CBD products are all the rage these days. That’s primarily due to the many common ailments that the compound can treat.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a naturally-occurring substance in cannabis believed to contain immense pharmacological properties.
Medical marijuana doctors recommend cannabidiol as a potential remedy for several health issues. The compound has demonstrated particular efficacy against pain and inflammation. Some people also administer it for stress and anxiety, insomnia, seizures, nausea, and erectile dysfunction (ED).
Now, it’s intuitive for many cannabidiol users to consume the substance alongside their regular prescription medications. However, there are inherent dangers involved in pairing CBD with prescription meds.
Here’s a definitive guide to cannabidiol and drug interactions.
Understanding the Science of Drug Metabolism
There’s no doubt that premium-quality CBD gummies uk obtained from reputable vendors can help treat numerous diseases. But as we’ve just indicated, the cannabidiol may prove medically ineffective depending on the drugs you pair it up with.
To understand CBD’s potential interactions with common prescription meds, you’ll need to start by familiarizing yourself with the science of drug metabolism.
When you administer any medication, your body metabolizes the substance before making it available for absorption and/or elimination. Drug metabolism processes occur throughout the body. However, the liver plays the most significant role.
The liver contains several compounds involved in drug metabolism. A notable mention is a family of cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes.
All drugs affect the performance of CYP450 enzymes. Some medications stimulate the enzyme while others inhibit it. This affects metabolic rate and determines how fast your body breaks down certain medicines.
What Is the Relationship between CYP450 Enzymes and CBD Oil?
Not only does the CYP450 family of enzymes break down common prescription medications. Research has shown that this family contains one specific enzyme called CYP3A4, which is involved in the metabolism of several cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol. The same studies indicate that CBD may also interfere with the performance of CYP3A4.
Now, CYP3A4 metabolizes nearly 60% of clinically prescribed drugs. And since cannabidiol oil can impede the enzyme’s efficacy, the implication is that consuming CBD might diminish the effects of prescription medications that are metabolized by CYP3A4 if consumed alongside these drugs. But that’s not all.
Certain medications have been shown to inhibit CYP3A4. Therefore, taking cannabidiol oil while on these drugs means your liver won’t break down CBD as efficiently as it usually would.
What Are The Dangers Of Pairing CBD Oil With Prescription Medications?
The biggest problem with consuming cannabidiol oil alongside prescription drugs is that it diminishes the effects of both CBD and those medications. That’s especially if the drugs are renowned CYP3A4 inhibitors. This phenomenon can set in motion a series of other unintended consequences.
For instance, fast metabolism means that the CYP3A4 enzyme breaks down (and eliminates) CBD and other drugs much faster you’re your system. The fast elimination process can lead to reduced drug efficacy. And since you’re not experiencing the desired therapeutic benefits, you may be tempted to up your doses far beyond the recommended serving amounts. Eventually, your body could tolerate CBD or other prescription medications.
On the flip side, the slow metabolism of CBD and prescription drugs can build up these substances in your system. Therefore, even small serving amounts could easily translate into an overdose.
But perhaps the biggest risk of pairing cannabidiol oil with prescription drugs is the associated side effects. Nearly all conventional medications have the potential for inducing adverse reactions. CBD oil isn’t safe, as an overdose can cause negative symptoms like drowsiness, nausea, and dry mouth. Long-term exposure to the compound is linked to liver damage. Therefore, consuming CBD with prescription drugs only doubles the risks of adverse effects.
What Medications Does CBD Oil Interact Most Adversely With?
There’s a plethora of medications that cannabidiol oil can interact adversely with. Notable ones include;
- Antidepressants like citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Antihistamines like brompheniramine (Dimetane) and cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Antipsychotics like risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel),
- Opioids like morphine and codeine
- Blood thinning drugs like warfarin
- Thyroid drugs like levothyroxine
- Certain diabetes medications like metformin
- Certain heartburn medications like Prilosec
- Certain antiseizure medications, such as clobazam and lamotrigine
- Other stimulants like Adderall
In addition to prescription medications, adverse effects may worsen if using cannabidiol oil in conjunction with certain herbal extracts. Common herbs that interact adversely with CBD oil include kava, St. John’s wort, and melatonin.
Does CBD Oil Always Interact Negatively With Prescription Drugs?
Absolutely not. It’s undeniably true that most interactions between cannabidiol oil and prescription medications are negative. However, there are several instances where CBD oil may interact with prescription drugs to offer compounded healing benefits.
For instance, the drug Marinol has become exceedingly popular in oncology centers for its ability to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea. The medicine combines CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and existing research shows that it works effectively with most cancer medications. Other CBD-based drugs, such as Sativex for treating multiple sclerosis and Epidiolex for treating seizures, have also demonstrated better promise when used alongside other medicines.
Cannabidiol oil may be effective at treating numerous medical ailments. However, the compound works best when used as a standalone drug instead of being paired with other prescription meds. The safest way to use CBD oil alongside other drugs and supplements is to apply CBD-enriched topicals externally or consume the substance via aromatherapy.