CBD has been making the headlines for quite some time now. The rise in popularity was anything but gradual. In the past two years, with the legalisation of hemp CBD in the United States, the CBD industry has flourished a lot. But our focus today is not on how CBD in making changes around the world, but more so within us.
Medications and supplements interact with our body, especially if we were to take them at the same time. The same is the case of CBD as well. It is after all a chemical compound like every other thing in nature, and if there is anything we learned in our high school Chemistry class, it is that chemicals react with one another.
The source of CBD, either Cannabis or Hemp, has had a long history of medicinal use with almost every culture having an association with the herbal medication. As a health supplement, however, CBD products like oils are quite new to the market.
Because of this, it is understandable as to the concerns that users may have about CBD interactions with drugs. So getting to the crux of the issue, can there be a reaction of CBD with medicine?
Setting The Stage: CBD
CBD or cannabidiol is among one of the 100 plus cannabinoids secreted by the resinous section of hemp or cannabis plants. CBD has taken the spotlight, thanks to the plethora of health benefits that one can hope to achieve.
Unlike THC, which is the most abundant psychoactive cannabinoid present in cannabis, CBD is non-intoxicating. CBD is purely therapeutic in nature and under no circumstances will it produce a psychoactive high that is commonly associated with cannabis.
CBD Is Completely Safe On Its Own
There are sufficient records and scientific bodies that have conducted studies to check the safety of the medication. The result of most of them is that CBD is safe to use. If you were only taking in CBD, then you are good to go. The issue arises when CBD can become less benign when they are taken together with other prescription drugs.
Metabolism means the way in which active ingredients that are present in medications, foods and supplements are broken down into simpler compounds in the body, and then subsequently processed and used by the body. Most of the metabolism in the body occurs in the liver and the gut.
When you initially take in CBD products like capsules or oils, the first thing that happens is the “first pass metabolism”. First pass effect is the initial breakdown in the liver. Different compounds undergo different changes, proteins are broken down amino acids, carbohydrates to simple sugars, and fats into triglycerides. After this is done, enzymes break down the compounds into metabolites so that it can be used by the body to regenerate, make new cells and fuel the body.
The above mentioned applies to drugs as well. Drug metabolism, as it is called, is the rate at which it is broken down in the liver, and for how long it stays in the system before it is expelled.
Cytochrome P-450 System
Apart from breaking down the complex substances, there exists a mechanism called the cytochrome P450 system, which is made from a special class of enzymes that turns fat-soluble compounds into more water soluble compounds, which helps the body absorb it more efficiently.
The cytochrome 450 is responsible for processing almost 60% of all the substances that the body consumes. Even doctors make use of this system to get an idea on how much to dose patients and even predict the effects as well as the adverse effects of it.
Now, there are certain compounds that can disturb the working of the system, and CBD just happens to be one of those.
How CBD Interacts With The Cytochrome P450 System
When the system interacts with CBD, it changes the way in which the liver processes and breaks down the drugs in the body. Put in simple terms, the medications will not be metabolised as efficiently and comes to two side effects that raise some eyebrows.
The first one is that the medication will lose its efficacy, meaning it will not work to the desired extent and the results may be weaker. The second serious drawback of this is that the medication will persist for longer in the bloodstream and the body will take longer to expel it. This may lead to adverse reactions such as a suppressed immune response, the risk of bleeding, or even worse-the chance of an overdose.
Consult A Doctor
Talk to your doctor before you make the call of trying CBD, especially if you are under some other medication. They would exactly know the what and how’s and will be able to give you a clear picture. Once you have the green signal from the doctor, you are all set to venture into CBD.