As more people use CBD for medical purposes, this raises questions about safety, and in particular, how cannabidiol interacts with other drugs; and whether there is a risk that users should be made aware of. Before we get into the specifics of how CBD alters the ways certain drugs are metabolized, let’s first describe cannabidiol and it’s used the body
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from hemp leaves, seeds, buds, and stalks. It is a single compound out of many (called cannabinoids) that are present in cannabis.
CBD oil is the base solution that carries the compound. Cannabidiol is used widely as a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety; and for many more ailments.
How CBD Works
Cannabidiol works by altering transmission of certain brain signals within the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the larger endocrine system; and this is what makes it’s effects so wide ranging.
Due to the way the ECS influences physiological processes in the human body; and also, the way it uses itsown cannabinoids to modify hormonal function, this makes CBD a powerful compound when introduced into the body.
Brain receptors such asCB1 and CB2 are responsible for regulating processes such as mood, energy levels, anxiety, pain, and the release of stress hormones. CBD can be used to regulate some of these processes to help manage conditions such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, sleeplessness, hunger, appetite, and many more.
How is Cannabidiol Different from Marijuana?
Cannabidiol is just one of many compounds present in hemp; and although it has a similar chemical structure to that of THC and other cannabinoids, it has very different effects than what you might experience from inhaling or ingesting marijuana. In fact, CBD reverses the feeling of being high or drunk, or being under the influence of drugs. This is one of the reasons it is used to treat addiction.
How CBD Interacts With Drugs and Medication
CBD may alter the way certain drugs are metabolized because of the impacton the endocannabinoid system, which constantly works with brain receptors to adjust the presence of certain hormones and different compounds in the bloodstream.
Here are some examples:
- CBD and drugs that cause bleeding
The use of CBD by individuals who are taking blood thinning medication is not advisable, because of the impact of CBD on how these drugs are absorbed into the body. CBD slows down how drugs such as warfarin and ibuprofen (which can work as a blood thinner) are absorbed, which also means the drugs stay in your system for longer, creating more opportunity to bleed.
- Interaction between CBD and sedatives
The effect of CBD on the body such that it causes mild relaxation – which isquite safe and normal. But this effect can be compounded when there are sedatives in the blood. So instead of a calming effect, the user may experience extreme fatigue and lethargy, to the point where it becomes impossible to drive or operate machinery.
- Interaction with chemotherapy drugs
Cancer treatments can weigh heavily on the body, and chemotherapy medication in particular, is selected and administered under the watchful eye of a health expert. This is because chemo dosages are selected with the knowledge that only a specific amount of the medication will be metabolized. Using too much or too little can cause a range of symptoms, none of which are good. The other things that can make chemo drugs in effective, or dangerous, is the use of other drugs like CBD, which will change the way the drugs are metabolized, meaning the final amount of medication entering the bloodstream will NOT be what your doctor intended.
- Interaction with anti-seizure medication
Treatment of seizures with CBD should only be done by a health expert such as a neurologist, under careful observation. This is because CBD can successfully bringdown the frequency of seizures to a manageable level, but in the wrong doses it can actually cause more intense seizures due to a blockage of certain enzymes, leading to higher concentrations of clobazam and other compounds that eventually cause a worsening of symptoms.
- The Higher the Dose, the Higher the Potential Risk
Whenever you start taking a new drug, whether or not it’s a natural extract or made in a lab, always pay attention to how that compound affects your body, and this should be a good starting point for determining the right dosage for you. Of course there is such a thing as product labelling, which should give you some guidance inselecting dosage; and this is more important for people using CBD for the first time. You don’t want your experience with CBD to be horrible just because you failed to read the instructions.
Keep in mind that using too much CBD usually causes drowsiness, but it doesn’t pose any risk to your health. The problem comes when other drugs are in your system; so don’t use it without consulting a health expert, especially if you are taking other meds.
- The Bottom Line
CBD is generally safe, but we should all be aware of what’s in our bodies that could react with a new compound that we’re taking. Being aware of what’s in your body can save you a lot heartache.