It’s no secret that the majority of the CBD market takes the product for a variety of medical-related issues. And while there has yet to be solid evidence on the efficacy of CBD for medical purposes, the anecdotal support for its supposed benefits is overwhelming. That’s why even without the solid wall of science to back up its claims, there are millions of patrons who vouch for CBD and its powerful effects.
But for as safe and natural as hemp and its derivatives might be, there are certain factors worth considering if you’re taking the product for a known medical condition. Any substance – no matter how organic and pure – can cause interactions with synthetic drugs. Heck, even certain food and drink can interact with drugs. That doesn’t mean they’re bad.
That said, it’s important that you consider how hemp might interact with any medication you take to find out the best way to maximize its effects without causing any unwanted interactions.
First Things First – How is Medication Metabolized?
Whether it’s a medication or a supplement, food or drink, your body metabolizes its contents with the help of enzymes. Mostly found in the liver, these enzymes work to break down the chemical compounds that make up your medication – or just about anything else that you ingest – and then take the molecules to make them available to your body.
Without this crucial process, any substances or chemicals contained in the food you eat to the drugs and supplements you take will ultimately be flushed out as feces or urine. ‘Interactions’ are usually caused by unique chemical processes that occur during this metabolic process as a result of the distinct characteristics of a certain substance.
Why Does CBD Require Consideration?
Studies have found that CBD in particular hinders the function of one specific enzyme called P450. This particular enzyme is responsible for the metabolism of most medications, including some of the most common maintenance drugs that people take. So what does that mean for you?
When taken together with certain medications, CBD may or may not alter the effects of the drug. It really depends on the specific medication you’re taking, but according to research, using certain meds together with CBD can either strengthen or weaken its effects, or heighten the impact of its side effects.
Funny enough, grapefruit has been found to interact with the same enzyme that CBD interacts with, producing the same effect. That’s why some drugs will come with an indication telling you not to eat grapefruit before or after taking the meds.
What’s the Workaround?
Hey, just because there might be an interaction, doesn’t mean you should quit CBD (or your medication) all together. There are a variety of techniques and tricks you can use to reap the benefits of both, without the unwanted effects of interactions taking place.
Consult Your Doctor
The first and most obvious workaround would be to consult your doctor. With a fuller knowledge as to the specific mechanism of your meds and CBD, a doctor is in a better position to tell you how to take both to prevent the unwanted tango between the substances. More often than not, your doctor should place you on a schedule, telling you what specific time to take your meds and your CBD, or how many hours you should wait before taking one or the other.
In some cases, your doctor might even be able to tell you whether or not there would be an interaction in the first place. Remember – CBD only affects the P450 enzyme, and while it might metabolize a bunch of different types of drugs, it doesn’t metabolize them all. So if the medication you’re taking doesn’t necessarily rely on the function of the P450 enzyme, then there might not be a reason to schedule in the first place.
Choose a Different Delivery Method
The thing about CBD is that it will only affect your P450 enzyme if it’s ingested or otherwise infused into the blood stream. So sublingual, edibles, smokeables, and transdermal CBD is out of the question. But there are other methods. If you’re using CBD for its benefits against skin allergies, fungal infections, and other topical issues, then there’s no harm in using a topical solution.
Lotions, creams, ointments, and salves can be taken in conjunction with medications without any known cause for concern or caution. These aren’t taken into the bloodstream, they don’t make it to the liver, and thus can’t impose any effects on the metabolic agents that are associated with any drugs that you might be taking for other conditions.
Manage Your Dosage
Before you consider dialing down your dosage, make sure you consult with your doctor first. Some experts suggest that CBD – at lower concentrations – doesn’t showcase any interactions with the CYP450 pathway as long as doses are below 25mg. With that in mind, the whole issue of preventing unwanted effects might lie solely on calibrating your dosage.
If you’re taking CBD for pain of any sort, then a good rule of thumb to follow would be to take 1 t o 6 mg of the substance for every 10 pounds of your bodyweight. So a 200lbs user might be able to get substantial effects out of just 20mg of CBD – way below the 25mg threshold for CYP450 interaction.
But then again – this shouldn’t be treated as a sound method for self-determination of your supposed dosage. Always consult your doctor before attempting any methods for interaction prevention.
The Possibility of Harmony
It’s true – you can enjoy CBD even if you’re taking medication. All it takes is a little wit. While it is true that CBD can interact with certain metabolic enzymes that work to break down and process medications, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a way for you to reap its benefits alongside your drug regimen. But before you start taking CBD from industrial Hempfarms, you should always make sure that you’re consulting your doctor and asking about schedules, doses, and potential interactions to find out how you can achieve optimal health and wellness with both your prescribed meds and the power of CBD.