Cannabidiol (CBD) is the new big thing in the market. It is making its way into the lifestyle industry, from cosmetics to medications, due to its therapeutic effects. Scientific studies prove its effectiveness against health-related problems like pain, anxiety, and insomnia. As a result, an increasing number of people are using CBD for various reasons.
Generally, manufacturers derive CBD from industrial hemp. The plant belongs to the cannabis family, yet CBD does not induce the signature ‘euphoria’ of weed. It is because it lacks THC, a compound causing psychoactive effects. CBD reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). It engages with CB1 and CB2 receptors of ECS to bring out benefits to the consumers.
CBD is a chemical compound, and like every other chemical, it is in its nature to interact with other substances. CBD can cause only mild side-effects; however, this is strictly in the case of a healthy individual who isn’t on any medication.
Certain medications interact with CBD. After all, approximately 60% of the drugs on the market interact with the CYP450 liver enzymes. When using these drugs with CBD, more of the medication gets into your system due to CBD’s ability to block these enzymes.
Here are six ways CBD interacts with drugs.
1. CBD and CYP450 Enzymes
From Sunday Scaries gummies to edibles, CBD is available in different forms for consumption. However, you have to be careful, especially when you are taking other drugs. CBD inhibits a family of enzymes from the liver called cytochrome P450. These enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down drugs entering the body. They transform the medicine into substances that the human body could use. These medications either speed up or slow down the metabolization of other drugs by CYP450.
CBD alters other drugs’ metabolization by temporarily inhibiting the enzyme named CYP3A4 enzyme of the CYP450 family. CYP3A4 plays a crucial role in metabolizing almost 60% of prescribed medications. However, when CBD inhibits its activity, it fails to break down other drugs in your system. The effect can be reversed too. Some medications deactivate CYP3A4. Their actions on the enzyme disable your body from processing CBD.
Inhibition of liver enzymes by CBD slows down the metabolization of other drugs. As a result, they stay in your system for more time than intended. Ultimately, the higher levels of drugs in the body exaggerate their effects, including harmful side effects.
2. Interaction with Blood Thinners
CBD increases the blood-thinning actions of drugs like warfarin and ibuprofen by interacting with CYP450 enzymes. Both the liver enzymes metabolize blood-thinning drugs and CBD in the same pathway. This results in elevated levels of warfarin with enhanced blood-thinning effects.
3. Interaction with Flu Medication
Cold and flu is a pervasive problem, and everyone has taken medication for it at least once. Not all flu medications consist of the same drug. CBD interacts with many flu medications. CBD interaction’s combined effects with flu medications are confusion, cognitive impairment, and loss of balance. Here are some common drugs from flu medications and the impact of their interactions with CBD-
Found in: Cold and flu combination medicines
Effects: Increased drowsiness and risk of side effects
Found in: Anti-allergy medicines like Aleve
Effects: Reduced efficiency of CBD
Found in: Decongestants
Effects: Increased risk of Serotonin Syndrome
Found in drugs: Nyquil
Effects: Increased calming effects of CBD.
4. Interactions with Antiepileptic Drugs
CBD does not induce euphoria. This is why a staggering number of people use it to treat epilepsy. CBD does provide relief from the symptoms of epilepsy. However, some scientific studies have reported that CBD does not induce antiepileptic effects but inhibits CYP450 enzymes. CBD significantly interacts with antiepileptic drugs like topiramate, rufinamide, etc. This leads to the prolonged presence of antiepileptic drugs in the system, which eventually leads to aggressive seizures.
5. Interaction with Antiretroviral Drugs
People with HIV infection take antiretroviral medicines Ritonavir, Saquinavir, etc. HIV deteriorates the body’s immune system making the patient susceptible to a range of diseases. Many HIV patients use CBD to boost their immunity and alleviate anxiety and pain.
According to the research, it seems that interactions of CBD with antiretrovirals upsurge the efficacy of CBD. This leads to increased duration of CBD in serum, which may increase the risk of side-effects. However, more research is going on in this field, which will eventually clarify such interactions’ exact effects.
6. Interaction with Drugs Controlling Blood Pressure
Generally, doctors prescribe beta-blockers to reduce blood pressure. Blood pressure medications restrict the synthesis of adrenaline to reduce the heart rate. At the same time, CBD also helps to keep a check on blood pressure. So many people tempt to combine these two. However, interactions of these two may lead to a further drop in blood pressure. The side effects of these interactions would be feeling weak, faint, and even shock.
Medicines can improve your health. Despite that, their interactions with other drugs lead to side effects. CBD is compound inducing therapeutic effects on your body. However, it also reacts with several medications. Therefore, you must be cautious while taking it unless you are a healthy individual living a medicine-free life.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily WeSay.