Cannabidiol (CBD)-containing products are all the rage these days, and they are promising in helping anything from insomnia to chronic pain and seizures. Some of these claims are valid, while others are just marketing fluff.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in hemp, cannabis plants. Another type of cannabis plant, marijuana, contains some CBD but a lot of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Which is an intoxicating cannabinoid that makes people feel “stoned” or “high.” While CBD does not cause you to get high, it does interact with cannabinoid receptors in your body. It offers benefits to individuals with arthritis to help with pain, inflammation and improve sleep and anxiety.
There are recognized CBD side effects and interactions with supplements, herbal products, OTC, and prescription drugs. Let’s look into it in detail.
How CBD Interacts with Medications and Drugs?
CBD interacts with receptors in Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and interferes with cytochrome P4SO. Which can diminish or increase the effects of certain prescribed drugs. The liver enzymes Cytochrome P45O are important for breaking down medicines and poisons that enter the body. CBD can temporarily stop this enzyme from working by blocking its action. As a result, It can change how other substances are metabolized.
What Is The Relationship Between Cytochrome P450 And CBD And Medications?
The metabolism of cannabidiol (CBD) is through the enzymes CYP3A4 from the same family. CBD inhibits this enzyme and handles the metabolization of 60% of all given drugs.
However, if CBD inhibits CYP34A, it will be unable to break down drugs in our bodies properly. Many drugs can also suppress CYP3A4, and thus this can work both ways. When you take medicines and CBD, your system struggles to metabolize the CBD effectively.
When our bodies metabolize medications slowly, it implies we have more than needed drugs in our bodies. Despite that, we are taking the recommended dose, and increased drug dosage in the body might increase the consequences and unwanted side effects.
Some drugs can speed up the activity of the CYP450 enzyme family. If other chemicals can activate these enzymes, our bodies will metabolize the drugs too rapidly. Thus, there will be insufficient medication in the body to address the health issue.
Possible Drug interactions
Keep an eye out for the grapefruit warning.
Research on potential interactions between CBD and specific drugs is still ongoing. However, there is one rule of thumb to assist customers in the meantime. If your medications have a grapefruit warning on the label, stay away from CBD.
According to the Food and Drug Administration:
Consuming grapefruit with some medications results in a higher concentration of the medication in the system. It can also result in undesirable side effects or even an overdose.
Grapefruit and citrus juices interact with over 85 medications. Furanocoumarins, found in grapefruit, inhibit CYP3A4 in the same way that CBD does. It hinders medication metabolization as a result.
Grapefruit warnings are common in a variety of drugs. However, not all medications in the same category require grapefruit avoidance. Check the information on your medication’s insert or consult your doctor.
Grapefruit warnings are widely found on a variety of medications.
- Antibiotics And Antimicrobials
- Anticancer Medications
- Antiepileptic Drugs (Aeds)
- Blood Pressure Medications
- Blood Thinners
- Cholesterol Medications
- Erectile Dysfunction Medications
- Gi Medications
- Heartbeat Medications
- Mood Medications
- Pain Medications
- Prostate Medications
What exactly do we know about CBD’s interactions with other medications?
Studies on Epidiolex (the only FDA-approved CBD medicine intended to treat uncommon kinds of epilepsy) provide the most valid information. Epidiolex has been observed to cause a 30% increase in the blood thinner warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding. It can also interfere with other epilepsy drugs.
Researchers are trying to figure out how CBD interacts with a variety of drugs. Certain drugs have been studied in animals. But researchers are still figuring out how the results apply to humans in many cases.
There have been a few tiny clinical trials. In one trial of 25 children with difficult-to-treat epilepsy, 13 of the children were given clobazam and CBD. Clobazam levels were discovered to be increased in these youngsters by researchers. They claim that using CBD and clobazam combined is safe. However, drug levels should be monitored during treatment.
In another trial, CBD in Epidiolex was administered to 39 adults and 42 children using AEDs. Every two weeks, the CBD doses were raised. The serum levels of AEDs in participants were tracked over time by the researchers. Most of them had serum levels that were within the acceptable therapeutic range. Two of them — clobazam and desmethylclobazam — had serum levels outside the therapeutic range.
Even if you’re taking your prescribed dosage, some research reveals that CBD can disrupt drug levels in your system.
How To Safely Take CBD With Other Medications?
Take medical advice from your physician before using CBD with a prescription. They should figure out what kind of CBD product to use? How much to use? When to use it to not interfere with your meds, and is it fully safe?
Doctors may monitor the plasma levels of certain medications you’re taking in some instances. Stopping your usual medications to try CBD is not recommended unless your doctor advises you to.
CBD is available in the market in the form of CBD oil, CBD vapes, and CBD gummies. You can also find it in topicals, creams, lotions, and balms. Unlike foods, these CBD forms do not enter the bloodstream unless they are transdermal solutions.
Is the CBD’s form important?
Absolutely. Inhaled CBD is the fastest way to deliver CBD into your bloodstream. It reaches the body in high concentrations under 30 minutes or less and raises the risk of side effects. Edibles take longer to absorb and are less likely to induce a high concentration peak. However, they may reach levels high enough to cause problems or interact with other drugs. There is very little evidence on how much CBD eventually gets into the blood. But, creams and lotions may not absorb and get into the blood in significant amounts to interfere with other drugs. Also, the fact that none of these items is tested for concentration or safety makes them more to be careful from.
When Taking CBD And Medication, Keep an Eye Out For These Side Effects
If the CBD or drug dose is raised, you may suffer side effects like tiredness, nausea, sedation, seizures, changes in appetite, weight fluctuations, and diarrhea.
According to doctors, blood pressure and cardiac changes may occur if people combine CBD with drugs that have similar cardiovascular effects.
They urge that doctors should consider a person’s usage of cannabis when prescribing medications. Also, patients should be honest about their cannabinoid intake, whether medical or otherwise.
Seek medical advice
To summarise, CBD has a wide range of benefits; but, it can interact with other substances, just like any other chemical. It is necessary to know how any of these CBD medications interact.
Furthermore, if you are considering using CBD products, consult your doctor first. Especially if you are consuming other medications that can weaken the immune system (such as cancer medications). Also, if you have any medical conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart problems, or a weakened immune system.
A pharmacist can also help you figure out if a supplement, herbal product, or prescription medication might interact. Don’t think that because something is natural, it is safe and that attempting it won’t harm you. It’s possible.