Wellness

How CBD Interacts with Medications?

CBD interacts with medications

Assuming that CBD doesn’t interact with drugs because of its non-psychoactive nature is a potentially dangerous misconception. The widespread acknowledgment of the difference between CBD and high-THC cannabis marks a positive stride in medicine CBD interacts with medications, to be sure, but this development has also served to spread such a misconception. 

No, CBD won’t get you high, but it still crosses the blood-brain barrier, meaning it still imparts effects on the brain. In fact, CBD directly affects the central nervous system in a way that slightly alters mood and perception, which technically disqualifies it from the ‘non-psychoactive’ label. Non-intoxicating is a more appropriate term, even though it may sound like arguing over semantics. Once you understand that CBD is a non-intoxicating substance that still produces a number of physiological changes, you will enter the frame of mind necessary to appreciate its drug interactions. 

In recent years, people have started taking CBD to alleviate a variety of medical ailments, such as glaucoma, anxiety, cancer-related pain, seizures, and more. As more and more companies advertise CBD products and more average people try taking CBD for health issues, it’s important to understand if or how  CBD interacts with medications you might be taking. 

CBD interacts with medications, and these interactions can alter their effects. In almost every case, this alteration involves drug metabolism speed. This guide will explain how CBD interacts with certain drugs and what is involved in these interactions. 

What is CBD?

Originally cultivated in China, cannabis has been used in the field of medicine for more than 6,000 years. The recent debate about the legalization of cannabis and its products have made it important to consider the scientific evidence for using cannabis for various health issues. Most people are familiar with two cannabis extracts: CBD and THC. THC is known for its psychotropic effects, while CBD is non-intoxicating and known for its anti-anxiety effects. The FDA has approved CBD products to treat childhood seizures, chemotherapy side effects, and eating disorder recovery, while the UK has approved a CBD spray to relieve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis. 

Researchers are working on potential CBD treatments for addiction and opioid use, and many people use CBD to help with insomnia, anxiety, and so many other ailments. U.S. Law has made it difficult for scientists to study the effects of cannabis and CBD in humans, but you can find a couple of large-scale studies on the benefits of CBD. 

These products are becoming more popular and mainstream, but before you take them, it is important to consider how CBD products might interact with other drugs or medications that you might be taking. 

CBD Interactions

Taking CBD at the same time as you take other medications can lead to interactions between the two substances. This is because the chemical compounds in each drug interact within your body, and these interactions can increase, modify, or cancel out the effects of each drug, or potentially combine to cause adverse effects. 

For instance, combining certain drugs with CBD can lead to adverse reactions including swelling, increased blood pressure, coma or even death. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor before taking CBD, especially when you are also taking any other medications or drugs. 

Some commonly used drugs that don’t combine well with CBD are Gabapentin, Warfarin, Oxymorphone, Cocaine, Pentobarbital, and Disulfiram. CBD can also influence the effects of commonly used drugs such as anti-depressants (eg. Prozac), anxiolytics (eg.Valium), and mood stabilizers (eg. lithium).

You should also be careful when combining CBD products with alcohol, because both compounds are processed by the liver, and their effects might combine.  

Many of these interactions depend on how your body absorbs each substance (by mouth, inhalation, injection, dissolved under your tongue, etc.) as well as how long it takes to process the compounds and excrete them through your kidneys, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. These factors have a large impact on how much CBD is available in your body to combine with other substances. 

Cannabinoids accumulate easily in fatty tissue and can be released into your bloodstream over time, even up to a few weeks after you use a CBD product. So when you’re talking to your doctor about medication, it’s important to share details about the products you use, how you use them, how often you take them, and when you last used them. 

Drugs that CBD interacts with

Here’s a list of some of the most common drugs CBD interacts with. However, this list isn’t exhaustive, and we recommend that you talk to your doctor before combining CBD interacts with medications, drugs, or supplements.

Cardiovascular Medications

  • Quinidine
  • Pitavastatin (Pravachol)
  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Amiodarone (Cordarone) 
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Carvedilol (Coreg)
  • Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
  • Valsartan (Diovan)

Antibiotic Medications

  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Gemifloxacin (Factive)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin) 

Sedative Medications

  • Triazolam (Halcion) 
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Pitavastatin (Pravachol)
  • Midazolam (Versed)
  • Quazepam (Doral)

Anticoagulant Medications

  • Xarelto
  • Warfarin
  • Eliquis 

Blood Pressure Medications

  • Diltiazem (Cardizem)
  • Nifedipine (Procardia) 
  • Valsartan (Diovan) 
  • Verapamil (Verelan)
  • Torsemide (Demadex)
  • Amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • Isradipine (DynaCirc)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol)

Antidepressant Medications

  • Buspirone (BuSpar) 
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Wellbutrin

Chemotherapy Medications

  • Paclitaxel (Taxol)
  • Methotrexate
  • Etoposide (Eposin, VePesid) 

Anti-seizure Medications

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Antipsychotic Medications

  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa) 

Other Common Medications That Interact with CBD 

  • Lovastatin (Mevacor): Cholesterol and lipid-lowering treatment
  • Simvastatin (Zocor): Cholesterol and lipid-lowering treatment
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral): Antifungal treatment
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox): Antifungal treatment
  • Artemether (Artenam, Paluther): Malaria treatment
  • Viagra (Sildenafil): Erectile dysfunction treatment 
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra): Antihistamine treatment
  • Terfenadine (Seldane): Antihistamine treatment
  • Troglitazone: Anti-inflammatory 
  • Methylprednisolone: Anti-inflammatory

As we learn more about cannabis through research, we’ll have a better understanding of the medicinal use of CBD for chronic pain, epilepsy, movement disorders, and mental health support, as well as how it can combine with various other medications. 

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