CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the popular cannabinoids in the world. It is found in the hemp and marijuana plants and possesses a wide range of therapeutic properties. Cannabidiol was first discovered in the year 1940 and over the decades, it has undergone numerous clinical and laboratory studies to find out how it affects the human body. Today, CBD is used for alleviating several health disorders that affect the human body. CBD is proven to be an effective alternative for treating health disorders like stress, anxiety, pain, acne, psoriasis, arthritis, insomnia, epilepsy, migraine, nausea, sciatica, and dementia, etc.
Even though CBD is present in the marijuana plant, it is usually extracted from the hemp. The main reason for that is the high amount of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid, in the marijuana plant. In the United States, CBD products with more than 0.3 % THC are illegal. The popularity of CBD products rose because of the health benefits it provides without any severe side effects. Many people think that CBD does not have any side effects. High doses of CBD can cause dry mouth, drowsiness, and fatigue, etc. It can also interact with other medications in our bodies.
Drug Interactions In Our Body
Before we talk about whether CBD interacts with medications, you should understand drug metabolism in our body. When you take a prescription drug, your body will break it down, or metabolize it. The metabolization of drugs occurs through the body. The majority of drug metabolization happens inside the liver. A family of enzymes known as cytochrome P450, or CYP450, is responsible for converting the foreign substances in our body so that they can be easily eliminated. When some medications interact with CYP450, the drug metabolism either slows down or speeds up. When there is a change in the rate of metabolism, there will be an alteration in the processing of medications in our bodies.
The cannabinoids, including CBD, are metabolized in our body by cytochrome P450 family of enzymes, specifically CYP3A4. During the metabolization process, CBD also interacts with CYP3A4. This particular enzyme metabolizes around 60 % of the prescription drugs. When CBD interacts with CYP3A4, its efficiency to break down the medication in our body reduces. When a medication is not metabolized quickly, there will be more medications in your system at once. This could lead to a series of complications like a drug overdose. It will happen even if you were sticking to the normal dose. It may also lead to some harmful side effects. If the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes speed up the metabolization process due to the interaction of CBD or any other substances, there won’t be enough medication in your body for treating the health issue.
CBD And Drug Interactions
It is possible for the CBD to interact with other medications. Therefore, you should consult a medical professional before trying CBD products along with the prescribed medications for the treatment of a health disorder. A doctor will be able to determine which type of CBD product will be suitable to take with other medications. Doctors will also help to determine the safe dosage of CBD for consumption. Studies are still going on to find the specific interaction of cannabidiol with various other medications. In a small clinical study involving 25 children suffering from epilepsy, 13 were given CBD and clobazam. All 13 children had elevated levels of clobazam. The study concluded that taking CBD and clobazam is safe but the medication levels should be monitored during the treatment period.
Another study involving 39 adults and 42 children suffering from epilepsy also looked at the interaction of CBD with AEDs. During the research period, the serum levels of AEDs in the test subjects over time were monitored. For most of the subjects, the serum level remained within the normal therapeutic range. However, the serum levels were outside the therapeutic range for clobazam and desmethylclobazam. Since the studies are still going on about CBD and drug interactions, customers can figure out whether CBD is safe with a particular medication with the help of grapefruit warning. If your medication has a grapefruit warning on the label, it indicates that you should avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice with that particular medication.
According to recent research, CBD interacts with tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive medication that is used for preventing organ rejection in patients who had an organ transplant. The interference of CBD can cause severe negative outcomes, like organ rejection.
Other Side Effects Of CBD
It is possible to use CBD with other medications under the supervision of a doctor. However, CBD has other side effects that can happen even if you are not taking it with other medications. High doses of CBD can be dangerous to your body. Some common side effects of CBD are dry mouth, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and lightheadedness. Some topical CBD products contain chemical additives that can cause skin allergies.