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What Drugs Should Not Be Taken With CBD?


There’s little doubt that CBD has become one of the most popular and versatile medicines that you can find on the market today. Despite CBD’s reputation as a panacea, though, there are tons of reasons that you might want to continue using other medications.

CBD is generally regarded as safe – it’s one of the safest medications around, actually – but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be cautious.

There are a number of potential interactions that can arise if you’re using CBD with other medications, and this guide aims to help you understand which medications you should be careful using in combination with CBD.

Does CBD Interact with Other Medications?
If you’re going to be using this wonderful medicine, then it’s important to understand the way that it works in the body so you can be as safe as possible.

Before understanding how it interacts with medicine, though, you should know a bit about how it acts on its own.

CBD Oil Effects

What Drugs Should Not be Taken with CBD

CBD is known for its wide range of benefits that can assist people in managing both physical and mental health problems. Some of the most commonly attributed benefits include:

Helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in a manner that allows people to actually identify the root issues and work through the problems. This differs from conventional medication for these problems that usually results in people becoming dependent on new drugs.

Helping to fight inflammation and pain, reducing the symptoms of chronic problems like arthritis. CBD can even treat neuropathic pain from conditions like Parkinson’s.

Helping to improve digestion and fight things like IBS and Crohn’s disease. Helping to promote relaxation and fight off things like insomnia and other conditions related to restlessness. Helping to improve focus and manage symptoms of focus-related issues like ADHD.

The more research that is done on CBD, the more benefits become apparent. These are not the only benefits that have been proposed for the drug and there are certainly some that have not yet been evaluated.

Understanding What Drugs Should Not be Taken with CBD

Because of the interesting mechanism by which CBD works, it’s important to note that there are some drugs that you shouldn’t use with CBD or should only use in moderation.

This is because of the way that CBD works with the Cytochrome P450 enzyme.

The Role of Cytochrome P450

Cytochrome P450 is a very powerful enzyme that our body produces. This enzyme is responsible for helping to break down foreign substances in the body – things like toxic compounds and drugs.

That’s all fine, but problems can emerge when you take drugs like CBD that inhibit the body’s production of CYP450. By causing the body to produce less of this powerful enzyme, the result is that drugs that are usually metabolized by this substance will remain in the body for longer and be more effective.

In some cases, this can be useful: patients hoping to avoid developing a tolerance to certain substances can reduce their dosage by inhibiting CYP450 with the assistance of their doctor. However, in most cases, it’s wise to ask your doctor whether or not you should even use drugs with CBD.

The Grapefruit Test

The grapefruit test is incredibly simple. You don’t even need to touch a grapefruit. All you need to do is ask your doctor if your medication can be taken with grapefruit or not. If it can’t, then don’t take it with CBD, either.

This is because grapefruit inhibits the same enzymes that CBD inhibits, though CBD does it much more intensely. Anything that shouldn’t be taken with grapefruit shouldn’t be taken with CBD.

Talking with Your Doctor

Again, the simplest way to avoid any interaction with your drugs is to talk to your doctor. You can do the grapefruit test or outright ask them whether or not it’s safe to use CBD with the medication that you’re taking.

If you see your medication on the list below, then you can ask your doctor if it’s safe to reduce your dose or continue using it with CBD. If not, you should be prescribed a different medication.

What Drugs Should Not be Taken with Hemp Oil and CBD?

These are the most commonly used drugs that are affected by the CYP450 enzyme. For that reason, these drugs shouldn’t be taken with CBD.


Steroids are drugs that are used by bodybuilders and athletes to promote the production of growth hormones and boost testosterone levels so that they can grow bigger and stronger, often beyond the reach of their bodies in their normal states.

Many steroids are also known to interact with CYP450. Some bodybuilders may take this as an opportunity to further enhance their gains, but it’s important to note that this can be dangerous.

HIV Antivirals

Many antivirals that are used to help ward off HIV are known to be metabolized by CYP450. Using these medications alongside CBD can create unwanted side effects.


Antihistamines are compounds that prevent the body from producing histamine. Histamine is released when you are allergic to something or when you take a certain substance and is responsible for symptoms like coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and runny noses.

Antihistamines are also often used as sleep aids, but mixing them with CBD can make them more potent than desired and lead to unwanted side effects.

Immune Modulators

Immune modulators are substances that are used to help people manage, or modulate, the function of their immune system. Many of these substances are known to be metabolized by CYP450 and can cause problems if they are taken alongside CBD.


Many antibiotics are prescribed by doctors for different forms of bacterial infections. Since antibiotics are nonselective and target all the bacteria in the body, not just the bad ones, the body determines that it’s a toxin and thus attempts to metabolize it by using CYP450.

If these antibiotics are not eliminated, then they can wreak havoc in the body. Antibiotics are not healthy at the best of times, and it’s important to make sure that you use probiotics afterward to help restore balance to your intestinal flora.


Many anesthetics and analgesics, particularly opioids, are metabolized by CYP450. In some cases, taking CYP450 inhibitors can actually be useful for helping to manage the use of these drugs because it can help you reduce tolerance levels and keep your usage at a minimum.

On the other hand, using CBD with opioids can actually contribute to overdoses or unwanted side effects. Drugs like morphine and fentanyl are often used in hospital settings to help patients manage pain or avoid symptoms during a surgery. If you’re going into the hospital, make sure to let your doctors know that you ’re taking CBD.


Many antipsychotics are known to be inhibited by CYP450. Using these drugs along with CBD can lead to harsh side effects and can actually prevent the medication from being as effective as it would be without CBD.

Instead of helping to manage psychotic symptoms, excess amounts of antipsychotics in the bloodstream can make a person numb and lethargic and lead to further psychotic breakdowns.

Antidepressants like SSRIs

Many antidepressants are inhibited by CYP450. Check first with your doctor, because this isn’t always a bad thing.

Drugs like SSRIs work by causing your brain to hold onto certain neurotransmitters are known as serotonin so they can continually bombard the receptors, leading to enhanced feelings of happiness and a balanced mood.

However, too much of this can lead to receptor downregulation and make you highly dependent on these drugs.

Beta Blockers

Beta blockers are known to help prevent the body from being stimulated by the adrenaline in the brain. This helps to reduce symptoms of excessive cardiac function.

However, too much beta-blocking can lead to respiratory depression and unwanted cardiac symptoms.

Since many beta blockers are metabolized by CYP450 it can be problematic to use these substances with CBD. Make sure you check with your doctor by doing the grapefruit test or checking to see if these drugs are metabolized by CYP450.

NSAIDs like Ibuprofen

What Drugs Should Not be Taken with CBD

NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are used to fight inflammation and swelling. These are drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, that are commonplace all over the world.

However, it’s important to note that these drugs are metabolized by CYP450 and shouldn’t be taken at normal doses with drugs like CBD.

This can contribute to an elevated level of NSAIDs in your bloodstream, which can be dangerous because these drugs are known to cause health problems at high doses.

Other Drugs

These aren’t the only drugs that are affected by CBD and CYP450. There are a number of other drugs that can cause problems:

  • Anti-epileptic drugs and seizure fighting drugs
  • Angiotensin II blockers
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Anxiety medications like benzodiazepines
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • PPIs
  • Sulfonylureas

Using CBD Products Safely

It’s no doubt that CBD is one of the most powerful and useful drugs that you can find on the market, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its risks.

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you decide to start using CBD because it can influence the way that your body processes many of the drugs that are commonly prescribed by medical doctors. If you are taking any of the above-listed chemicals, then you may want to change prescriptions or limit your use of CBD.