While CBD oil is generally considered safe, is it okay to use while on antibiotics? Get the answer here. CBD oil has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties, particularly useful in attacking bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics.
Antibiotics and CBD Oil: Safe to Take Together?
With new health benefits constantly being discovered, CBD oil has been one of the most exciting medical developments of this century. But almost 100 years before cannabidiol came into the spotlight, antibiotics completely revolutionized medicine and have held their place as a staple of healthcare since.
Together, could this combination be a powerful dream team? Or a match made in hell?
People around the world take CBD oil for a range of conditions; whether for sleep, mood, muscle repair, pain relief, or inflammation control, it can become an important part of your daily routine. Understandably then, if you are told you need to take antibiotics, you’ll want to know whether you can continue to use CBD oil.
Understanding the potential advantages and disadvantages of using CBD oil in conjunction with antibiotics will help you to make an informed decision on how best to carry out your treatment. But as always, this article serves only to educate and should not be substituted for medical advice. Always consult your doctor before using CBD oil with antibiotics.
CBD Oil and Antibiotic Interaction
CBD oil is widely considered to be a safe product that is well tolerated by the majority of people and carries a low risk for side effects. However, when combined with certain pharmaceutical medications, care must be taken. This is due to the relationship between CBD oil and the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system.
Located in the liver, the P-450 system contains more than 50 enzymes that help your body break down toxins. Many common medications are processed through this system, though common antibiotics like penicillins are actually inhibitors of this system as well. The only antibiotics processed by the P-450 system are clarithromycin (Biaxin) and erythromycin.
If you’re taking either of these antibiotics, CBD oil could slow down the time it takes your body to process them in what is referred to as the ‘grapefruit effect.’ (Grapefruit also inhibits the P-450 system.) This inhibition increases the amount of time the medication’s active ingredient is present in your system, and can make it more likely that you’ll experience side effects.
Generally speaking, it isn’t necessarily unsafe to take CBD oil and antibiotics together, but it’s important to understand how the combination could affect you. So, talk to your doctor before you begin using CBD oil and antibiotics together. You can also consult a naturopathic doctor who specializes in using cannabidiol to treat certain medical conditions.
Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil and Antibiotics Together
CBD oil and antibiotics both fight infection, but they don’t do it in the same manner.
While different types of antibiotics vary in their method of fighting infection, they all have a general function: targeting the elements of bacterial cells that aren’t present in human cells. This is an incredibly thorough method of fighting infection; it wipes the slate clean, so to speak, destroying all bacteria in the body, even the good bacteria (probiotics) that keep your gut healthy. Your medication will also exclude any bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.
CBD oil has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, making it another tool for fighting infection. While we don’t yet understand how CBD oil fights bacteria, studies have confirmed that this is the case, and that it is particularly useful in attacking bacteria that have become resistant to traditional antibiotics.
One such study investigated how various cannabinoids, including CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), affect pathogenic bacteria. Each cannabinoid was tested against six strains of the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA. All of the cannabinoids showed “potent activity” against the bacterium, with researchers noting that “activity was exceptional against some of these strains, in particular, the multidrug-resistant (MDR) SA-1199B” and also “against EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16, the major epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus strains occurring in U.K. hospitals.” In other words, cannabidiol was proven to be effective at fighting one of the most treatment-resistant strains of bacteria medicine has seen.
If you can get the dosages right, using CBD oil with antibiotics can offer a powerful, two-pronged approach to fighting bacteria-generated illnesses. Or, after consulting your doctor, you may choose to try using a high-concentration CBD product on its own to fight infection at first. This will preserve the good bacteria in your body and may help reduce the growing number of treatment-resistant bacteria in the world today, which come as a result of unnecessary and incorrect usage of antibiotics.
Side Effects of Using CBD Oil with Antibiotics
As mentioned above, CBD oil may slow down your ability to metabolize clarithromycin (Biaxin) and erythromycin. It’s important to note here that these two antibiotics can be prescribed on their own and may also be included in medications that contain a mixture of antibiotics. This is why it’s important you read your labels and consult your physician.
Since CBD slows the breakdown of these antibiotics, your chances of experiencing their side effects could increase.
If combining CBD oil and clarithromycin, you might be more likely to experience side effects like:
- Mood changes
- Stomach Pain
If combining CBD oil and erythromycin, you could have a higher chance of experiencing side effects like:
- Stomach pain
- Liver disease
- Muscle weakness
CBD Oil for Side Effects of Antibiotics
Antibiotics have saved hundreds of millions of lives since penicillin was first discovered in 1928, but they come with some side effects, too.
Until CBD oil’s antimicrobial effects are better understood, its greatest use in combination with antibiotics may be mitigating their side effects.
|Generic Name||Common Side Effects||CBD Oil|
|Amoxicillin||Nausea; vomiting; stomach pain||Combats nausea and vomiting and reduces the experience of pain|
|Azithromycin||Nausea; vomiting; stomach pain||Combats nausea and vomiting and reduces the experience of pain|
|Clindamycin||Nausea; vomiting; joint pain||Combats nausea and vomiting and reduces the experience of joint pain associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis|
|Cephalexin||Nausea; vomiting; stomach pain||Combats nausea and vomiting and reduces the experience of pain|
Because CBD oil has properties that counter the most common side effects of antibiotics, many people report that when combining the two, they don’t experience any side effects at all. While this is only anecdotal, it is certainly worth considering.
Best CBD Oils to Use with Antibiotics
If you are using CBD oil and need to take a course of antibiotics, speak to a medical professional to discuss the best way forward. Once you have the thumbs-up from your physician, it’s time to choose your CBD product!
To make sure you’re shopping with high-quality CBD oils brands, look for third-party lab testing and Certificates of Analysis. Certificates of Analysis give you the chance to see exactly what is in your CBD product, especially in the way of potency and safety. Finding an organic CBD product will further ensure you’re getting premium CBD oil without any dangerous pesticides or herbicides.
You may also want to think about the method you’ll use to take CBD. If, for example, you have a chest infection, you may feel more comfortable taking your CBD oil in capsule form as opposed to using a vape pen. Explore what your CBD brand of choice has to offer, and reach out to them for the most accurate information about how long it will take the effects to set in, and how long they will last for.
CBD Oil Dosage
Because the amount of CBD oil required to show effects depends on a number of factors like your metabolism, age, and weight, there is no one dose that can be applied across the board.
It’s best to start with the lowest recommended amount that appears on your product. From there, the dose can be adjusted up or down as needed. With no significant side effects, no intoxicating effects, and no risk for overdose or addiction, you confidently experiment with dosage and concentration until you find what works best for you.
CBD Oil and Antibiotics – August 2022
Antibiotics are used to prevent or treat specific types of bacterial infections. In some cases, they are prescribed for an infection that keeps coming back or causes an increased risk of complications.
However, antibiotics are not effective against viral infections, such as the common cold or flu (1 ) .
Can CBD Be Taken With Antibiotics?
There is no known interaction between CBD (cannabidiol) and antibiotics. However, there is a potential risk when combining CBD and antibiotics, as both are metabolized (broken down) through the cytochrome P450 enzyme system (2 ) .
Due to how antibiotics are metabolized, the concentrations of these drugs could potentially increase when taken with CBD.
The CYP450 liver enzymes are responsible for breaking down toxic compounds, including over 60% of any over-the-counter or prescription drugs consumed.
Certain substances can affect processing times within this system, making drugs metabolize faster or slower than they would on their own.
Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, leading to an overall increase in processing times , resulting in potentially higher levels over a longer period of time (3 )
Antibiotics use the cytochrome P450 enzyme system and can interact with CBD, as reiterated by authors Eileen Konieczny, RN, and Lauren Wilson, in their book, Healing with CBD (4 ) .
Until studies that specifically look at how CBD interacts with antibiotics are completed, talk with a doctor to make sure there are no CBD drug interactions with other medications currently taken.
CBD Oil As Antibiotic: What the Research Says
CBD oil has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties, making it another tool for fighting infection.
Although it is not well-understood how CBD oil fights bacteria, studies have confirmed CBD’s antibiotic properties, which are particularly useful in attacking bacteria that have become resistant to traditional antibiotics.
One such study investigated how various cannabinoids, including CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), affect pathogenic bacteria (5 ) .
In the said study, each cannabinoid was tested against six strains of the antibiotic-resistant superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). All cannabinoids showed potent activity against a variety of MRSA strains.
The results of the study indicated that CBD has proven to be effective at fighting one of the most treatment-resistant strains of bacteria the field of medicine has ever seen.
Then, the researchers at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience discovered in 2019, through a series of test-tube experiments, that CBD could kill numerous strains of bacteria, including treatment-resistant strains like VRSA , VISA , and MRSA (6 ) .
These strains have developed resistance to other existing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antibiotics over the years. However, they did not develop any resistance to CBD.
In one of the experiments, the researchers found that despite exposing the strains to CBD for 20 days, this cannabis compound was able to outmaneuver the entire process of superbug development.
Moreover, CBD was found to be effective at disrupting biofilms, a microscopic conglomeration of bacteria, mucopolysaccharides, and waste products and act as a physical barrier that prevents antibiotics from working against the bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections. This breakthrough in microbiology could ultimately lead to the development of new treatments.
Lead author, Mark Blaskovich, stated there was no doubt CBD possessed a unique mechanism that worked against bacteria resistant to other antibiotics. He admitted, however, that he and his team still could not explain how this mechanism works.
A later study , conducted in August 2019 by scientists from the United Kingdom, has shed light on the workings of that unique mechanism (7 ) .
In the said study, which was published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, the authors examined the antibacterial effects of CBD and Escherichia Coli bacteria (E. coli)’s membrane vesicles, which the bacteria use to spread and communicate.
The researchers discovered that the antibiotic’s ability to prevent the release of those membrane vesicles is enhanced by CBD.
The results suggested that CBD could help fight specific bacteria as a tailored co-application with selected antibiotics.
The researchers concluded that CBD might help increase antibiotic activity and reduce antibiotic resistance when used in tailored co-application.
The results of the studies demonstrating CBD’s antibiotic properties are especially exciting for the CBD community.
However, it is essential to note that researchers still do not know what made CBD powerful at fighting the infections during the experiments.
All the research was carried out in a lab, in test tubes and on bacteria cultures, not on humans.
To date, there has been no study that recommends taking CBD with antibiotics. Neither is there a study that suggests CBD can replace antibiotics in the treatment or prevention of some types of bacterial infections.
Further research needs to be conducted to study the long-term side effects and resistance of CBD as an antibiotic.
Before taking CBD or any CBD products to treat or prevent any infection, do research and consult with a doctor experienced in cannabis use for advice.