Studies show that cannabidiol (CBD) is effective in treating various health conditions. The compound derived from the cannabis plant interacts with the endocannabinoid system with minimal side effects.

Nevertheless, while most of the research suggests that CBD oil is safe for consumption, it poses some risks that could be dangerous, if not well-understood.

The inhibition of the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzyme system is among the risks.  The cytochrome P450 enzyme system is composed of over 50 enzymes in charge of the metabolism of potentially toxic substances, including more than 60% of any medicines you have taken.

Why CYP450 Matters

Calculating the average amount of time it takes for different drugs to be processed via the CYP450 is important in determining the proper dosages of medications. As long as the system is healthy overall and that only one drug is being processed, the average will provide accurate dose.

Nevertheless, there are particular compounds that are capable to influence the processing times in the system. They can make the metabolism of drugs slower or faster than normal.

In the same way, drug metabolism will not function well when CYP450 is unhealthy due to liver problems or other pre-existing conditions.

CBD in the CYP450 System

CBD can increase the overall processing times of drug metabolism by its potential to inhibit CYP450 system. Yet this cannabinoid is not the only one that can affect the metabolism of drugs.

Watercress, grapefruit, goldenseal, and St. John’s Wort, all have the same influence with regards to inhibiting CYP450.

The moment the CYP450 system is affected in this manner, it results in higher levels of particular drugs in your body at one time. It may lead to undesirable side effects, and in some cases, an overdose.

To ensure that it is safe to use CBD oil along with your other medical care, talk to your physician. Your doctor may suggest dosage adjustment on your medications so you may safely use them all together.

Below are some of the drugs known to use the CYP450 system that interact with CBD :

HMG CoA reductase inhibitors


Calcium channel blockers



HIV antivirals


Immune modulators







Beta blockers



Angiotension II blockers


Oral hypoglycemic agents

The list above which was obtained from the Indiana University Department of Medicine excludes all the medications that can be affected by CBD. There are also other medications that can interact with CBD that are not included in the list. As such, it is important for you to consult your doctor prior to using CBD oil while under medication.

There are particular drugs, also referred to as “pro-drugs’ that has to be metabolized to release the healing compound. Simply put, an inactive compound ingested in the body can be processed into the active drug. Inhibitors may lead to too little active drug in the body to produce the desired healing benefits if the processing depends on CYP3A4 (a component of the larger CYP450 system).

An example of a pro-drug that is metabolized into morphine to produce the same effect is the Codeine.

Concerta and Vyvanse are two other well-known drugs for ADHD that are classified into the same category.

In case you are concerned that your CYP450 is possibly not working well, medical professionals can test the system to make sure the drug you have taken is metabolizing normally.

Remember that several individuals may metabolize CBD differently due to anomalies in the CYP450 system. You may likewise experience an unintended decrease or increase in CBD concentrations depending on the way you take it.