At BeYou we get a lot of questions about our CBD range, particularly from users who are nervous about taking it with their existing medications. Well, fear not! We’re here to set your mind to rest about cannabidiol oils, and resolve any nagging questions you might have.
Can you use CBD oil as medicine?
This is a tricky one. This is the question we get the most, but it’s also the one we can’t talk about! Due to the current regulations in the UK BeYou make no medicinal claims when it comes to our CBD Oil and other cannabis-derived products. At BeYou we practice as we preach, and the last thing we want to do is give you unregulated advice.
On that note, you should always consult a healthcare professional first when it comes to the impact CBD would have on your medications. We might be CBD experts, but it’s your doctor that'll know best know how any prescriptions will interact with your daily dose of CBD.
How does CBD work with your body?
Some of you might be scratching your heads wondering what on earth CBD is in the first place. Well, CBD is a compound known as a cannabinoid that comes from a hemp plant. Then, the clever boffins at BeYou HQ mix this extract with other natural ingredients to make CBD oils and CBD balms.
You may know this already, but your body naturally creates cannabinoids too. Every single one of you already has a built-in endocannabinoid system that catches and processes these particles. That’s why CBD is natural and safe.
You can support this internal supply of cannabinoids with a dose of CBD, since it naturally binds and works with the system you already have in place. It's like having a key re-cut for your front door — it's not the original, but it fits in perfectly.
Understanding this — even in the most basic sense — will help you know how CBD oil interacts with your body.
We all have a very fine balance of chemicals within us that keep us running. Your endocannabinoid receptors and other systems may experience changes with medication. That’s what you have to consider when taking CBD with medications, even though CBD is provenly safe.
How will CBD work with my meds?
First up: this is a question that’s best for your doctor. We hate to keep repeating that, but your doctor really does know best! In most cases, though, CBD has very few side effects — and most are minor. However, it can still interrupt the normal function of your medication.
In most cases, your CBD oil will have one of two effects, if it does interact with your medication. It will either:
Compound the effects of a medication meant to do the same thing.
Land in the same receptors, thus preventing your body from processing your medication properly.
You can probably guess why each of these situations would be bad for you, but let's go over it to be sure. In the first case, the combination of similar substances would make the effects of each much stronger. It'd be difficult for you to figure out how to dose your CBD oil if a medication was amplifying its power.
In the second scenario, you might start taking more CBD oil or medication than required because one or both didn't leave you with the desired result. That’s why recognising these potential issues is important ahead of time.
How does CBD do this?
We've already mentioned that CBD rarely has side effects. So, you want to know how this works — how could something safe get in the way of your prescription?
We already touched on one possible reason for a CBD drug interaction. As the cannabinoids enter your system — and latch onto the endocannabinoid system — they'll block the uptake of other substances that go through these channels.
But the main way CBD causes potential issues with other medication is the way it interferes with a liver enzyme called cytochrome P450. Sound scary? Well, CBD only inhibits this enzyme in the same manner grapefruit does!
It's P450's job to break down toxins and drugs as they travel through the liver. So, if cytochrome P450 isn't working correctly, your prescriptions will linger in your body for longer than intended.
Of course, this won't be the case for every medication you take, but it's best not to chance it. Check your medication to see if it mentions avoiding eating grapefruit as a first step, and then ask your GP for advice as to whether or not your particular pill will be affected by CBD intake.
What about CBD and birth control?
We know you take birth control for more reasons than family-planning. You may rely on the medication to improve symptoms of PMS or dull migraines, for example.
No matter why you take the pill — or have the implant — you want to make sure CBD won't get in the way of the pill's hormonal help.
As with most CBD-related questions, there hasn't been enough research to answer this question definitively. However, one enzyme, in particular, is responsible for processing your birth control. You guessed it — it's cytochrome P450.
Of course, it could be that CBD's interference with cytochrome P450 makes your birth control linger in your bloodstream for longer. But there's still not enough research to say whether or not it'd end up adversely affecting your daily dose of hormones.
Some experts say that CBD is more likely to affect oestrogen-based birth control. Of course, plenty of varieties of birth control rely on oestrogen, so check your prescription.
Then, one last reminder (sing it with us now) — always check with your doctor before adding CBD into a self-care routine that also includes birth control.
Can you use CBD as a supplement to good health?