Cannabidiol, or CBD, is now one of the most famous cannabis/hemp products in the world, with more people than ever choosing to medicate with the compound as opposed to more conventional medications. There are a vast array of reasons for CBD’s popularity, not least that it comes with very few side effects, cannot be overdosed on, and is non-psychoactive!
Due to the reasons we have mentioned above, CBD is accessible for all ages, from children to the elderly, with the apparent lack of adverse effects associated with the cannabinoid making it an excellent option for many.
So with that in mind, are there any situations in which CBD should be avoided? One question we get asked all the time is whether CBD can still be taken when on antibiotics, so to answer that question, we delved into the science behind the myth in order to bring you our comprehensive guide to taking CBD while on antibiotics.
What Are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics are prescribed by the millions across America every year to combat a wide range of bacterial infections. A form of antimicrobial drug, antibiotics are used to either treat or prevent further bacterial infections from occurring.
Even in today’s society, antibiotics are crucial to saving us from often lethal bacteria that would undoubtedly have caused the death of millions back before antibiotics were discovered in 1928.
Studies into how antibiotics work within our bodies have shown that certain medications can interfere with their efficacy, and as such, you should always consult your doctor before combining antibiotics with any other medicines.
Can CBD and Antibiotics Be Taken Together?
Among the range of medications shown to interact with antibiotics is CBD, so what does this mean for those patients who depend on the cannabinoid on a daily basis? Can you still fight off bacterial infections while medicating with CBD or not?
Cytochrome P-450 System
First of all, it is essential to understand how CBD works with antibiotics, and this all comes down to our body’s Cytochrome P-450 System, which is responsible for metabolizing potentially dangerous toxins. Many of us are unaware of the Cytochrome P-450 system, but it is an incredibly vital part of the human body. Without it, we could be exposed to a range of dangerous toxins on a daily basis!
However, over 60% of the drugs we consume pass through this system, and this is where things can get complicated.
This purifying system is located within the liver and has up to 50 enzymes at work to remove potentially harmful toxins. Depending on the drug and its dosage, the Cytochrome P-450 system requires a different period of time to metabolize. Certain drugs can have a direct impact on the efficacy of the system and how long it takes to process a particular drug.
Among the many different drugs that can have an impact on the Cytochrome system are antibiotics, steroids, anesthetics, antidepressants, beta-blockers, and many more! But what exactly does this mean for CBD users?
CBD has actually been shown to inhibit the Cytochrome P-450 system, which can alter the way the system metabolizes certain other drugs that pass through – in this case, antibiotics. In other words, there is a chance that those consuming antibiotics and CBD at the same time could be at risk of taking less or more antibiotics than required, which could be dangerous and even lead to an overdose.
Now, it is essential that we make it clear from the start that this isn’t a common occurrence, nor does it mean that those on antibiotics must not consume CBD at the same time. However, what it does say is that a doctor MUST be consulted before adding either CBD or antibiotics to your list of medications.
The Importance of Consulting a Medical Professional
Put simply, antibiotics and CBD can interact with the internal system that keeps things in check, and this could potentially lead to dangerous outcomes if approached irresponsibly. Due to CBD having the ability to either slow down or speed up the metabolism process of other drugs within our Cytochrome P-450 system, it means that we could end up with higher doses of drugs in our system than what is safe.
The simple solution to this is to consult your doctor first. Your doctor should be able to look at your specific dosage of CBD and antibiotics and alter the amounts so that there can be no harmful outcomes if consuming both together.
This should be a rule of thumb with any medication that is affected by cannabidiol, so we can’t stress enough the importance of checking with a doctor before adding CBD to your list of treatments.
Will Every Antibiotic Interact with CBD?
It is important to note that, while any medication can interact with CBD, not every medication within that category will. So in this case, not every antibiotic will be impacted by CBD, and again it is a good idea to check with your doctor about your specific medication first.
Can CBD Interact with Medication in Other Ways?
As we now know, CBD works with our endocannabinoid system to improve the production of natural cannabinoids. As such, it is natural to assume that CBD may interact with antibiotics – as well as other medications – in some way.
While it is true that CBD can have a potentially negative impact in the case of antibiotics, it is also true that the compound can have a range of positive interactions with other medications, which has led to many patients requiring a lower dosage!
We have seen dozens of cases where patients have been able to reduce their prescription meds or even stop taking them altogether as a result of the actions of CBD, but having this core understanding of the way CBD interacts with different drugs is vital in avoiding any unpleasant or dangerous side effects!
Final Thoughts on Taking CBD with Antibiotics
So, can you still take CBD while on antibiotics? The short answer is yes. However, in many cases dosage may need to be altered, so always consult with your doctor before changing any medications.