Products that contain CBD are all the rage right now, and shoppers can seem to stop buying them. From a recent report, it’s estimated that CBD sales will reach $ 16 billion by 2026, from the $ 1 billion mark it reached in 2018.
This exponential growth is due to the many benefits CBD possesses. It promises relief from various ailments such as hot flashes, chronic pain, insomnia, and seizures.
Many of these claims have some truth in them, while others are just hype intended to coerce you into trying CBD. After all, it won’t hurt to try, right? Before you go off and buy your first CBD product, what exactly is CBD, and most importantly, is it safe for people on prescription medication?
To put it simply, CBD is a biological compound. That means it may have some unintended consequences, including the known side-effects of taking it and some unwanted interactions with prescription medication, herbal products, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs.
Let’s have a deeper look at the connection between CBD and medication.
How to Spot Potential Drug Interactions
For the grapefruit warning. Although many studies on potential CBD to interact with specific medications are still ongoing, you should avoid taking CBD if the medication you’re on has a grapefruit warning on the label.
This warning usually indicates that people in that specific medication should avoid consuming grapefruit or any foods containing grapefruit. According to the Food and Drug Administration, ingesting- grapefruit while taking these medications may lead to a higher concentration of the medication, which could mean adverse side effects or a potential overdose.
Close to 85 drugs interact with grapefruit. Grapefruit contains a chemical known as furanocoumarins that inhibit CYP3A4, similar to how CBD behaves. This results in a slow metabolization of the medication.
This warning is standard in several drugs, but not all medications within a category will need you to avoid grapefruit. Just check your medication’s label, or ask your doctor. So, before you buy Lazarus Naturals, be sure the medication you are taking doesn’t have the grapefruit warning.
How CBD Can Alter the Effects of Other Drugs
Researchers are still working to determine CBD’s interaction with several medications further, but studies available point to some level of interaction, and ultimately, unwarranted effects.
Most of these studies have been done on animals and with certain medications, but scientists are still trying to determine how the results may translate to human beings.
Some clinical trials have been conducted. For instance, in one study involving 25 children, who suffered from hard-to-treat variants of epilepsy, 13 of them were given both CBD and clobazam. Researchers discovered that these children had elevated levels of clobazam. They reported that taking CBD and clobazam together is safe but advised monitoring medication levels during treatment.
From another study, 42 children and 39 adults taking AEDs were also given Epidiolex, a CBD drug, and the doses were increased every fortnight.
The researchers monitored the serum levels of AEDs of the participants over time. While most of them remained within an acceptable range, some had serum levels outside the therapeutic range.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine did an evaluation on the existing information about five prescriptions of CBD and THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) medication used to treat cancer, a drug used to treat muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis—Sativex, and an anti-seizure medicine—Epidiolex.
The researchers identified 139 types of medication that may be affected by these cannabinoids. This list was further cut down to 57 medications that could be dangerous if the concentration were altered.
There were various drugs, from antibiotics to heart medication, but not all the medicines contained within the list may be affected by strictly CBD products.
Initial studies indicate that CBD may interfere with medication levels in the body, even if you’re taking the prescribed dosage. However, more research is needed to determine the severity of CBD interactions for different medications and develop recommendations for carrying them alongside CBD.
Taking CBD Safely While On Medications
The evidence shows that medication with grapefruit warnings should also interact with CBD. So, it may be wise to check with your doctor first before taking CBD, especially if you’re taking any other form of medication.
One of the big problems with CBD-drug interactions is that researchers aren’t sure which medication is affected the most, and thus, it may be difficult to assess the exact level of risk involved. There isn’t a safe way to take CBD while on medication.
One key takeaway is always to consult your doctor first if you want to take CBD, especially if you suffer from any condition that requires you to take medication. Do not, under any circumstances, stop taking your prescription medication just to try CBD unless you get approval from your physician.
Medications that have the grapefruit warning are more likely to interact with CBD. And if you’re on one of these medications, your doctor may come up with a plan that allows you to take CBD without compromising your medication’s ability to work. It’s also important to consult your doctor, as they may recommend a quality CBD product that will perfectly fit your needs.