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CBD AND POSSIBLE DRUG INTERACTIONS

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Facts

  • By an oral intake or by inhalation of THC, plasma levels can significantly decrease.
  • Sativex has been a cannabinoid-containing spray since 2011 that is available and approved.
  • Poor quality CBD products can lead to dangerous side effects.

Patients often reject conventional drugs because they can either have side effects or interactions with other drugs. However, one should consider that using natural preparations such as cannabidiol (CBD) can also lead to such undesirable effects.

With many diseases or complaints, you can achieve relief by taking CBD, but should only be taken after medical advice. In this way, side effects and interactions can certainly be avoided in most cases.

What should you look out for when buying CBD products?

Thanks to their natural healing properties, CBD products are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Many retailers see this as additional business and include CBD products in their portfolio. There are more and more shops that connect products such as dietary supplements with a percentage of CBD. However, you should know that the quality of the products can differ greatly from each other, which is why you should always fall back on reputable dealers. Certainly, such quality differences are difficult to recognize for customers in an online shop, which is why one should be even more careful when buying. You can get wrong information, especially concerning the CBD content of the products.

Therefore, it is important to know that the THC content of CBD products in the US may only be a maximum of 0.3%, according to the law. As soon as this value is exceeded, it is an illegal product.

In addition to the composition of the products made from hemp, one should always pay attention to the purity, the origin, and the manufacturing process.

To achieve a positive effect on the body with CBD products, you should always pay attention to the biological origin of the hemp plant. Furthermore, the cannabis plant should be grown in the US.

For this reason, you should be careful when buying:

  • CBD oil
  • Drops
  • Tablets
  • Creams
  • Liquid

Always choose a reputable dealer

You get high-quality CBD oils with a proportion of 5, 10, or even 15%. CBD for animals is also available, which you can also use to treat naturally them with certain diseases.

What effect does cannabidiol have in combination with drugs?

In the context of scientific studies, cannabidiol (CBD) has only been used repeatedly for a relatively short time. Research here is practically still in its infancy, even if the research has been carried out on the hemp plant’s active ingredient and its effects for around 40 years. If you compare the effects, which can affect the body both positively and negatively, you can already speak of great advances in science with other herbs. The short research times are an important reason why there is not yet enough information on the side effects and the interactions with other drugs, and, for this reason, further research is being carried out here.

In various studies with a CBD drug against epilepsy, the drug Epidiolex is used. It has been proven that CBD consumption can lead to various indirect interactions with other drugs. It always depends on how the CBD works in the human body and its enzyme system. Medication with CBD inhibits certain enzymes, such as the enzyme CYP2C19, which ensures the smooth breakdown of numerous active pharmaceutical ingredients.

For this reason, the concentrated amount of the drug in the blood can be significantly higher over a longer period due to the consumption of CBD at the same time. It can have both positive and negative effects on the body. In this way, the duration of the drug’s effect can be increased without risk, but at the same time, there can be an involuntary overdose of the drug.

These interactions can occur not only when CBD and drugs are taken simultaneously, but also the consumption of drugs can reduce the effect of cannabidiol. Among other things, the effect of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can be completely inhibited or greatly reduced. If, on the other hand, you take CBD before the ingredient in THC, then under certain circumstances, the effect of the THC substances can be increased.

Such interactions with CBD can occur through the use of a wide variety of drugs. Therefore, you should always ask a doctor for advice regarding taking CBD and medicinal products at the same time.

Which drugs should not be consumed with CBD?

In any case, if you are taking medication and cannabidiol at the same time, you should always consult a doctor and find out about any contraindications.

Cancer patients should be particularly careful with their drugs and CBD because the cannabidiol can inhibit cytochrome P450. However, this enzyme is required for the breakdown of cytotoxic drugs. Cytotoxic drugs are usually used in chemotherapy so that chemotherapy drugs can be dosed at lower levels. If these enzymes’ degradation function is inhibited, a dangerous overdose can quickly occur, as the cytostatic drugs in the blood rise to a dangerous level.

Such altered modes of action can also occur with some antidepressants, such as trazodone.

At the moment, there is still a lot of research pending in this area, so you should only plan the use of drugs and CBD at the same time with caution and after consulting a doctor. The experts advise when taking medication and CBD that there should be at least 2 hours in between.

So far, there have been known interactions between CBD and drugs in the case of beta-blockers, anti-epileptics, antibiotics, statins, blood thinners (e.g., warfarin), steroids, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, and anti-inflammatory painkillers.

What are the side effects of CBD products?

One can say that both humans and animals very well tolerate the active ingredient of cannabidiol. If there are any side effects, then these are usually quite weak and, therefore, harmless. It is the opinion of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO). For this reason, the cannabidiol active ingredient was also classified as safe by them. In these studies, it was also found that CBD has no psychoactive effects on the body and thus does not lead to either psychological or physical dependence.

However, at this point, it cannot be said clearly how the CBD ingredient will affect the body in the long term. However, researchers agree that there will be no consequences for adults from the long-term use of CBD. However, it must be remembered that some users of CBD can experience mild side effects from the ingredient. These would be:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • Dry mouth
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, and circulation problems

The latter can be triggered by the blood pressure lowering effects of CBD. Therefore, patients with low blood pressure should consult their doctor for advice before using CBD.

CBD during pregnancy

Consuming CBD can be a problem for pregnant women. Research has shown that cannabidiol can affect both P-glycoprotein and breast cancer resistance protein. However, these proteins are an important component in the function of the placenta, which is why they must not be changed. For this reason, pregnant women should avoid even the smallest doses of CBD.

CBD with alcohol

Caution is also advised when consuming CBD and alcohol at the same time. Research has shown that both substances’ effects can be increased if alcohol is drunk about 4 to 8 hours after taking CBD. The consequence of this is that there can be a very strong loss of control over the body.

We, therefore, advise against consuming alcohol and products made from hemp at the same time.

What should you watch out for when consuming CBD products?

In addition to the known side effects, one should also pay attention to the contraindications when consuming CBD. Particular care should be given to patients with known liver damage or already elevated liver values. Studies with mice have shown that very high doses of the CBD active ingredient can lead to toxic liver tissue reactions. In these studies, it was found that taking Epidiolex and CBD caused liver damage in the animals within 24 hours.

For this reason, elevated liver values are to be seen as a contraindication during CBD medication and should always be discussed with a doctor in advance. Patients who do not suffer from liver impairment should still have liver enzymes checked regularly while consuming CBD. It is usually done by your family doctor using a blood test.

Patients with glaucoma should also be careful when planning to take the cannabinoid CBD. Studies have shown that the substance CBD can raise the intraocular pressure that glaucoma sufferers have, so CBD consumption is strongly discouraged.

In contrast to the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not stimulate the appetite and should therefore not be taken in the event of symptoms such as loss of appetite, anorexia, or emaciation.

If you pay attention to these restrictions and talk to a doctor, then nothing stands in the way of taking CBD.

Is the CBD active ingredient dangerous?

Even if the substance CBD can occasionally cause undesirable side effects or interactions with other medicinal products, this substance is considered safe and free of risks.

Unfortunately, the CBD is still very often confused with the cannabinoid THC or even equated. THC is also obtained from hemp but has a psychoactive effect. In the US, THC is one of the illegal narcotics that, due to the way they work, has serious consequences for the body and can lead to physical dependence. The THC binds to the receptors in the brain to develop its psychoactive and intoxicating effects. That is how you get into a state of intoxication or the familiar high feeling. CBD cannot bind to the corresponding receptors, so that the intoxication mentioned above states cannot occur.

Poor quality CBD products increase the risk of side effects

As a rule, the consumption of CBD products has very few side effects. However, poor quality CBD products can pose a potential health hazard. Such products are mostly contaminated with chemicals and are offered in different concentrations by dubious dealers. Unfortunately, the consumer cannot see whether the quality is poor or whether the product is trustworthy.

In 2017, an investigation made it clear that many CBD products cannot even be trusted in terms of concentration. How can you protect yourself as a consumer? This question is justified as experts are advising more and more to use CBD oils or a CBD-containing industrial hemp tea for products of organic quality. These are at least not contaminated with pesticides.

Metabolism determines the effects and side effects

Everybody processes cannabidiol differently. It is due to the metabolism of the consumer. Of course, this applies to CBD and all other drugs and active ingredients that you take. It also includes coffee and sugar. Due to a lack of metabolism, the substances are metabolized more slowly to remain in the body longer. It naturally increases the risk of side effects and complications.

You have to be very careful, especially with medication with blood thinners. Many substances, such as coffee, sugar, mangoes, and the like, can serve as enhancers for effect. Especially with blood thinners, it has been found that the CBD enhances the effects of warfarin. In combination with CBD, the correct dosage can be very difficult and should only be carried out step-by-step under medical supervision.

Which diseases can be treated with CBD?

In many cases, those affected do not take CBD products for absolutely no reason. It is known that cannabidiol can provide relief for many symptoms and some diseases. The substance from the plant matter can influence the immune system and the mood and the perception of pain and fear. Furthermore, CBD can protect the cells from oxidative stress.

For this reason, CBD is very often used as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and soothing substance. Consuming CBD can work wonders, especially with sleep disorders.

The CBD products are often used for the following physical and physical complaints:

  • Migraine
  • Inflammation
  • Joint pain
  • Depressions
  • Stress
  • Anxiety to panic attacks

Certainly, we cannot expect a uniform result or effect when taking CBD products, as everybody reacts differently. In particular, body weight, digestion, and the time it takes for metabolism in the body plays an important role. The correct dosage, the correct concentration, and the CBD product’s dosage form are also important for the effect. If one wants to take CBD for therapeutic purposes, then the metabolism is one of the most important aspects in this context.

Are there positive interactions between CBD and medication?

Fortunately, there are not only negative interactions. By consuming CBD products, for example, you can increase the effect of drugs containing opioids so that you can significantly reduce the dose without affecting the effect. It has also been shown to reduce the psychoactive properties of THC when CBD is ingested.

Since THC has a very great therapeutic potential, but some patients can experience unpleasant side effects through consumption, such as a state of intoxication. That can be weakened by giving CBD-containing products. Experts agree that a 1: 1 mix of THC to CBD produces the best results with minimal side effects.

Self-medication with CBD

Many sufferers shy away from talking to their family doctor when it comes to CBD. On the one hand, this happens out of ignorance and, on the other hand, out of a certain fear that the doctor might reject CBD completely. An interesting example in this context is when the doctor expressly emphasizes that a certain drug should not be taken with grapefruit. One can assume that this drug is also incompatible with CBD. CBD has a similar effect to grapefruit in this context. So, if you don’t dare to speak to your doctor about CBD directly, you can ask him whether the drug in question would interact with grapefruit.

Conclusion

In contrast to THC, medicinal cannabis has completely different properties. In some cases, it can even slow down the negative effects of THC (appetite stimulation, increased heart rate, intoxicating effects), which is why you should combine it with the medical THC. The plant substances in the CBD can, among other things, influence the metabolism of medicinal substances. It is especially true if the amounts of CBD are too large.

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