What drugs should not be taken with CBD?
Cannabidiol is almost reaching the peak of its popularity. It is a unique natural compound that is believed to have numerous beneficial effects on the human's body. Many people nowadays choose to go for it as it is organic, devoid of all chemical ingredients and has few to no side effects. This is a claim that has arrested the minds of millions of people though studies are still ongoing and there is only anecdotal evidence as to its both medicinal effects or side reactions.
However, the results that we have at hand nowadays show that CBD oil really may have miraculous influence on our body, yet at the same time may cause drug interactions. The interactions between CBD and other drugs should not be neglected.
So, here is a guide to help you learn more about these drug interactions and feel safe while enjoying the remarkable effects of CBD oil.
When to Take CBD?
CBD oil is one of the hundreds of natural compounds yielded from Cannabis Sativa plant. It may be extracted using various methods, but the one that ensures the high-grade final product is the CO2 method. Of the three types of CBD oil (broad-spectrum, full-spectrum and pure) full-spectrum CBD oil is the most effective as it is a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and, most importantly, THC.
The recent studies of CBD claim that CBD can help ease chronic pain and inflammation, reduce the level of stress and anxiety, minimize the childhood epilepsy seizures (in some cases stop them altogether), treat insomnia, etc. It may surely have a few side effects, which include dry mouth, nausea, fatigue and irritability. But it can never get you "high" or develop addiction.
What Can Amplify CBD's Side Effects?
Taking CBD with over-the-counter or prescription medications with the same side reactions may surely double up the risk of undesirable effects. For example, many medications that can cause sleepiness, such as opioids, antidepressants, antihistamines, alcohol may bring about excessive fatigue, sleepiness, and should be avoided while driving.
On the other hand, stimulants taken with CBD may lead to the loss of appetite and over-emotional condition. The diabetes drugs or heartburn medications may cause diarrhea.
What Potential Drug Interactions Can CBD Cause?
When we take a medication, it is usually metabolized, or broken down throughout our body by the guts, or most importantly by the liver.
CYP 450 enzymes of liver cells do a big part of this process. After consuming CBD products, the functioning of these enzymes slows down or increases leading to either too much or not enough drug concentration in the body. If the process is too slow, it means there is too much of the medication in your system than needed for a long time, which can cause harmful side effects.
Conversely, if the process is too fast, it means you do not have enough of the medication in your body used to treat the health issue. So, a CBD product that you have consumed, over-the-counter medications and the enzyme family interact directly causing drug interaction and hence, unexpected side effects.
The whole family of CYP 450 enzymes take an active part in the metabolism, but it is the CYP3A4 enzyme that takes the lead: it is in charge of breaking down about 60 % of the drugs you take. CBD use inhibits the functioning of this enzyme, thus interfering with the process of metabolism and leading to potential interactions.
Which Other Drugs Should Be Avoided?
Although there is is still much to be studied, one thing is pretty sure, you should not take any medication that has a grapefruit warning on it. This warning on the label tells you that you should avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice in sync with CBD and the medication at any cost as it can lead to the concentration of the medicine in the bloodstream, or even overdose.
The most common types of drugs that have grapefruit warning are: antibiotics, antihistamines, cholesterol medications, blood thinner and blood pressure medications, immunosuppressants, pain and prostate medications, etc.
Some anti- epilepsy (Clobazam/Norclobazam), anti-cancer ( Etoposide/Teniposide) and blood thinner (Warfarin) medications can backfire when taken with CBD. They cannot be metabolized by CYP 450, which can lead to severe complications, like excessive bleeding, loss of breath, hair loss, more frequent epileptic seizures.
Some sedatives, such as alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opiates may interact with CBD. If consumed separately, CBD causes mild sedation, but in combination with the aforementioned sedatives the intoxicating properties of the latter multiply. Though, it would be fair to note, that unlike anti-epilepsy, anticancer drugs sedatives get broken down at least partially, which means that their combination with CBD may not be dangerous.
A thyroid medication (Levothyroxine) may also be affected by CBD products. Some of the potential reactions cannot be predicted, so more research is needed to reveal the severity of these drug interactions.
CBD may also interfere with the medications prescribed for various heart conditions. The list includes beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, nitrates and some statins.
Which Form of CBD Matters More?
Inhaled CBD gets into your bloodstream much faster than any other form(within 30 minutes) and is more likely to increase the severe side effects of the medications.
It takes a longer time for edibles to absorb, so they need more time time to produce a high concentration peak. Yet, this does not mean that eventually their concentration cannot interfere with the prescribed medicine.
Creams and topicals are least likely to interact with over-the-counter drugs as they will not get into your bloodstream sufficiently enough.
All these facts need further investigation as there not enough evidence to back all this up.
CBD may potentially interact with prescribed medicine, over-the-counter medications and herbal products. Some side effects may really be acute, while others mild. Drug interactions may depend on several factors: the dose of CBD you are consuming, your underlying chronic medical condition and the dose of the medication.
So, the right thing to do is to consult your doctor first and not to forget to mention all the above mentioned factors. The fact the CBD is natural does not mean it is innocuous, and as you have seen from our guide, if carelessly consumed it can cause severe side reactions.