Does CBD Interact with Other Medications?
It’s an important question that many of you who use CBD products have been asking. You are enjoying the benefits of the products and trying to further your understanding of best practices and limits when it comes to cannabidiol usage. What you’ll learn is that using too little CBD has been proven to adversely affect some prescription drug medications.
Like other forms of medications, CBD also has ‘rules‘ when it comes to its interaction with other drugs. That is because when the body breaks down drug medications into different molecules, there will be biochemical reactions as a result.
The question is, will the reactions be significant enough to cause unwanted problems, or not a concern at all?
That is among many key reasons why understanding more about CBD oil and drug interactions is essential to optimizing your success with your own CBD therapy.
How CBD Works in the Body
For you to better understand the interaction between CBD and other drugs, you need to know how it interacts within the body. Unless the CBD product is in nano form and/or applied topically on the skin, anally, or vaginally as a suppository, CBD may interact with other important medications that have been prescribed.
After ingesting CBD in a typical capsule or sublingual tincture oil form, CBD eventually travels to the liver, where it’s metabolized. That is unless the product is a nano-emulsified formulation that can be absorbed and utilized before interactions have a chance to occur.
Nano-sized CBD molecules (and products) are estimated to be 5 – 10 times more bioavailable and subsequently bioactive. CBD is transported to various parts of the body, and that is how it ends up interacting with the nervous system, the endocannabinoid system, and multiple CB1 and CB2 receptor sites located throughout the body.
For a more thorough read and fundamental understanding of how CBD works within the Endocannabinoid System please refer to my article “Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System”.
Coincidentally, the liver is responsible for producing enzyme cytochrome P450. The primary function of this enzyme has an effect on the metabolization of more than 60% of approved medicinal drugs in the U.S. That’s significant – yes?
CBD on the other hand has inhibitory capabilities. Among other things, it can inhibit the production of enzyme cytochrome P450 or CYP450 by the liver. This is where conflicts can occur when traditional CBD hemp oil is ingested along with certain other medications.
By inhibiting the production of cytochrome P450 0r CYP450, the cannabinoid CBD alters the metabolism of certain drugs, and that can lead to complications. Additionally, the presence of natural Cannabis phytocannabinoids and terpenoids (aka: terpenes) in the system can cause fluctuations in the levels of various drugs in the body.
This often happens because we will typically keep taking medications as instructed by our doctor. But, due to the inhibition of enzyme cytochrome P450, the medication may not metabolize as intended.
Over a normal lifespan, our bodies are going to have plenty of medications and drugs passing through your systems. That may not or may not increase the severity of the ailment you are treating, but certainly can cause the levels of toxic drugs to accumulate in your body.
That’s one of the main reasons why so many people today seek nano CBD products for their pain and anxiety relief while weaning themselves off of as many toxic drug medications as possible – over time, and with the assistance of your physician.
These products can largely avoid conflicts with metabolization of prescription meds due to their nano-sized CBD particles that are absorbed much more quickly and effectively while avoiding the typical process of digestion and metabolization.
Most people think of nanoscience and nanotechnology as it relates to computers and such, but over the last 50 years it is responsible for virtually everything since then, from your smartphone to nanomedicines.
Nano CBD has gone through a process in a controlled laboratory environment whereby the CBD molecule is reduced to over 1 millionth of its original size. Think about that for a few seconds…
This particle is so small that it can literally pass through the cell wall and penetrate the “blood-brain barrier” which has eluded scientists until we developed nanotechnology to the point where this became even possible.
Parenthetically, this potential conflict between CBD oil and drug interactions is highly significant because the future of more effective delivery of medications is largely due to the advancement and adoption of nanomedicine.
CBD is a leading link to more bioavailable and thereby more bioactive CBD molecules absorbed by the body before it ever completes the digestive process, and detoxification by organs like the liver.
This also means that the CBD provides pain and anxiety relief faster than traditional forms of CBD products.
How Other Medications Can Inhibit the Metabolism of CBD
There are also drugs that, if taken with traditional CBD products, tend to prevent the metabolism of CBD by the liver. The introduction of such drugs in the body stops the liver from synthesizing enzyme CYP3A4, which is responsible for breaking down CBD and other cannabinoids.
Once that happens, you’re likely to not going to feel the effects of CBD due to its slow metabolism.
Some biochemists claim that as soon as you stop taking the medication, the body will automatically start utilizing more CBD, and that may lead to increased effects of the medicine at even lower doses of the drug(s) involved – which is good!
That is another reason to seek a knowledgeable physician who completely understands CBD as well as its interactions with prescription medications. An understanding of nano CBD variations would be ideal.
For ‘some reason’ physicians are often the last to learn about CBD. They are so used to pushing drugs for Big Pharma that they often remain ignorant in the face of world-wide clinical studies on the positive effects reported in hundreds of clinical CBD use trials. Be sure to use your own good judgement in the end.
Unfortunately, there’s not enough well-informed physicians to go around yet, so don’t be surprised if they talk down CBD.
CBD Drug Interactions List
To avoid such effects, you need to watch out for drugs that particularly bear a grapefruit warning. That is because such medications block the production of enzyme CYP3A4 by the liver, leading to less effective CBD and other drugs in the body. Such drugs include:
These, among many other drugs, can negatively interact with CBD and potentially lead to health problems. Other drugs depend on enzyme CYP450, as stipulated above. They also have a diminutive interaction with CBD. Such drugs include:
Calcium Channel Blockers
Adverse Effects of Using CBD with Certain Medications
Here is a quick list of non-threatening adverse effects you may experience while taking traditional CBD products ( as opposed to nano CBD oil ) along with certain prescription medicines.
An increase in, or newly developed side-effects from medications can include drowsiness, sedation, and/or nausea.
Decrease in effectiveness of prescription meds.
Common, side effects such as: fatigue, changes in appetite, changes in weight, and/or diarrhea.
Low Doses of CBD with Anti-Seizure Medication Can Increase Seizures
CBD can help reduce seizures in epileptic patients, but only if you take the right dosage. Small CBD doses don’t treat seizures, but they can still inhibit the production of enzyme CYP450. That means it is going to prevent the breakdown of anti-seizure medications in the liver.
That can increase seizures in patients due to inadequate levels of anti-seizure drugs in the blood. A perfect example where nano CBD products become more effective by design and therefore preferable.
Low Doses of CBD with Cancer Medications Can Increase Cancer Pains
During chemotherapy and radiotherapy, cancer patients are usually under medication to soothe the pain and reduce inflammation. Some people opt for CBD to alleviate the pain, but that can only happen with the right CBD dosage. In low dosages, CBD is not going to relieve cancer pain, but instead, it could prevent the production of the CYP450 enzyme.
That’s why CBD topical products are great, but most effective when delivering a 50 -75 mg dose of nano CBD.
If not enough CBD is delivered properly, it can affect the metabolization of prescription pain medications, thus making the patients experience unnecessary cancer pain.
However, proper CBD products will not affect cancer meds and will greatly reduce inflammation and promote faster recovery. Suppositories and Topical Patches, or skin emulsions like Roll-ons and Salves are a perfect examples.
Using CBD with Blood-Thinning Drugs Can Lead to Bleeding
Blood thinners are medications used to prevent clotting of blood in veins, thus enhancing its smooth flow through arteries, veins, and capillaries. You should make a note that there can be an adverse effect of using traditional CBD hemp oil with blood-thinning medications.
Supportive research from Harvard Medical School (publishing) confirms CBD inhibits the synthesis of the CYP450 hormone. In turn, that “synthesis” increases the availability of blood-thinning drugs in the body.
By doing so, blood flow increases, and that can lead to potential for bleeding in worst case scenarios according to theory.
Doesn’t mean your going to bleed out if you use CBD for heaven’s sake, it just means that you need to pay attention to physiological indications.
How to Use CBD Safely
The only way to prevent the occurrence of the above scenarios is to use CBD safely. The first thing you need to do is communicate (ask questions) with your doctor every time he or she prescribes a new medication. You should also look at the packaging and information provided within the packaging to make sure it doesn’t have a grapefruit warning. This will raise red flags and generate discussion with your physician.
There is also a long list of medicines that you can easily take with CBD without any adverse reaction.
You can obtain the same list of medications from your doctor if you are at all unsure (assuming you have a truly knowledgeable doctor).
As mentioned, drug interaction problems can occur due to the wrong dosage. As shown above, sometimes taking CBD in low dosages can have an impact on other medicines which can lead health issues unintentionally.
You should keep the dosage relevant to the requirement to avoid complications, and consider the aforementioned advantages of using high-quality nano CBD products. This can effectively avoid the digestive system and liver metabolism issues as thousands of patients will attest. This is due to much more thorough bioavailability and better results.
What Is the Safe Method to Take CBD?
You can take CBD using any of the known forms. That includes vapes, edibles, creams, oils, tinctures, suppositories, and transdermal patches. These forms deliver similar effects, but the problem is that some of these methods can lead to unintended interactions with other medications.
For example, if you vape (inhale CBD vapor), or take nano- form CBD sublingually in the form of tincture oils, it’s absorption into the bloodstream is immediate and provides faster pain and anxiety relief, but eventually some will require passage through the liver.
That means your body will likely produce CYP3A4 enzymes that can lead to interactions with medicines. The biochemistry gets a bit complicated, but CBD is non-toxic and is well-known to be extremely helpful in the treatment of many medical conditions and symptomologies.
And, if you apply CBD in the form of topical creams or transdermal patches, it is going to enter through the skin pores into the skin, nerve tissues, bones, and joints. That way, it typically won’t lead to drug interactions.
The only problem is that this method is slow and less effective unless you use a topical nano CBD lotion which is thermodynamically absorbed through the skin and quickly into the smallest of capillaries surrounding the areas applied.
This form works in seconds and avoids counter-productivity and contradictions with prescription medications.
CBD is one of the most important cannabinoids within the miraculous Cannabis plant species delivering a myriad of constantly expanding health benefits. It can, however, be problematic to take the compound blindly.
Understanding CBD oil and drug interactions is part of the process of optimizing any patient’s CBD therapy, and I try to encourage discovery for our members and visitors in my articles and consultations.
Especially if currently taking or adding prescription medications to your daily health regimen. That is because it can lead to drug interaction, which can result in undesired conflicts as mentioned above.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve a productive and effective balance between the prescription drugs you are taking and the all natural, non-toxic, and non-addictive benefits of CBD.
To be on the safe side, confirm with your doctor before combining CBD with your meds, and make sure the physician you trust is knowledgeable and well-informed on current CBD research and clinical studies. Don’t hesitate to show him this article.
If you have understanding and personal experience worthy of sharing with our members and visitors, we’d appreciate your feedback in the Comments section below!
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