As we start to see more data emerge for CBD use for a variety of conditions, a common question we are asked is “can I take CBD with my medications?” As a trained pharmacist who happens to be an educator as part of Equilibria’s dosage team, I want to introduce how EQ supports our members to navigate this common question!
At Equilibria, our members have access to our pharmacy team through our Dosage Support team to support general education and safety when using CBD. Our pharmacy team members have an extensive combined background in pharmacotherapy, medical cannabis, integrative healthcare, long-term care, and short-term patient care. One thing we always want to make clear – our role on the Equilibria team is not to act as your pharmacist, but to support conversations with you regarding CBD- we trust you have a great working relationship with your frontline healthcare team and we encourage you to involve your healthcare providers in your decision to integrate CBD into your daily routine! Together, we work as a team, to educate about the pharmacotherapy of CBD, including how it works, how it’s metabolized, how it functions within the endocannabinoid system, and if and how CBD can interact with prescription medications and over-the-counter products and supplements.
The first question to address, is CBD a medication? CBD is not considered a medication by governing bodies. There is a regulated CBD product on the market that can be obtained by a physician’s prescription and this medication provides us with medical data regarding efficacy and side effects. However, most CBD, as you know, is available to consumers over-the-counter. I strongly encourage you to read our blog posts “5 Reasons Women Choose EQ CBD” and “Hemp 101” on how to choose CBD and why high-quality products matter when choosing what CBD to start!
What we know is that CBD, in addition to a majority of prescription medications, is metabolized by the liver, through a family of enzymes called the Cytochrome P450s. Not only is CBD metabolized by this enzyme family, but it also has the potential impact to induce, or ramp up, and conversely decrease, or slow down, these enzymes’ ability to metabolize other medications and supplements. Since CBD can do both of these things, an inventory of all medications and supplements must be considered before starting a CBD routine. Speak to your physician team first about CBD and your medication regimen – ultimately it is up to you and your doctor to safely decide if CBD is a good choice for you! And while our role at EQ is not intended to act as a licensed healthcare profession – we aim to empower our members with the knowledge and information they need to guide their ownership in their health planning.
Some key takeaways your doctor will need to know about CBD’s impact on your medication regimen:
If CBD were to induce/ramp up the metabolism of your medication: this could lead to decreased effects from your medication due to faster breakdown.
If CBD were to decrease/slow down the metabolism of your medication: this could lead to increased effects from your medication and also has the potential for enhanced side effects.
So are we saying that CBD can or cannot be taken with my medications? Well, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of answer. The answer is very dependent on you! Your medication routine and when and how you take your medications are going to be key in determining this answer. CBD can be safely worked into your medication routine especially if there are no enzyme interactions to be concerned about. If there are enzyme interactions, and you’ve received the green-light from your doctor to begin, we can help guide you on the best CBD dosage form to use, how to space your CBD throughout the day to try to avoid these enzyme interactions, and what to journal about regarding how you’re feeling once CBD is introduced in your daily routine.
How do you utilize Equilibria’s Pharmacy Team? Reach out and schedule your one-on-onedosage consultation with our Dosage Team! Not only is your dosage consultation important to design a CBD routine that works best for you and your health goals, but our Dosage Team is also highly trained on when and how to escalate their member’s concerns and questions to the Pharmacy Team. The Pharmacy Team is available to speak to members one-on-one to further educate you about Equilibria CBD, to guide you on what you should ask your doctor, and to provide you with resources and education about CBD use with your medications.
If you and your doctor decide that giving CBD a try is the right fit for you, we are excited to walk along this journey of Equilibria CBD with you!
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