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CBD Oil and Antibiotics - Can You Take Them Together?

CBD oil has quickly become one of the most enticing developments we’ve seen lately, considering its potential and countless wellness benefits. But this wasn’t always the case. Nearly a century before cannabidiol became a holistic go-to, antibiotics solidified their importance in the world of health and medicine. With hundreds of millions of Americans turning to antibiotics each year, it raises a lot of questions about using CBD oil while on medication. So, can you take CBD oil and antibiotics together? This question deals with multiple factors. Let’s explore this topic to learn why the answer isn’t as straightforward as we might think.

Can You Take CBD Oil and Antibiotics?

CBD oil and antibiotics, is this a harmonious match? Or could this combination lead to complications? Well, for starters, CBD is safe to use for adults, children, and pets! In fact, all mammals have the potential to benefit from it. When it comes to CBD, you can’t overdose or get high from it, which makes it generally well tolerated and non-toxic.

Still, when you combine any antibiotic or medication with another substance, extra care should be taken. The reason for precaution is due to how CBD and certain antibiotics interact in the cytochrome P450 system. Before we get into that, let’s quickly introduce the cytochrome system.

The Cytochrome P450 System

The P450 system is a family of enzymes that’s in all mammals. These enzymes are primarily found in liver cells, but can also travel throughout the entire body.

The P450 system plays a major role in the construction of several molecules, like steroid hormones, some fats, and acids that help digest fats. Another function of the P450 system is to detox the body of foreign substances.

More than fifty enzymes help this system break down toxins in the body. Other P450 system enzymes metabolize external and internal substances like medications and toxins formed within cells.

There are, however, certain antibiotics like azithromycin, clarithromycin, and erythromycin that inhibit the P450 system. Before you decide to take CBD along with your antibiotics, you should first understand how they work together.

bottle of pills spilling out

How Do CBD Oil and Antibiotics Interact?

When you take an antibiotic with CBD oil, the CBD may slow the processing time of that specific antibiotic. This slowing down period is known as the grapefruit effect––yes, grapefruits do inhibit the P450 system.

During inhibition, a medication’s active ingredient stays in your system longer. The longer a medication stays in your body, the more susceptible you are to experience the side effects of it.

In general, combining CBD oil with antibiotics isn’t seen as unsafe. One of the main reasons its best to approach mixing medications and CBD cautiously is because of the medication’s own side effects. It’s essential to recognize how the two may affect you individually.

If you already experience side effects from your prescription, it may not be a good idea to mix it with CBD or anything else. Before you jump the gun, you might want to ask a naturopathic doctor how your CBD oil might impact your antibiotics. Since these doctors specialize in natural remedies, like cannabidiol, they’re more likely to give you the best advice in comparison to some other medical doctors.

Is It Effective to Use CBD Oil and Antibiotics Together?

Several people use CBD oil or antibiotics to feel better but often take them separately, or for different reasons. With that said, it can be a good idea to use CBD oil and antibiotics together, but it depends on a few different factors.

Antibiotics widely vary in function, but the main goal is still the same: to fight infection. In a sense, antibiotics help the body wipe its slate clean by destroying any bacteria, even the good kind, in the body.

Some research shows that CBD oil contains antibacterial properties, which makes it useful to limit the risk of infection. In certain cases where bacteria are resistant to traditional medicine, some studies suggest CBD might provide a more effective solution.

One study on how cannabinoids affect pathogenic bacteria brought to light vital information about their impact on certain antibiotics and medications.

In the same study, cannabinoids were tested individually against six types of the superbug MRSA, which are resistant to antibiotics and medications. Those cannabinoids displayed “potent activity” against the bacteria. Essentially, this study showed how cannabidiol might be an excellent tool to help fight that treatment-resistant strain of bacteria.

It’s important to note that research is still shy about how exactly CBD oil interacts with certain bacteria, if at all. However, if you get the dosage right for both your medication and CBD oil, research suggests they may create a powerful potential to fight bacteria-generated situations.

Are There Side Effects?

When you mix CBD oil and antibiotics, there is potential to experience minor side effects. Although, it’s not seen as unsafe to combine CBD and certain medications.

Like we mentioned earlier, CBD oil may slow the metabolization of certain antibiotics. That means CBD slows how the body breaks down these antibiotics, increasing the chance of you experiencing the medication’s side effects.

Here are a few examples of what some people may experience when mixing CBD oil with either the clarithromycin or erythromycin antibiotics:

If you combine CBD oil and erythromycin, there’s an increased chance of you experiencing:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Liver disease
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle weakness

If you combine CBD oil and clarithromycin, there’s a higher chance of you experiencing:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Mood changes

Remember, there is no guarantee that you’ll experience any of these. CBD oil actually contains properties that may counter antibiotics’ most common side effects. For this reason, many people never experience any side effects. Of course, this depends on a person’s biological structure, the type of antibiotic, and the CBD dosage.

It’s important to keep in mind how much CBD oil you take. Make sure to always follow the recommended CBD dosage for the best results possible, especially if you’ve never taken CBD.

Check With Your Physician Before Combining CBD Oil and Antibiotics

If you’ve never used CBD oil with antibiotics and you’re feeling confused, we suggest you consult your doctor for further guidance. Speaking to a doctor who specializes in naturopathy may improve your chances of understanding how antibiotics and CBD work together.

Many people experience a range of wellness benefits while using CBD oil. These positive effects are primarily due to how CBD promotes balance within the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS––which all humans have––produces its own natural endocannabinoids to help our bodies regulate hunger, mood, sleep, mental clarity, swelling, digestion, and soreness, among other things.

It regulates these processes through homeostasis, which is how the body maintains stability, regardless of internal or external changes.

Unlike THC, CBD is nonpsychoactive, so it won’t get you high. Surprisingly, taking CBD seems to do the opposite of THC. Some research suggests CBD may reduce and counteract a THC high. Additionally, many advocates claim that taking CBD with minutiae amounts of THC is more beneficial than just taking CBD alone.

Related Article: Should I Take CBD With THC or Without it? [Pros & Cons]

Choosing the Right Product

If you feel comfortable taking CBD oil alongside your pharmaceuticals, make sure to select a product high in quality. There are a few things you can look for if you’re unsure how to find a trustworthy CBD oil brand.

To start, it’s always best to select a full-spectrum CBD oil from a brand that offers a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from third-party lab testing for their products. Also, brand transparency is crucial because it lets you know how they source their ingredients and how they process their products.

If you don’t care for CBD oil, there are several other CBD products you may benefit from, like trying Cheef Botanicals CBD capsules, gummies, vapes, salves, and more. You should keep in mind that CBD products you don’t ingest (like topicals) may be less likely to interact with your antibiotics, if at all.

woman taking antibiotics

Final Thoughts on Combining CBD Oil and Antibiotics

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t mix anything with your prescribed antibiotics or medications without first asking your doctor. If you’re curious, your provider can give you the best medical advice on whether or not you should mix CBD oil and your medication.

Taking CBD oil and antibiotics together is not considered unsafe. However, in some cases, CBD might heighten the side effects of your antibiotics. In other situations, if the dosage of CBD oil and certain medications are in harmony, they may have the potential to fight bacteria-generated circumstances in a better way.

Consider the dosages for your antibiotics and CBD oil, and how they individually make you feel. If you’ve never used a CBD product, start with the lowest recommended dosage, and work your way up.

When you experiment with CBD, you’re more likely to reach a point that makes you feel good. Take confidence in knowing CBD on its own is ok for adults, children, and pets. CBD oil does not have any significant side effects, is non-toxic, and has no risk for addiction or overdose.

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice. Learn more here.