CBD Testers: How Are CBD and Grapefruit Similar? – Drug Interactions with Cannabinoids

Written by Alexandra Hicks

The theory that CBD can possibly interact with various medications has been thrown around for a while now, but as it turns out, some recently completed studies indicate this may actually be true.

It’s a commonly held belief that because CBD is natural, it doesn’t have side effects or any negative drug interactions, but that’s a dangerous belief to have. Take the grapefruit for example, a delicious fruit with numerous benefits including weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease. Despite how healthy it is, eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can be very risky if you’re on certain medications.

This is because grapefruit contains compounds known as furanocoumarins, which bind to and neutralize various gut enzymes, the most important being the Cytochrome P450 enzymes. CYP450 is a group of liver enzymes that help break down and eliminate drugs from the body.

Just like the furanocoumarins in grapefruit, CBD binds to the CYP450 enzymes as well, but research suggests that it may be even more potent because it attaches in multiple parts of the gut and liver, whereas grapefruit mainly affects just the small intestine. Because of this, CBD can raise levels of certain drugs in the blood stream.

Of particular concern is the combination of CBD with anticoagulants like coumadin and Eliquis, and chemotherapy medication such as Abraxane and Cytoxan. For both of these classes of drugs, the dosage must be precise, and they’re formulated with the understanding that they will be metabolized at a certain rate. It can be detrimental if the body is getting more than what’s recommended.

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