Other than “What is CBD oil,” a frequently asked pharmaceutical question is if cannabis products can be taken with prescription medicines. It’s a valid concern, especially for people who buy CBD tincture regularly. Hemp plants contain more than 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which interact with one another safely. However, their reactions with other drugs may not be the same. In this guide, we’ll discuss how CBD interacts with common prescription medicines.
How CBD Affects the Body
Before we get into interactions between CBD and prescription medicines, let’s discuss how cannabidiol products work within our bodies. CBD works on receptors within the endocannabinoid system (ECS), as well as vanilloid and serotonin receptors. It inhibits the degradation of some chemicals, such as anandamide, which affect mental function, pain perception, and mood.
By doing so, CBD can boost the body’s levels of these chemicals, promoting homeostasis (balance) between physiological functions. However, the best CBD oil tinctures also affect medication metabolism, which takes place in the liver.
How CBD is Metabolized
CBD and other cannabinoids, with the help of certain enzymes, are metabolized by the liver. The compound is broken down into its components and distributed throughout the body, where it works to maintain homeostasis. Cannabidiol remains in the body for approximately four weeks, during which time it’s stored in fatty tissue and slowly released through the biliary and renal systems.
CBD Oil and Drug Interactions
Liver enzymes such as cytochrome P450 metabolize about 90% of common medications, with two enzymes (CYP2D6 and CYP3A4) doing most of the work. Simply put, any drug metabolized by these enzymes will interact with cannabidiol. While some interactions are harmless, others may not be.
In a recent study, researchers looked at how CBD reacted with an anti-seizure drug called clobazam. They found that cannabidiol inhibited drug metabolism, which allowed them to give patients a lower dose of the prescription medicine without diminishing its efficacy.
Below, we’ll list a few drugs, their classifications, and the way they interact with CBD. We’ll also include a few recommendations on the use of cannabidiol.
- These drugs are metabolized by the liver enzymes mentioned above. Antidepressants and immunosuppressants are in this group, along with opioids, antipsychotics, and chemotherapy drugs. Depending on the medication, users may suffer more side effects, so the use of CBD isn’t recommended.
- CYP34 inhibitors. These are very similar to substrates and are commonly given to HIV patients and those suffering from other immune diseases. When cannabidiol interacts with one of these drugs, it becomes more bioavailable and carriers a greater risk of negative effects. While it’s technically safe to take CBD with these drugs, a lower dose is suggested.
- CYP3A4 inducers. These medications are used to treat seizures, but they can also serve as mild sedatives. Unlike inhibitors, these drugs decrease the bioavailability of CBD tinctures. Here, a higher dose is recommended.
Older users are more susceptible to CBD drug interactions for a few reasons. As a person ages, their kidneys and liver may work more slowly to metabolize drugs, and those with chronic conditions are more likely to use several medications. Therefore, the risk of serious interactions increases.
Caffeine and Cannabidiol
These two substances are enormously popular, especially when they are combined. Caffeine is known to increase alertness and focus, but it’s important to proceed with caution. A 2007 study demonstrated that caffeine is metabolized by the same enzymes that pure CBD oil inhibits. This may make caffeine stay in the body longer, extending its stimulating effects.
You’ve likely seen a warning on some of your medicines that advises you to avoid consuming grapefruit. Why do drug manufacturers make that recommendation? Like cannabidiol, grapefruit also inhibits certain liver enzymes that affect drug metabolism. That means grapefruit consumption could increase the blood-borne level of a drug, leading to a potential overdose. Researchers have found that almost 90 drugs, such as loratadine, erythromycin, fentanyl, and alprazolam, share this interaction.
Safe Use of CBD With Prescriptions
If you are considering CBD as an adjunct to prescription treatments, we suggest discussing it with your physician before starting. Your doctor may be able to recommend a product and dosage schedule that works with your medicines. For some patients, monitoring the blood plasma level of certain medications may be necessary.
It’s important not to stop taking any medicines to buy CBD oil unless a doctor says it is okay to do so. In these cases, topical products such as salves, CBD creams, CBD roll ons, CBD gel, and lotions may be an option. Unlike vapes, edibles, and oils, topical treatments don’t usually enter the bloodstream.
Should Some People Avoid the Use of CBD Products?
While CBD is a great all-natural treatment for numerous conditions, it’s not right for everyone. If you have liver damage, it may be best to avoid the use of cannabidiol. According to animal studies, CBD may increase the level of some liver enzymes, raising questions about the occurrence of liver toxicity. Those taking the anti-epilepsy drug Epidiolex are more likely to have elevated enzyme levels, along with sleepiness and other side effects, if they’re using other medicines to minimize the occurrence of seizures.
When In Doubt About CBD, Talk to Your Physician
With all the excitement about full spectrum CBD oil, many people wonder whether it is safe to take these products while they’re on prescription medications. If you’ve read this entire guide, you’ve probably gathered that the answer to that question depends on the medicines you’re taking.
Every person is unique, and not everyone reacts to medicines in the same way. It’s up to you to monitor how cannabidiol affects your prescription routine. Pay careful attention to the effects, and, most importantly, use these products as directed. Like other things in life, it’s best to use CBD gummies and products in moderation.If you want to be on the safe side, discuss it with your doctor before using CBD topicals and edible products. Your physician can explain the effects of your prescriptions and how cannabidiol may work with them. By talking it over with your doctor, you’ll get sound advice and answers to all your questions before finding CBD oil for sale.