How CBD Interacts With Other Drugs
CBD products are all the rage these days due to their purported claims of relieving a wide range of ailments, from insomnia and hot flashes to chronic pain and seizures. Many of these claims do have scientific basis behind them, but some of them are merely hype that makes CBD seem like a panacea, which it certainly isn’t.
While it may seem rather harmless to try out, do know that CBD is a biologically active chemical compound, and it may affect you differently compared to everyone else. With that in mind, there could be a risk that can yield unintended consequences. There are known side effects to CBD, even if it’s mostly known to be safe for most people.
What are Drug Interactions?
When you take two different types of medication at the same time, there’s a possibility of them reacting with each other inside your body. Some of the best known drug interactions with potentially drastic consequences include anticoagulants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, alcohol and sedatives, alcohol and opioids, and alcohol with a lot of other things.
Due to the growing number of cannabis-derived products on the market, including delta-8 THC and CBD, there needs to be an awareness campaign for users to be notified of the potential drug interactions with cannabinoids, especially since regulation of these products are still quite spotty at best right now.
There is currently very little information on how these products affect the function of other medications, including the regulated ones. Studies and research still need to be conducted in order to learn more about these potential interactions with CBD. As of now, the only precautionary measure is to not just take CBD willy-nilly with other drugs.
List of Drug Interactions with CBD
There is a current total of 57 medications that are known to have interactions with cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD). This list includes both over-the-counter and prescription medication, such as anticoagulants, opioid pain relievers, birth control pills, antidepressants, thyroid hormones, sedatives, and so on.
The full list is available on the official website of Pennsylvania State University.
It also includes a longer list of 139 medicines with lower risk interactions with cannabinoids. While they don’t yield dangerous side effects, care should still be taken in taking them with CBD or other cannabis products.
Are there life-threatening drug interactions with CBD? So far, there haven’t been reports of serious drug interactions with over-the-counter CBD products. Do take note that these products are still relatively new, so it takes time for reports of potentially dangerous interactions to actually be published.
Always keep an eye out for such reports and tread lightly when taking CBD with other medications. This list will be updated as new studies emerge with new findings on drug interactions with CBD.
CBD Side Effects
While generally considered safe to consume, CBD can cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and even liver damage in rare cases. Remember to treat it like any other drug—with care and respect.
Taking CBD with other medication that has similar side effects can yield double those side effects, as well as a further increase in risk and toxicity. If taken with other types of medication, it can yield other kinds of side effects, depending on what it’s taken with.
For instance, it has been found that taking CBD with stimulants like Adderall can lead to decreased appetite. Taking it with the diabetes drug metformin or certain heartburn drugs like Prilosec can increase the risk of diarrhea.
If you have to take a certain medication on a regular basis, you may want to do research or consult with your physician if you can take CBD with it.
Potential of Cardiac Risk
While some side effects are either negligible, annoying, or moderately concerning, there are cases when they can yield more serious issues, including effects on the heart. That can include changes in blood pressure and heart rhythm upon taking CBD and other cannabinoids with certain types of medication.
If you’re taking any sort of medication that directly affects your cardiovascular system, you have to consult with your physician on whether you can take it with CBD before you take any sort of cannabinoid.
Who Should You Tell That You’re Taking CBD?
You may be concerned about telling your doctor about your consumption of CBD, especially if that medical professional turns out to have a personal bias against cannabis. It’s understandable that you’d be apprehensive about notifying medical professionals about your use of CBD products, even in this era of widening acceptance for cannabis.
Therefore, you may choose to only notify your doctor of it if it’s absolutely necessary. For instance, you’d want to tell any doctor who ends up prescribing medication for you, especially if it includes drugs that are included in the list above.
If you fill your prescriptions at the same pharmacy, your pharmacist should be able to assess for drug interactions. You may let your pharmacist know about everything you take, from over-the-counter medications, herbs, supplements—including CBD—and everything else you don’t get through the pharmacy.
At this point, the health care establishment is becoming more understanding of the CBD market as a growing area due to being a strategy that patients are getting into in hopes of getting relief for many ailments.
As CBD and cannabis-derived products become more ubiquitous in people’s daily lives, we have to get used to the fact that it may not always be safe when there’s the need for other medication. CBD is also a drug, and it can interact with other drugs.
Being able to understand how CBD interacts with the other drugs you take can help you mitigate the risk that’s inherent in consuming multiple drugs. There may be some cases where the need for certain medication may end up making CBD too risky to consume, even if CBD is supposed to be completely safe.
In the end, if you want to make CBD a part of your life, you’ll have to consult with experts and do your homework in order to make it as safe and beneficial to take as possible.