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Does Consuming Cannabis Products Interfere With Medication?

Cannabis Drug Interactions: Does Consuming Cannabis Products Interfere With Medication?

Millions of people in the US and across the globe have been using medical cannabis as a remedy for chronic pains, stress, anxiety, epilepsy, and several other illnesses. These therapeutic benefits from cannabis come from one of its core compounds, cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

CBD has been one of the most common topics of study in the past few years due to the excessive legalization efforts by advocates. Despite all we know today about this cannabinoid, experts believe that there is still a lot that we have to discover about it.

While we know that CBD’s therapeutic effects can benefit against several types of illnesses, we also know that it may not react particularly well if used alongside certain other medications. In fact, some interactions between CBD and other medications can even become damaging to the user’s health.

This article will brief you on how CBD interferes with other medications and how you can avoid potentially detrimental effects.

How CBD Works

You need to learn how CBD works inside your body in order to better understand how it may react with other medications. In this section, we will briefly talk about what happens to CBD when it enters your body.

As soon as the CBD enters our body, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our body. This system mainly comprises cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2. While the former receptor deals with the central nervous system, the latter is mainly concerned with the peripheral nervous system.

The effects of your CBD intake depend on the location of the receptor (central or peripheral) with which CBD binds itself. For example, CBD may bind itself to the CB2 receptors to reduce inflammation, and it may work with the CB1 receptor if you take it for pain relief.

Once the purpose is met, there are enzymes like the fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol acid lipase present in the body that breaks down endocannabinoids.

How Drugs Are Metabolized

Now that you have a brief understanding of how CBD works inside the body, let’s take you through the process of how medications work. In the following section, we will talk about how CBD may interfere with certain medications and the ways to ensure safe use.

When the medications enter your body, your body needs to metabolize them to benefit from them. Unlike popular belief, this process of metabolism happens in various areas in your body like the guts. However, the liver undoubtedly takes the lead when it comes to the process of digestion.

The Key Concept behind Metabolizing Medications

One of the most important aspects to understand is that medical doctors provide you medicine at intervals that guarantee the presence of an ample amount of that medication within your body at any given time. This amount is necessary for the medication to heal the illness. If the metabolic process of your body accelerates, it means that the medication will leave your body sooner than it should, which will create a deficiency of that medication in your body, translating into reduced benefits.

In other words, if the metabolic process speeds up, the medication will not get enough time to work on the illness before leaving the body, which means that it will not be effective.

Similarly, if the metabolic process slows down due to any reason while on medications, it would make it difficult for the body to get rid of excess medication prior to your next dose. In this case, the medication will continue to accumulate in your body which can lead to potentially harmful effects on your body.

CBD and Its Potential Interaction with Medications

A critical enzyme family responsible for converting foreign substances in the body is CYP450. This family regulates a majority of the drug digestions, particularly associated with cannabinoids. In other words, this family of enzymes is also closely related to the digestion of cannabidiol (CBD), which is a foreign cannabinoid that enters your body.

CYP3A4 is an enzyme in the abovementioned family that is particularly responsible for metabolizing cannabinoids like CBD.

However, this is where the issue arises: while CYP3A4 tries to metabolize foreign compounds in the body, CBD sometimes tends to inhibit the process which could lead to an increase or decrease in the metabolic rate of the person, adversely affecting the medication’s ability to do its job properly.

This may not be the case with CBD only; there are several substances that may intervene with your medications. However, for the purpose of this article, we will only discuss the effects CBD may have on your medications.

Note that all experts advise consulting your medical and/or cannabis marijuana doctor before the intake of cannabis, medications, or both (together) for safe and effective consumption.

Safely Consuming CBD Alongside Other Medications

Sometimes, users prefer taking CBD in addition to other medications to ease certain symptoms like pain. A good example is that of cancer. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate certain pain-related cancer symptoms while consuming other medications to treat cancer itself.

However, you don’t want either of the two canceling out the effects of each other, which is where this section will help you out.

Firstly, as mentioned above, always consult a professional before overlapping CBD or any other substance with ongoing medication. Some steps you can take on your own are as follows:

  • CBD intervenes with your medications because it enters the bloodstream. It only happens if you consume edibles or inhale cannabis. However, several other CBD solutions like creams and lotions may offer therapeutic benefits without entering your bloodstream. Just make sure you don’t use creams that are for transdermal use.
  • Look for the grapefruit warning! Certain medications have a grapefruit warning on the package, and if that’s the case with your medication, it is best to avoid CBD completely. According to FDA, if grapefruit (in any form) is consumed while on such medications, it can be harmful to your health, and can even lead to detrimental symptoms of overdose. CBD may contain certain terpenes that imitate the effects of grapefruit and therefore could inhibit metabolization.

There’s a Lot We Need to Learn

Several research studies have concluded that CBD is a therapeutic compound in cannabis, and is effective in mitigating many illnesses, but that does not mean you can consume it with every medication. There is a lot more research required to determine the limitations of CBD and how we can combine its usage to amplify the results from medication.

Currently, there are certain medications that have been proven to work well alongside CBD, while there is ambiguity related to others. It is why it is always recommended to consult the best medical doctors who may be able to access your ongoing medications and advise your CBD strain, dosage, and consumption routine.

Always Get Products from Premium Locations

Wondering where to buy cannabis in Las Vegas? There are several top-tier cannabis dispensaries on the Las Vegas strip where you can buy premium cannabis strains and products. Some dispensaries even offer cannabis delivery and curbside pickup options for your ease and convenience.

In a nutshell, always talk to a medical doctor before consuming CBD alongside any other medication. In fact, cannabis experts suggest talking to professionals about your CBD consumption whether you’re taking them in isolation or with other medications.