May 17, 2021 4 min read

According to the latest health and wellness news, it seems like CBD may have benefits for any and everybody. We definitely agree that CBD's benefits are far reaching, but that doesn't mean there aren't some people who shouldn't use CBD, especially without first consulting their doctor.

Curious if you're one of those people? Here are some reasons you may want to talk to your doctor before you add CBD to your daily routine:

Key Takeaways

  • CBD may have a variety of benefits, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all supplement.
  • Certain medical conditions, allergies, and other lifestyle factors may make it unsafe to take CBD.
  • If you’re in doubt about whether CBD is right for you, always consult your doctor first.

If You Have Liver Issues

Among the many false-flag reports about CBD’s dangers was the over-exaggerated claim that CBD would lead to certain liver damage. We aren’t dismissing the claim entirely, but a recent preliminary study found that liver damage from oral CBD doses isn’t really that common at all.

Still, CBD may pose an ever-present threat for those who already suffer from liver damage or other liver-related issues. That’s because it relies on the liver, specifically cytochrome P450 liver enzymes, to be broken down.

Those who suffer from liver damage or a low-functioning liver have to be careful what types of medications and products they intake so as to not overload the liver, and CBD is no exception.

If You Take Medications

A person who already takes one or more prescription medications is another example of someone who shouldn’t take CBD without first talking to their doctor.

Because CBD is metabolized by the P450 liver enzymes (as we mentioned above), it may interact with many common medications. These types of medications often come with what is commonly known as a “grapefruit warning,” because grapefruit juice was also found to reduce the amount of the p450 enzyme found in the body.

A bottle of prescription medications spilled out onto a table.

Most medications are metabolized through this same enzyme pathway and may therefore have the “grapefruit warning” on their label. This includes many of the following types of drugs:

    • Antibiotics
    • Anti-nausea medications
    • Antimicrobials
    • Anticancer treatments
    • Antidepressants
    • Antihistamines
    • Anxiety medications
    • Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
    • Blood pressure medications
    • Blood thinning medications
    • Cholesterol medications
    • Corticosteroid
    • Erectile dysfunction medications
    • GI medications
    • Heart medications
    • Immunosuppressants
    • Pain medications

Because these medications and CBD both rely on the same metabolic pathways, there’s a chance they may compete for available liver enzymes. In most cases, this reaction is not life-threatening, but it can be if CBD prevents a life-saving medication from being metabolized correctly.

Eldery people are even more susceptible to drug interactions because they are more likely to take more than one medication daily, and because of physiological changes that alter the way that the body processes medications as we age.

In many cases, CBD can still be taken alongside other medications with a doctor’s guidance. You can learn more about these interactions by reading “CBD Drug Interactions.”

If You Have a Hemp Allergy

This one may seem straightforward, but it’s actually a little more complex than you’d think. Hemp allergies are rare, but they generally have to do with an allergen to the pollen made by the male hemp flower.

Thanks to the way that different CBD products are made, this pollen doesn’t usually make it through to the final batch. That’s because CBD and other cannabinoids are usually harvested from the flowering female plants.

Of course, this isn’t always the case, and you need to ensure that you choose a high-quality distributor to help avoid contact with hemp pollen. If you have a serious hemp allergy or have ever experienced anaphylaxis or another severe allergic reaction, definitely avoid CBD until you talk to your doctor.

Note that some CBD products may also contain other ingredients that can have allergy-related consequences for some people, like coconut oil, tree nuts, or gluten. Always check labels to ensure that all of the ingredients in a CBD product meet your dietary needs.

If You Have Certain Underlying Conditions

This one goes without saying for people familiar with the situation, but we’ll mention it anyways.

A woman discussing CBD with her doctor.

If you suffer from an underlying condition, like liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart issues, a weakened immune system, or similar conditions, you should never take CBD (or any other supplement) without first consulting your doctor.

It’s true that some FDA-approved CBD formulations may be beneficial for treating epilepsy and that many CBD users have noticed general health benefits from a regular daily dose. Still, the presence of an underlying condition likely means that there are various health risks involved with taking CBD.

For instance, underlying conditions usually mean that you are taking other medications, or that your endocannabinoid system may not be operating in its usual balance, which will affect the way that CBD interacts with the body.

To put it simply, you should always consult your doctor before taking CBD if you have any underlying health conditions, no matter how small. You and your doctor can work together to determine if your underlying condition may be due to an endocannabinoid deficiency (which may benefit from CBD) or if you should steer clear.

Conclusion: Is CBD Safe for Everyone?

To simply state that “CBD is safe for everyone” is to ignore that no two people (or two CBD formulations) are exactly alike. Still, with so many potential benefits on the table, it can be challenging to clearly say who should and who shouldn’t take CBD.

The general rule of thumb is that CBD may be right for you under any circumstance, but you need to consult your doctor before incorporating a CBD product into your daily routine.

At the end of the day, it’s all about endocannabinoid balance and your unique biological and lifestyle factors—something only you and your doctor can safely explore.

If you do decide that CBD is right for you, make sure that you seek out a safe, trustworthy CBD brand. We suggest checking out our CBD collection, which is 100% Farm Bill compliant with third-party lab test results that you can view before you buy.

Resources

  1. “Clinical Study Reports Preliminary Results of CBD Liver Safety” https://validcare.com/news/clinical-study-reports-cbd-liver-safety-results/
  2. “Grapefruit juice–drug interactions” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1873672/#:~:text=Thus%2C%20grapefruit%20juice%20appeared%20to,action%20on%20presystemic%20drug%20elimination.
  3. “As You Age: You and Your Medicines” https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-consumers-and-patients-drugs/you-age-you-and-your-medicines
  4. “Can you be allergic to marijuana?” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321343



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