Did you know that CBD shares some important commonalities with grapefruit? In this blog we’re going to tell you what exactly grapefruit and CBD have in common and why this could be important to you. 

Research has shown that taking CBD can potentially benefit the body in a wide variety of ways, including easing muscle and joint pain, soothing anxiety, and aiding sleep. Because of this, CBD has become a big part of many people’s physical and mental wellness routine, with some choosing CBD as an add-on therapy to ease symptoms of a condition that they may also be taking prescribed medication for.

If this is you then don’t panic, combining CBD and medication is often harmless, and CBD can in fact be a great way to improve your overall quality of life alongside medication. But have you ever heard of the grapefruit warning? If you haven’t I’ll explain… Here comes the science.

The Science Bit: How Does Grapefruit Interact with Some Medications?

If you have received medication from your doctor, you might have noticed a warning on the label or leaflet that tells you not to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you’re taking the medication. This is to do with how our bodies metabolise medication. This process of metabolising is a process of breaking down the medication in your body so that it can get to work where it needs to. It happens in the gut and in the liver, and it’s carried out by a series of enzymes – specialised proteins called cytochrome P450 (CYPs).

Grapefruit (and a few close relatives in the citrus family) contain a class of chemicals called furanocoumarins. Usually these are fine to consume, and grapefruit is generally considered to be a healthy food that does your body good, but furanocoumarins can have a negative effect on the process of metabolising your medication. This is because they disrupt the normal function of CYPs.

This slows down the process of breaking down your medication and can, in some instances, lead to increased side effects of the medication. Depending on the medication in question, consuming grapefruit can be significantly serious. For more on how grapefruit can interact with specific medications, take a look at this healthline article.

grapefruit warning on the side of a medication bottle

What does this have to do with CBD?

So now you know more about the grapefruit warning and why it exists, but what about CBD? Research to date has shown that CBD is generally safe, and CBD isolate specifically is non-psychoactive. For more information on why CBD isolate doesn’t trigger a ‘high’ check out our previous blog on the subject. Like grapefruit, CBD for most people probably has more potential to help your body rather than negatively affect it, but, like grapefruit, this could change when it comes to some medications.

The concern still lies with how CBD interacts with the process of metabolising medication. CBD has also been found to interfere with a CYP enzyme that is in charge of metabolising some prescription medications. This particular CYP also plays a large role in processing CBD, so while you’re on these medications your body also won’t be able to use CBD to its fullest potential. 

So that’s what CBD and grapefruit share: the potential to interact with prescription medication. If you want to try CBD as an add-on therapy while you are taking medication, look for the grapefruit warning. If your medication warns against grapefruit then it’s probably best to steer away from CBD oils and gummies or any other oral means of taking CBD. 

We always recommend talking to your doctor if you are thinking about trying CBD while on medication. It’s the safest and most accurate way to find out if taking CBD is going to affect your medication. We never recommend stopping a prescription medication to try CBD or to attempt to use CBD in place of a prescription medication.

Hemp dreams dashed? Not quite…

If you’ve taken a look at your medication’s label and found the grapefruit warning then you might be a little disappointed that CBD oil is off limits for you. This doesn’t mean you can’t still access the potential of the hemp plant. 

According to healthline, some CBD topical solutions can still be used safely while using prescription medication. Our CBD Rosemary and Mint Muscle Salve can soothe aching muscles and joints, providing targeted relief. Our CBD soaps and bath blocks are also designed for external use only. These could be excellent ways to introduce CBD into your life in a way that is safe for you. 

You could also try Voyager’s Hemp Beard Balm or Voyager Life Hemp Hand Cream – enjoy the rich and intensely moisturising power of Hemp Seed Oil without any CBD.

Not all is lost. There are still ways for you to add CBD and hemp into your life. As long as you consult with your doctor, you can feel secure knowing what CBD and hemp products are right for you. At Voyager we value openness, honesty, and earning customer trust. You’ll find lab reports on all of our products on our website which can aid you and your doctor in figuring out what is right for you.

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