Many medications are broken down by enzymes in the liver. CBD products may compete or interfere with these enzymes which can lead to too much or not enough of the medication being absorbed by the body. This is called altered concentration and may lead to medications not working as intended or increasing the risk of side effects. These interactions are hard to predict but can cause serious setbacks in treatment or create other problems.


Grapefruit Warning

This may sound strange, but medications that have a grapefruit warning frequently have interactions with CBD products. More than 85 drugs interact with grapefruit and some closely related citrus juices — like Seville oranges, pomelos, and tangelos. There is a chemical in citrus juice that inhibit the liver’s ability to break down medications which results in a slowed metabolism of that medication. The grapefruit warning is an obvious sign to check with your medical providers before trying CBD products.



Everyone wants the fastest, most effective treatment regimen for their medical issues, but the reality is that there are many ways for medications to interact with each other and with CBD products. The best way to maximize your therapy is to be honest with all your medical providers to avoid nasty setbacks in treatment. If your doctor agrees that CBD could be an appropriate treatment option for you, the knowledgeable staff at Vapor Galleria will help you find the products that you need. Find the location nearest you.