Cannabidiol (CBD) is seemingly everywhere and has become a wellness trend. I’ve been prone to dismiss it as just that — a hyped-up trend and just the latest fad offering a quick fix to wellbeing. Recently, though, I did change my mind and began to embrace CBD as one important component to my quality life. However, bad things happened. By taking CBD, I was poisoning myself. For me right now, CBD is dangerous. Here’s a look at why so you can determine if CBD is safe or toxic for you.
Updated CBD Information, Updated Post
Note: This is an updated version of my original poste appearing the fall of 2020. When I first wrote this, I had tried CBD with positive results. I recently discovered that I can’t take CBD because of a medication I’m on. It’s actually very dangerous. Because of this, and because the information isn’t well-known, I am compelled to update this post to provide you with new details for you CBD decisions. (More on the specifics below.)
I do think CBD can be helpful to some people, and I do continue to think that Joy Organics is a good company. To help you sort through some of the hype about CBD, I’ve kept some my original post intact because this basic information remains accurate. I’ve added what I’ve since learned and now explain why CBD is dangerous for me and possibly for you, too, if you’re on certain medications.
Whether you decide to use CBD for your wellbeing is a very personal decision. There are so many individual differences with our bodies that influence how CBD affects us. the key is to learn as much as you can from as many reputable sources as possible, pay attention to your own mental and physical reactions to it if you decide to try it, and continue to learn about it as you go. the research is new and is constantly changing. For optimal health and wellness, stay informed and do what is best for your own health.
Originally, because my first experience with CBD was positive, I became an affiliate of Joy Organics to help them share their products with others and to offer people special discounts on a product for their wellbeing. Because I’ve learned more and because CBD affects us all differently, I decided to end my affiliate relationship. I cannot in good faith and human kindness promote a product that affects us all so differently. I do think, though, that if you decide that CBD is a positive addition to your wellness regime (it can be good for many people), Joy Organics is a quality source.
Now, let’s dive into the updated information so you can discover more things about CBD to help you decide if it’s for you.
CBD and Some Medications are Dangerous Together
If you are on a medication that carries a grapefruit warning, CBD is dangerous, too. Many common medications carry grapefruit warnings, including some corticosteroids used for inflammatory bowel disease, prescriptions for psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety, medications for high blood pressure, angina, and high cholesterol, and certain immunosuppressants commonly used to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ (see just a few examples from the FDA and Harvard Medical School).
Grapefruit and CBD interfere with a group of enzymes in the body that are instrumental in metabolizing medication. When you consume grapefruit/grapefruit juice or CBD while taking certain medications, your body doesn’t break down the medication properly. In many cases, too much medication stays in the system, increasing both medication levels and side effects. Other times, the medication is blocked from working and the effects are weakened. Essentially, grapefruit and CBD prevent your medication from working properly, either causing toxic levels to accumulate in your body or weakening the effects of your medication so it can’t do what it is prescribed to do. Either one can make you sick and keep you sick while you’re eating grapefruit or taking CBD while on certain medications.
I haven’t been feeling well lately (in fact, my symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, lack of appetite, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating, and anxiety have been steadily and progressively worsening despite all the lifestyle measures I take to optimize my wellbeing. Upon reflection, I realized that, while I do experience a positive effect of CBD–it helps my peripheral neuropathy, permanent nerve damage caused by pernicious anemia), my other symptoms have been steadily worsening since I started using CBD last fall. At first, I attributed it to the CBD tincture I was using because it contained essential oils, substances incredibly hard on my stomach. I switched to softgels and just assumed things would improve. They didn’t. I didn’t think that CBD, often considered safe with few, minor side effects, was the culprit, but nothing else made sense. Therefore, I decided to look into CBD again.
Incredibly, it took some digging, but I discovered that CBD shares the same danger as grapefruit, so if your medication carries the grapefruit warning, it’s not safe to take with CBD, either. I take Entocort for microscopic lymphocytic colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease like Chron’s or ulcerative colitis. Typically, I don’t pay attention to whether something carries this warning because I also have autoimmune atrophic gastritis, a disorder of the stomach that makes eating lots of things, including citrus, incredibly unpleasant. Upon discovering this and doing more digging to cross-reference what I had read, I dashed to my pantry to check my bottle of Entocort. Lo and behold, it has grapefruit warning.
The bad news for me is that for the last several months, I’ve been gradually poisoning myself by taking CBD while also taking Entocort. The great news is that I discovered this before I suffered more serious medication toxicity. I’ve stopped using CBD and anticipate that my symptoms will gradually improve.
For anyone taking a medication with a grapefruit warning, CBD is dangerous. Perhaps as this information becomes more prominent and CBD use rises, the alert will be updated to a Grapefruit-CBD warning. Until then, we all need to do our best to stay informed and let friends and loved ones know of the risk created by using CBD while taking certain prescription medications.
I understand that this is a very specific situation that makes CBD off-limits. What about people (who aren’t on certain medications) who are interested in enhancing their overall wellbeing and boosting physical and mental wellness, in part by taking CBD? I continue to believe that for some people, CBD may be very effective.
Some Potential Wellness Benefits of CBD
To be sure, attaining wellbeing is a process and a lifestyle. Something as simple as a pill or a few drops of oil can’t magically eradicate physical- or mental health challenges. For total wellbeing and the ability to create and live the quality life that we define for ourselves, we need to be willing to do the work and implement a variety of healthy habits, perspectives, attitudes, and approaches to life.
CBD can, for some, play a part of a healthy lifestyle intentionally lived for wellness and thriving. While it doesn’t cure conditions, it can help the body function optimally. Our bodies have a natural endocannabinoid system, complete with cannabinoid (CB) receptors ready to grab cannabinoids and put them to work for us, decreasing inflammation, moderating pain, promoting cell growth, assisting in mood regulation, and helping the immune system keep us healthy. Our bodies make CB, but the receptors can receive it from CBD as well to further enhance functioning. Taking CBD can contribute to your body’s healthy functioning to help you feel well so you can create and live your version of a quality life.
The human body is complex, and we are all unique. Like so many things we put into our bodies, CBD can benefit some, have no effect on others, and harm yet others. Because I take Entocort, a medication with a grapefruit warning, CBD is dangerous for me. If you are taking or considering taking CBD and are on a prescription medication, check the label for the warning. It is also advisable to check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if CBD is right for you regardless of what medications you may be taking.
Above all, may you remain healthy, happy, and thriving — full of wellbeing and open to each moment of your life. I’m grateful to you — to all of my followers — and I wish you deep wellbeing.
Actively reflect on what “quality life” means to you and explore how to keep creating it with one of these guided journals.
- The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal
- The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety
- The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal