Can I Take CBD Oil With Metformin


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Metformin is an effective anti-diabetes medication, with a few mild potential side effects. CBD is also known for its ability to regulate our metabolism and blood sugar levels, but can you combine these two for a more efficient treatment? Can you take CBD while taking metformin? Can they interact when taken together? We’ll explain the details about their interactions in this article.

CBD and Metformin: Which Is Better & Should You Take Both?

Cannabis compounds are more often prescribed by doctors to treat serious chronic conditions. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC have been highlighted as potent anti-inflammatory agents, neuroprotectants, painkillers, and antioxidants.

CBD can also regulate our blood sugar levels and help with metabolism on many levels, according to recent research. Not only does CBD promote fat-browning, but it can also curb cravings for high-calorie food and reduce stress levels, preventing people from eating compulsively.

But does CBD have a direct impact on diabetes? Can you take it as a diabetes treatment instead of conventional medications? Are CBD and metformin a good match?

Metformin is a common anti-diabetes medication that doctors prescribe to lower blood sugar levels in their patients. The idea of combining these two compounds is tempting, especially if your current treatment doesn’t bring satisfying results.

Let’s take a look at the current situation of CBD in treating diabetes — and how it interacts with meds such as metformin.

What is Metformin?

Metformin is an FDA-approved medicine commonly prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. Doctors often recommend this drug on its own or prescribe it along with other diabetes medications to manage high blood sugar levels.

Metformin has proven to be an effective treatment for the majority of diabetes complications; it can also prevent diabetes in high-risk individuals. Despite some adverse reactions reported by individual patients, the benefits definitely outweigh the potential side effects.

What is CBD and How Does It Impact Glucose Levels?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high. However, it still has a plethora of therapeutic properties, some of which are related to CBD’s impact on our metabolism and blood glucose levels.

In a 2016 study conducted on diabetic mice, CBD treatment showed to be capable of lowering the chances of diabetes in the subjects. The research team administered a daily dose of 5 mg/kg CBD to the mice for ten weeks at least five times a week (1).

Another study, from 2018, has analyzed the mechanism of action of phytocannabinoids as anti-obesity and anti-diabetic compounds. The study highlighted CBD as the potential aid in the treatment of insulin resistance triggered by obesity and diabetes (2).

CBD and Metformin: Potential Interactions

Considering what we’ve said about Metformin and CBD so far, one could assume that it would be beneficial to combine them. However, no study has yet confirmed whether or not these products are compatible with one another.

CBD is metabolized by the same system of enzymes that breaks down active ingredients in medications. In past research, CBD has been highlighted as a potent inhibitor of cytochrome P450 enzymes. In other words, CBD can compromise the liver’s ability to process other drugs when taken along with them.

The above interaction could result in increased or decreased levels of active drug ingredients in the blood, causing problems associated with being subtherapeutic or, on the contrary, toxic.

CBD’s interaction with CYP450 can change the way it affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is the major regulatory network found in humans and animals that regulates the activity of other systems and organs, including the central nervous system.

Metformin has a few side effects on its own, so the more medication circulates in your bloodstream, the higher the risk you will experience adverse reactions. Although these side-effects are not severe, they may lead to a condition known as lactic acidosis. This disorder includes symptoms like muscle pain, dizziness, drowsiness, chills, and breathing difficulties.

Since there is no clear indication of whether using CBD and metformin is dangerous, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and consult your doctor about applying CBD in your routine before buying any CBD product.

A doctor experienced in treating people with cannabinoids should be able to point you in the right direction.

Can You Substitute Metformin with Another Antihyperglycemic to Take CBD Oil?

Insulin is another antihyperglycemic commonly used to lower high blood sugar to diabetics. Doctors often prescribe special injections to administer the compound intravenously.

In a 2010 study conducted on 62 participants with type 2 diabetes, scientists have found that a combination of THC and CBD can lower insulin resistance while increasing its potency in the body. These same patients weren’t treated with insulin and tolerated both CBD and THC well (3).

A study from 2018 shows that low-dose CBD can increase glucose uptake, decrease fat accumulation, and reverse insulin resistance in rats (4). This may be an indication of further clinical trials in humans. Despite being effective in rodents, CBD may not work the same in human subjects, so it’s necessary to test its efficacy on a broader scale.

Can You Replace Metformin with CBD?

Research has yet to prove whether or not CBD is a safe alternative to metformin use in diabetic humans. Most of the studies on CBD’s effect on diabetes were conducted on rodent models.

For example, one 2016 study on non-obese diabetic mice has shown that CBD can lower the risk of diabetes by altering the response in the immune system in rodents. The non-treated mice had an 86% probability of developing diabetes, while subjects that took CBD only had 30% (5).

The administration of CBD also significantly lowered plasma blood levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, while also lowering the possibility of inflammatory liver damage — the underlying cause of type 1 diabetes.

Finally, a 2019 study on diabetic rats tested the therapeutic properties of CBD in both ischemic disease models and diabetes (6). The study revealed that CBD reduces neuropathic pain, improves memory performance, and reduces hippocampal levels of inflammation markers (6).

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According to cannabis experts, CBD-rich products can be used to target the symptoms of diabetes. Since there are limited data on CBD’s efficacy in the human models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it’s always best to seek professional advice from a doctor before considering replacing metformin with CBD oil or edibles.

Drugs That Can Interact with Metformin

Metformin consists of positively charged molecules (cations) that can be processed by the same enzymes as similarly charged drugs for renal secretion through cation transporters found in the kidneys.

Cationic medications that can interact with metformin include quinidine, procainamide, trimethoprim, digoxin, and vancomycin. These drugs can be purchased over the counter for heartburn and may contribute to a case of metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA).

Here’s the list of other medications that can interact with metformin:

  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Corticosteroids
  • Diuretics
  • Estrogen and oral contraceptives
  • Phenytoin
  • Thyroid medications

Combining the aforementioned drugs with metformin may result in too-low blood sugar levels in the body. Patients need to monitor their glucose levels frequently to avoid sudden changes.

The following drugs can reduce the kidneys’ capacity to flush metformin from the blood and thus cause lactic acidosis:

  • Cimetidine
  • Dolutegravir
  • Ranolazine
  • Vandetanib

We encourage you to consult a doctor to determine if these drug combinations are worth the risk. There may be a safer alternative that doesn’t entail the same risk of danger.

If you want to avoid increasing the risk of lactic acidosis when using metformin, it’s better to abstain from taking carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as topiramate or acetazolamide.

Lactic acidosis may be detected early if patients taking CAIs together with metformin are monitored during their treatment.

Your doctor can also change the dosage or even suggest a safer, alternate medication to manage your blood glucose levels if metformin itself has too heavy side-effects on your health.

People changing immediate-release to extended-release metformin pills may experience fewer cases of diarrhea, as reported by a study in 2004.

Anemia and vitamin B-12 deficiency are also possible in people who have been taking metformin for at least a few months. Supplementing iron and vitamin B-12 may help prevent these problems if they occur in long-term metformin users.

What Experts Say About CBD and Metformin

Allan Frankel MD, an experienced physician and expert in GreenBridge Medicinal in Santa Monica, believes that CBD and metformin can be taken in tandem, but it requires proper care from your doctor. He also claims that patients can become able to ditch their type 2 diabetes medications thanks to using CBD.

“We have seen a substantial lowering of their [CBD patients] glucose levels in those with Type II Diabetes including several patients’ Hemoglobin A1C levels normalize so they are able to stop their Type II Diabetes medications, he said.”

However, CBD can cause blood glucose levels to drop too much due to their combined effects.

“The first time I saw this with a Diabetic, he called me after having some hypoglycemic episodes while taking CBD in addition to his Metformin, Frankel continues. “I told him to stop his Metformin and continue his CBD. His glucose levels normalized and he remained off Metformin.”

According to Frankel, CBD can also raise good cholesterol levels, while lowering bad cholesterol levels by stabilizing a patient’s blood sugar levels. He says he has seen patients ditching the statin once they have seen consistent improvements in their cholesterol levels.

On top of that, CBD — especially when combined with THC — can improve the side effects caused by poorly managed diabetes, including neuropathic pain.

“We have also seen improvements ranging from apparent stabilization of macular degeneration and help with neuropathic pain. Sometimes combined with THC, CBD is an avascular and renal protectant.”

To sum up, using CBD provides a multipronged approach for treating diabetes. It can be taken in tandem with metformin, but only under the observation of your doctor. Monitoring blood glucose levels is essential for avoiding unpleasant side-effects, such as hypoglycemia. On top of blood sugar management, CBD can balance cholesterol levels and speed up metabolism.

“I believe this is all happening on a number of metabolic levels, such as bringing the sensitivity of insulin back to normal,” Frankel concludes.

Final Thoughts on CBD and Metmorfin

Metformin is an FDA-approved prescription drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Patients take it on its own or with other prescription drugs with high sugar levels in the blood.

While metformin can effectively prevent diabetes in high-risk individuals, while also addressing most of its symptoms, it may cause a few adverse reactions. Fortunately, most users report that the benefits outweigh the potential side-effects.

People seeking natural treatments for diabetes often turn to CBD as their go-to supplement. CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system whose receptors are known to regulate blood sugar levels on top of many other metabolic functions.

Studies from animal models have demonstrated CBD’s efficacy in treating the symptoms of diabetes and managing the condition itself. While more human research is needed to confirm these findings, they are, at least to say, promising when it comes to contemporary diabetes treatments.

CBD and metformin can interact with one another because they are processed by the same system of enzymes. CBD is the inhibitor of these enzymes, meaning it can either increase or decrease the concentration of metformin in the bloodstream. This, in turn, can result in toxicity or subtherapeutic effects depending on the scenario.

As there’s no clear indication regarding the risk of taking CBD with metformin, it’s best to consult a physician who is experienced in complementary treatments. Medical advice from a professional will help you avoid potentially dangerous interactions and get the most out of your diabetes routine.

Do you take CBD and metformin together?


  1. Lehmann, Christian et al. “Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes.” Clinical hemorheology and microcirculation vol. 64,4 (2016): 655-662. doi:10.3233/CH-168021
  2. Clark, T et al. “Theoretical Explanation for Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, vol 3,1 (2018): 259–271.
  3. Frisher, M et al. “The Role of Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Diabetes”. The British Journal of Diabetes & Vascular Disease, vol 10,6 (2010): 267–273.
  4. Ramlugon, S., Levendal, R.A., and Frost, C.L. “Time-dependent Effect of Phytocannabinoid Treatments in Fat Cells”. Psychotherapy Research, vol 32,3 (2018).
  5. Lehmann, Christian et al. “Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes.” Clinical hemorheology and microcirculation vol. 64,4 (2016): 655-662. doi:10.3233/CH-168021
  6. Santiago, Amanda Nunes et al. “Effects of Cannabidiol on Diabetes Outcomes and Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion Comorbidities in Middle-Aged Rats.” Neurotoxicity research vol. 35,2 (2019): 463-474. doi:10.1007/s12640-018-9972-5
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Aspiring political journalist & small-town stoner currently living in Los Angeles. My day job consists of studying the mental health effects of cannabis in my role as a mental health case manager at Kaiser Permanente. By night, I roll fat joints and do my best to debrief Weed News readers on the latest cannabis happenings.

Does CBD Interact With Metformin?

Information on risks & possible interactions between CBD & metformin.

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Metformin is an anti-diabetic drug. It is the most common medication used in lowering blood sugar levels in type II diabetes and polycystic ovarian disease.

Unfortunately, metformin also comes with a host of negative side effects. Many people wonder whether or not CBD is a viable alternative to this common prescription medication or if they are safe to use together.

We’ll explore the potential interactions to watch out for between CBD (and other cannabinoids) and metformin.

Table of Contents

Does CBD Interact With Metformin?

Yes, CBD and metformin, when taken together, may cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar levels — leading to side effects like dizziness, fainting, and injury.

It’s best to take CBD and metformin about 2 hours apart to avoid these potential side effects.

CBD can interact with metformin in two ways:

1. Increased Effect (Agonistic Interaction)

CBD may have an agonistic reaction when used with metformin. Both medications act on the blood sugar in the body. Both metformin and CBD can cause a decrease in the blood glucose level, though the mechanisms by which they do this are very different from one another.

Metformin makes the cells more responsive to insulin and increases lipid metabolism. CBD works on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the body and may be responsible for the increased insulin amount in the body. These interactions between the two can help lower blood sugar in diabetic patients. However, it largely depends on the physiology of the individual’s body as it may lead to a rapid drop in blood sugar in some patients, causing dizziness, fainting, etc.

2. Slowed Elimination (Metabolic Inhibition)

The second interaction that these two medications can have is the metabolic one. Both of them can compete for the same liver enzymes, mainly CYP3A4. It may cause a rise in the concentrations of both drugs for a longer duration and take a longer time for the removal from the body. This interaction could lead to several side effects.

There have been no reported incidents of the side effects of using these two drugs together to date. There is no available research to determine how these two drugs interact with one another and the complications they may have. Thus, the risk of interaction is less, but not completely nonexistent.

Other Names For Metformin

Metformin is sold under many different names. All share the same risk and potential interactions.

Other names for metformin include:

  • Kazano
  • Invokamet
  • Xigduo XR
  • Synjardy
  • Glucovance
  • Jentadueto
  • Actoplus
  • PrandiMet
  • Avandamet
  • Kombiglyze XR
  • Janumet

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Metformin Together?

It is possible to take both CBD and metformin as they have a very mild chance of interaction. But it is always best to take caution, as both drugs have their side effects and may cause the blood sugar to lower more than needed if used together. Talk to your doctor first and get their expert opinion. Never take these two medications by yourself without any medical supervision.

If you decide to take both drugs, it is possible to reduce the side effects by taking only small doses of both drugs at first. The dosage of both drugs depends on your body’s condition and needs. Avoid taking them together and try spacing between the doses of the two drugs.

Depending on your body’s response to these two medications, the dosage of CBD and metformin can be decreased or increased. If you feel any abnormal side effects at all, contact your doctor immediately.

Is CBD a Viable Alternative to Metformin?

CBD does not contain any psychoactive elements and has many benefits. It works by acting on the endocannabinoid system of the body by working on its receptors. This ability may play a vital role in energy regulation by affecting the cells’ response to insulin. Hence, CBD may help the cells to respond better to insulin and decrease the level of lipid in the body.

CBD, combined with the cannabis compound tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), can increase insulin production and lower blood sugar in diabetic patients.

A study has shown that CBD can cause the ‘fat browning’ process, which can help in lipid metabolism and prevent obesity.

CBD also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties and may help reduce inflammation in the pancreas and help to produce insulin.

Because of the many benefits of CBD, it may be possible for it to become an alternative for anti-diabetic treatment. However, adequate research and studies about it are still lacking. There is not much information about its positive and negative effects on diabetic patients, so CBD is not a perfect replacement for metformin.

If you decide to use CBD while using metformin, you must consult your healthcare professionals first and get yourself assessed. Use the medications as directed, at the right time, and do not take more than needed.

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What is Metformin?

Metformin is a type of biguanide antihyperglycemic drug. It is used as a first-line treatment for type II diabetes and in treating polycystic ovarian disease.

It can control the level of blood sugar in the body by decreasing the glucose production in the liver, increasing the sensitivity of the cells to insulin, and increasing the GDF (growth differentiation factor 15), which reduces appetite and calorie intake.

Metformin Specs:

Drug Name Metformin hydrochloride
Trade Name Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet, Kazano, Invokamet
Other Names 1,1-Dimethylbiguanide hydrochloride
Classification Biguanide antihyperglycemic
CYP Metabolism Not metabolized gets excreted unchanged in the urine
Interaction With CBD Agonistic, increased effect
Risk of Interaction Mild

What Does Metformin Do?

Metformin lowers the level of blood glucose in diabetic patients without causing hypoglycemia.

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which there will be a high level of sugar in the blood. Typically, when the body receives sugar from the diet, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar levels and enables the cells to absorb glucose to use as an energy source.

Several factors such as genetics, excess body fat, and others can cause the blood cells to become insensitive to insulin. It causes the cells to absorb less sugar, causing a high amount of it to flow in the blood circulation instead, making the insulin ineffective. This leads to an elevation in blood glucose, insulin resistance, and insulin deficiency as well. With time, it can cause many effects such as kidney damage, high blood pressure, etc.

Metformin decreases the liver’s ability to produce glucose (gluconeogenesis) and opposes the action of glucagon. It also activates the 5′-AMP-activated kinase (AMPK), which increases the uptake of glucose by the cells. It also decreases lipid synthesis and increases the oxidation of fatty acids. It also increases insulin sensitivity and increases peripheral glucose uptake and use.

Metformin is prescribed along with a suggestion of a proper diet and exercise program. The combination of these can normalize blood sugar and maintain weight.

Metformin shows to be effective in treating high blood sugar, restoring ovulation, and reducing weight in polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD). It is also undergoing studies for its potential anti-cancer abilities.

The liver does not metabolize metformin; instead, it’s excreted unchanged in the urine. But it does affect the workings of the liver enzyme called CYP3A4.

Metformin is not recommended for use in several conditions. This includes metformin hypersensitivity, congestive, cardiac failure, diabetic ketoacidosis with or without coma, severe renal disease, and abnormal creatinine clearance.

Side Effects of Metformin

  • Abdominal distention
  • Chest discomfort
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspepsia
  • Flatulence
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Heartburn
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Myalgia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Types of Drug Interactions With CBD

CBD has shown to be safe and useful in the treatment of many conditions. But like most other drugs, CBD can interact with other medicines. Thus, any combination of drugs with CBD must be supervised. If you take any medications alongside CBD, always remain vigilant and look out for abnormal side effects.

There are three ways that CBD can interact with other drugs:

1. Agonistic Interaction

This happens when two medicines work on the same receptors on the body leading to increased effects.

Examples of medications that could cause agonistic interaction with CBD are:

  • Antihypertensive medications— These include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, central agonists, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, alpha-blockers, and angiotensin II receptor blockers. CBD can react with these and cause a drop in blood pressure.
  • Anti-diabetic medications —These include GLP-1 receptor agonists, meglitinides, SGLT-2 inhibitors, sulfonylureas, and insulin, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, and DPP-4 inhibitors.
  • Anti-anxiety medications —These include drugs like benzodiazepines and barbiturates. CBD could make their effects last longer.

2. Antagonistic Interactions

This is the opposite of the agonistic interaction. It happens when two drugs have effects opposite of each other. If taken together, one drug would cross out the effects of the other, causing a decreased efficacy of the second drug.

Drugs that have antagonistic interaction with CBD are:

  • Immunosuppressants — These include azathioprine, mycophenolate cyclosporine, methotrexate, etc. CBD’s immune-stimulating properties may decrease the effects of these drugs.
  • Stimulants — These include amphetamine and modafinil. CBD can cause their effects to lessen.
  • Immunomodulators —These include antihistamines like carbinoxamine, desloratadine, levocetirizine. CBD could increase their sedative action.
  • Asthma Medications — These include drugs like albuterol, fluticasone, montelukast, ipratropium bromide, and theophylline. CBD may counteract their abilities, especially theophyllines’.

3. Metabolic Inhibition

Some medications need similar enzymes to break down the drug molecules. It leads to both drugs competing against each other, causing their metabolism to slow down.

These include medications like:

  • Blood thinners— CBD could cause an increase in the action of warfarin, enoxaparin, heparin, and others that could be very unsafe.
  • NSAIDs— These include ibuprofen, naproxen, and high-dose aspirin. CBD could make them last longer in the body.
  • Opiate analgesics— These include morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. CBD could make them last longer in the bloodstream, causing complications.
  • Antidepressants —CBD can make these drugs last longer in the body by slowing down their metabolism. Antidepressants include trazodone, mirtazapine, vortioxetine, vilazodone, and others.

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Take Metformin With CBD?

CBD has the potential to become an alternative for the treatment of diabetes in the future.

CBD and metformin can have a mild interaction where both drugs last longer in the body and lower blood sugar levels below normal.

While they have very little chance of interaction, you must exercise caution on using both. Use them only under the guidance of a certified physician, and in case of any abnormal side effects, get medical attention immediately.

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