Can you mix CBD with other pain medications?

You may know a little bit about CBD and its benefits and wish to begin experimenting with it. However, you may be hesitant if you’re also taking other pain medications.

There’s reason to be cautious, and you are wise to do your homework before mixing them. Understanding the effects of mixing CBD with other pain medications will allow you to decide the ideal way to proceed. It’s in your best interest to take the time to review information about CBD and drug interaction and gather what you need to know.

The Widespread Use of CBD

CBD, a type of chemical known as a cannabinoid, is the main ingredient in hemp, a cannabis plant. CBD is becoming more popular to use and try because many will tell you that it can ease the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, and a variety of other health conditions. Although there are still ongoing studies diving deeper into its effectiveness, many people continue to give it a try.

One common apprehension among people with chronic illness who use CBD is whether CBD can interfere with prescription drugs you may take for other conditions. The good news is that CBD is generally safe when used alone and has mild side effects or risks if any. However, it remains a different story when you’re speaking about mixing CBD with other pain medications. The reason being is that there is concern over how the body metabolizes certain substances. It’s a good idea to speak to your healthcare provider if you’re also taking other medications or supplements before using CBD.

How it Works

Your body has to metabolize or break down any substance you’re taking. While drug metabolism happens throughout the body, like in the gut, the liver plays a big part. A family of enzymes called cytochrome P450 (CYP450) does the vital work of converting foreign substances to be eliminated from the body easily. Medications or substances you take can alter the speed and process of this interaction. Studies show that during this process, CBD also interferes with CYP3A4. The issue becomes that if CBD is inhibiting CYP3A4, it can’t work as effectively to break down the medications in your system. It may work in reverse as well, where your body can’t process the CBD as effectively.

You may end up with too much medication in your system as well or not enough of it. Therefore, your medicine and the CBD may cause unwanted consequences and not work as intended. You should also know that older people are more at risk of CBD drug interactions because the livers and kidneys may break down the drugs at a slower rate, and you may be taking more than one medication if you’re older and have several ailments you’re treating.

Tips & Advice

It’s best if you proceed with caution before mixing CBD with other pain medications. It would help if you always talked to your doctor first before beginning to try CBD to ease other symptoms or pains you’re experiencing. There may be a product, dosage amount, and schedule you can follow that will be safe to take with your medications. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t stop taking your prescribed medication and start CBD until you talk to your doctor about it. There might be other options that don’t enter the bloodstream, such as topical lotions and creams. Closely monitor how you feel and any potential changes if you get the green light to take CBD while on your prescribed medication and report them to your doctor.

Side effects to watch for include:

·         Increased or new medication side effects, such as drowsiness, sedation or, nausea

·         A decrease in medication effectiveness, such as breakthrough seizures

·         Common CBD side effects or changes in them, such as fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and changes in weight

Ongoing Research about Interactions

Researchers continue to work on gathering more insights around mixing CBD with other pain medications. While they may know a little bit about what it does in animals, they’re still studying the impact on humans.

The studies that have been done recently show that CBD can mess with medication levels in your system. It holds even if you’re taking your prescribed dosage. The overall consensus is that more research and data are needed to determine the severity of CBD interactions across different medications and to develop recommendations for taking them with CBD.

Class A Narcotics Mixed with CBD

Class A substances include the harder drugs and the most commonly charged substance, Heroin. Heroin is considered one of the most dangerous substances and is therefore charged accordingly. Others include ecstasy, LSD, and marijuana. CBD and THC are the two most common cannabinoids encountered today. Although both produce beneficial effects, they feature a stark difference: THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not.

Taking CBD with other medications that have similar side effects may increase the risk of unwanted symptoms or toxicity. Taking CBD with OTC or prescription medications and substances that cause sleepiness, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, or alcohol, may increase tiredness, fatigue, and possibly accidental falls and accidents when driving.

Potentially serious drug interactions with CBD included.

·         A common blood thinner, warfarin

·         A heart rhythm medication, amiodarone

·         A thyroid medication, levothyroxine

·         Several medications for seizure, including clobazam, lamotrigine, and valproate


It’s strongly advised that you contact your doctor and discuss your desire to use CBD with other pain medications before you do. A pharmacist is also another excellent resource if you want to know how certain drugs or supplements will interact with CBD. Although CBD is natural and overall safe, you should never assume that there won’t be risks or serious consequences when you mix it with other medications or drugs. The bottom line is that you need to understand how they could interact with the other medicines you take

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