Many people use CBD Oil; often for sleeping problems, but also to relieve anxiety, stress, or pain. It is a natural supplement with the big benefit of having few if any side-effects. CBD Oil is safe to use, even over extended periods. But what if you want to use CBD Oil while also using regular medication? This blog explains whether CBD Oil is safe to combine with other medicines.
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The Route Of Medication In The Body
Whenever we eat, food passes through the mouth into the oesophagus and on to the stomach where digestion begins. The digestive tract consists of many other organs, including the liver, gall bladder, and the small and large intestines. If we use medication, the body needs to metabolize these compounds, too. The same applies to natural supplements such as CBD Oil. Most people don’t realise, however, that all ingredients of medical drugs and supplements pass these same organs in order to be metabolized and used for their intended purpose.
The rate at which the body breaks down medication determines how fast you make metabolites available for your cells to use. The main question is, however, how long these metabolites remain available in the body.
CBD Oil, Medication, And Enzymes
Answering the question of how to safely combine CBD Oil and medication calls for a closer look at digestion. When you take CBD Oil, it ends up in the stomach before being transferred into the bloodstream. It then passes the liver, where enzymes metabolize its active components. In articular a system of enzymes known by the poetic title of CYP450 is responsible for metabolism of cannabinoids including CBD into their respective metabolites. The entire process involves 57 different enzymes. Ultimately, the metabolites return to the bloodstream and continue their journey through the body.
As a consequence, using CBD Oil and medication at the same time could theoretically overwhelm the system responsible for metabolizing these compounds. CBD can gain the upper hand and keep enzymes occupied, so to speak, or it can disrupt how such enzymes work. That could mean ending up with too much or too little of certain medicines in your body. This affects blood levels and concentrations of certain drugs. This implies that even if you stick to prescribed dosages, CBD could get you the wrong concentrations of certain medicines in your bloodstream.
Altered Medicinal Effects
Changes to medication blood levels can have unintended consequences. Low concentrations can interfere with medicine effectiveness. High concentrations, by contrast, increase the risk of side-effects and ever an overdose. This can lead to dangerous situations for certain conditions, where symptoms worsen as medication loses effect.
Complicating the matter, such interactions between compounds can be unpredictable, regardless of their negative and potentially even hazardous consequences. The extent to which CBD Oil may interfere with the effects of your medication depends on various factors, including your CBD and medicine intake, and your unique metabolism.
What Medication Is Best Avoided In Combination With CBD Oil?
We now know that CBD can affect multiple enzymes, including CYP3A4, CYP2D6, and CYP2C9. Several classes of prescription drugs are metabolized using these enzymes. These include antihistamines, analgesics, antibiotics, beta blockers, and steroids. We advise caution to anyone considering using such medication in combination with CBD Oil.
Incidentally, these warnings apply to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as well as to CBD (cannabidiol), as both cannabinoids influence how these enzymes work. Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine have collected information from five different CBD and THC-based medicines. These included medication prescribed for epilepsy, nausea, cancer treatment, muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis. The team compiled a list of 139 regular drugs that may have their effectiveness altered by cannabinoids.
They then whittled the list down to 57 drugs that could be hazardous if their concentrations were to change. The list includes various types of medication, from antibiotics to heart medication. Some of these drugs were affected by CBD, whereas others were influenced by presence of THC. The study concluded that the following types of medication had the potential for the most hazardous interactions with CBD Oil supplements:
- One specific cardiac arrhythmia drug;
- A specific thyroid drug;
- Several drugs used to treat epileptic seizures.
Generally speaking, we advise caution when using any of the following types of medication if you are considering trying CBD Oil:
- Cardiac arrhythmia medication;
- High blood pressure medication;
- Tuberculosis drugs;
- HIV medication;
- Calcium channel blockers;
- Beta blockers;
- Oral antidiabetics
CBD Oil And Medication? Consult Your Doctor First!
As you can see, using CBD Oil alongside specific types of medication calls for a certain level of caution. If you are on medication while thinking about using CBD Oil or CBD Tablets, be sure to consult your doctor on whether they are safe combinations.
Adjusting dosages may suffice to exclude any risks associated with combined use. In other cases, doctors may advise not using CBD Oil alongside current medication. In spite of the popularity of CBD Oil products, not all doctors are yet fully aware of their potential, or of their effects on medication. If you are not sure, encourage your doctor to explore the subject, or ask for a second opinion.