We’ve all heard how alcohol can counteract the effects of certain pharmaceuticals or even have serious side effects when mixed. While alcohol is a recreational substance, many people use CBD for medical reasons, making this an even more important issue.
We all know how cannabis is much safer than most pharmaceutical and recreational drugs out there. But being “safer” isn’t the same as 100% safe. This is a plant that contains over 100 active chemical compounds. While these might react safely with each other, it does not mean they’ll do the same with other drugs.
CBD is a very reliable medicine on its own. But there is still a lack of information regarding this compound. We still don’t know how it may react with all other substances we consume. We already know alcohol reacts poorly and possibly deadly with antibiotics. We need to be sure CBD doesn’t react this way with anything else before recommending it as a medicine.
THE ROLE OF CYTOCHROME P450
Our metabolism is responsible for how fast we process substances in our system. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme in the liver that helps metabolise CBD and over 60% of all pharmaceuticals. What’s possibly dangerous about CBD is that it takes full control of this enzyme and requires all of its attention.
When we intake CBD, the liver stops metabolising other drugs which use the same enzyme. If you’re taking a powerful painkiller like oxycodone, using CBD at the same time may cause it to stay in your system for longer than it should. These drugs were very carefully dosed to stay in your system for a specific period of time. Anything more than that, and you risk suffering from side effects like drowsiness and nausea. With regular use, liver damage can be a very serious consequence of this slow metabolic process.
WHICH MEDICATIONS CAN YOU TAKE?
Any drug that is metabolised by the liver will be affected by CBD. These will be processed differently with the presence of this cannabinoid in the system. This means that anything from steroids to antibiotics or antidepressants will be affected. But the list goes on. Be sure you ask your doctor about this. Your dosage will most likely have to be reduced once you start medicating with CBD.
Even though a lot of medical professionals aren’t up-to-date when it comes to CBD and other cannabinoids, they’ll still be the most viable option when it comes to talking about your health. Even not knowing anything about CBD, they can still monitor your blood work to make sure you’re healthy. Being 100% honest with your doctor will only do you good. There is no reason to feel scared or ashamed of your belief in the healing powers of cannabis.
As far as you’re concerned, the use of CBD may actually help with your current medication. It won’t make its effects stronger; but by delaying the metabolic process, it can actually help you decrease your current dosage. Let’s take a look at a practical example.
CBD AND ANTI-SEIZURE DRUGS
In 2015, a study analysed how CBD reacted with clobazam a famous anti-seizure drug on a group of epileptic children. CBD made for a slower metabolisation of this drug. Because of that, the patients were able to decrease the dosage of clobazam. This is a pharmaceutical with side effects like drowsiness, mild fever, loss of coordination, insomnia, and vomiting and constipation, just to name a few.
With such a long list of possible side effects, it’s extremely good news that one can reduce the quantity consumed with the help of CBD. This decrease in the amount of clobazam consumed is directly correlated with the diminished chance of experiencing side effects from the drug.
CAN YOU SMOKE WEED WHILE ON MEDICATION?
We’ve discussed how CBD can affect the behaviour of other drugs. But it is very important to note that when you smoke a joint, you’re likely not ingesting anywhere near the medicinal dose of CBD.
Most cannabis strains out there contain less than 1% CBD. If you’re smoking a bong, you don’t have to worry about how it may affect your medication. With 1% CBD in each gram of weed, you’ll be consuming 10mg of CBD for every gram of bud. This is a very small quantity. Especially when considering epilepsy patients took up to 300mg of CBD to abate symptoms. This is the same as smoking 30 grams of bud (something we can all agree is a Snoop Dogg type of tolerance).
So, if you’re taking medication and use cannabis recreationally, just don’t abuse it. Smoke your couple of joints at the end of the day and you should be fine. Just pay close attention to what your body tells you. You shouldn’t feel any difference in the impact your medication has. But either way, ask your doctor for all the information he/she can give you. If you’re still worried, visit the doctor every month or so. This will help you be sure you’re fine and give you peace of mind.