CBD Oil with Medications
Can you consume CBD oil while taking medication? How does this cannabinoid interact with substances inside the body? We have the answers you are looking for.
One of the most frequently asked questions related to health and pharmaceuticals is whether hemp can be mixed with medications. This is a very valid concern, especially among those who consume cannabidiol (CBD) on a regular basis, whatever their purpose. Understandably, there is an argument to be made for it, especially when it comes to CBD oil. After all, “it’s a non-psychotropic compound and has therapeutic potential, so it must be safe, right?”.
Well, in case you didn’t know, the hemp plant contains over a hundred chemical compounds. On their own, these compounds react with each other safely. But the question is: does the same thing happen when they interact with pharmaceuticals?
This article should provide you with a clear and definitive answer. We hope this information will be useful to you in the future.
Can CBD oil affect medication?
Before answering this question, we must address another important issue: how exactly does CBD interact with our bodies?
The answer is simple: CBD interacts with receptors of the endocannabinoid system (CB1 and CB2), among other molecular targets, including serotonin receptors and vanilloid receptors. Interestingly, CBD hinders the breakdown of certain chemicals (including anandamide) that directly affect our mood, pain perception and mental function.
Therefore, CBD is able to maintain higher levels of these beneficial chemicals in the body, promoting overall homeostasis (dynamic balance) among our physiological systems.
However, CBD also affects the metabolization of drugs, a process that occurs primarily in the liver.
How does our body metabolize CBD?
Cannabinoids, including CBD, are metabolized by the liver with the help of cytochrome P450 enzymes. CBD is then broken down and distributed throughout the body, where it can begin to act to promote balance.
CBD can remain in the body for about four weeks. During that time, it is stored in fatty tissues until it is gradually released into the bloodstream in small doses. From there, cannabidiol is metabolized by the body’s renal (also known as urinary) and biliary systems.
We’ve mentioned cytochrome P450 enzymes and their importance in CBD metabolism. But what exactly are they?
What is the cytochrome P450 system?
Interactions between CBD and drugs derive mainly from the cytochrome P450 system. This group of liver enzymes is primarily responsible for the breakdown of toxins, drugs and other foreign substances in our body. Basically, these enzymes break down these substances to make it easier to eliminate them from the body.
But when CBD joins the party, the liver stops metabolizing other drugs that rely on cytochrome P450 enzymes, and turns its attention to CBD.
In some cases, CBD can completely disable cytochrome P450 activity, albeit temporarily, which can affect the metabolic activity of compounds contained in some drugs. For example, if you are taking a potent painkiller like oxycodone along with CBD, the oxycodone could stay in your body longer, which is not necessarily a good thing.
This can be problematic because a drug like oxycodone is only supposed to stay in the body for a certain period of time. If that time is exceeded, side effects such as nausea and drowsiness could occur, which could be inconvenient if you have to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery. In the worst case, it can cause liver damage.
Drugs that CBD oil can interact with
Cytochrome P450 enzymes metabolize about 90% of all drugs on the market. There are two enzymes in particular (CYP3A4 and CYP2D6) responsible for most of the work. So here is the simple answer: any drug metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes will interact with CBD oil. Some of these drug interactions will have no adverse effects, while others will.
Let’s be a bit more specific. A 2016 study looked at the reaction of CBD with a well-known anti-seizure drug called clobazam, used primarily to treat childhood epilepsy. This interaction is especially interesting, as CBD (in its synthetic form “Epidiolex”) has also been approved to treat two types of treatment-resistant childhood epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
This study found that cannabidiol slowed the metabolization of clobazam, resulting in a significant increase in plasma levels of the drug in the body, around 60-80%. As a result, the researchers were able to reduce the dose of clobazam administered to individuals, without sacrificing efficacy. What is even more interesting is that, with this lower dose, the side effects of the drug (such as insomnia, loss of coordination, drowsiness and constipation) were reduced.
Below is a list of other drugs, their classification and how they interact with CBD. Also included are some expert recommendations on whether they should be combined with cannabidiol.
If you want to learn more, please visit ReadersDigest for more useful information.