The Influence of Cannabidiol on the Pharmacokinetics of Methylphenidate in Healthy Subjects

Med Cannabis Cannabinoids. 2022 Nov 4;5(1):199-206. doi: 10.1159/000527189. eCollection 2022 Jan-Dec.


Introduction: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a widely utilized nonpsychoactive cannabinoid available as an over-the-counter supplement, a component of medical cannabis, and a prescriptive treatment of childhood epilepsies. In vitro studies suggest CBD may inhibit a number of drug-metabolizing enzymes, including carboxylesterase 1 (CES1). The aim of this study was to evaluate effect of CBD on the disposition of the CES1 substrate methylphenidate (MPH).

Methods: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study, 12 subjects ingested 750 mg of CBD solution, or alternatively, a placebo solution twice daily for a 3-day run-in period followed by an additional CBD dose (or placebo) and a single 10 mg dose of MPH and completed serial blood sampling for pharmacokinetic analysis. MPH and CBD concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry.

Results: The Cmax (mean ± CV) for the CBD group and placebo group was 13.5 ± 43.7% ng/mL and 12.2 ± 36.4% ng/mL, respectively. AUCinf (ng/mL*h) for the CBD group and placebo group was 70.7 ± 32.5% and 63.6 ± 25.4%, respectively. The CBD AUC0-8h (mean ± CV) was 1,542.2 ± 32% ng/mL*h, and Cmax was 389.2 ± 39% ng/mL. When compared to MPH only, the geometric mean ratio (CBD/control, 90% CI) for AUCinf and Cmax with CBD co-administration was 1.09 (0.89, 1.32) and 1.08 (0.85, 1.37), respectively.

Discussion/conclusion: Although the upper bound of bioequivalence was not met, the mean estimates of AUC and Cmax ratios were generally small and unlikely to be of clinical significance.

Keywords: Cannabidiol; Cannabis; Carboxylesterase; Carboxylesterase 1; Drug interaction; Methylphenidate.

Grant support

This study was made possible by a grant from the State of Florida Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research.