You’re probably familiar with “grapefruit warnings”
Interest in cannabidiol (CBD) is exploding. Now that major retailers are carrying CBD products, plus an enormous selection online, curiosity is only going up. But we also need some healthy skepticism and caution to counterbalance the exuberance. CBD research is still in the early stages, and marketing is predictably outpacing facts. Concerns about safety, among other topics, are getting lost in the hype.
Apart from a short list of possible side-effects, bigger concerns revolve around how CBD interacts with other drugs. Here’s a brief breakdown of possible risks if you’re thinking of trying it out.
What CBD and grapefruit have in common
You’re probably familiar with “grapefruit warnings” that appear on a variety of medications, or maybe your doctor or pharmacist has told you to avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice when taking a particular med.
The reason for the warning is that grapefruit contains compounds called furanocoumarins that bind with and effectively neutralize enzymes in the gut (specifically a type called CYP450 enzymes), which help break down and eliminate drugs from the body. When these enzymes can’t do their job, too much of the drug enters the liver and flows unprocessed into the bloodstream. That elevates risk of having dangerously high levels of the drug in your system.
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