Research shows that cannabis and CBD may cause adverse drug interactions

Key points

  • Found published in journals Medical marijuana and cannabinoids It shows that dozens of prescription drugs may have harmful interactions with cannabis and CBD.
  • Interactions may also be a factor in herbal and over-the-counter medications.
  • Although more research is needed, experts recommend that patients record all supplements and medications and their potential reactions to them.

Recent studies have shown that although they are now widely used, medical marijuana and medicinal cannabidiol (CBD) may cause adverse interactions with certain prescription drugs. Review articles published in journals in 2020 Medical marijuana and cannabinoids It lists 57 prescription drugs that may be affected by the use of cannabinoids, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes.

These findings should inform people to choose the way to take these therapeutic substances based on the prescribed prescriptions.

Drug interactions with cannabinoids

Researchers write that as CBD and cannabis products increase, the possibility of accidental interactions is higher, not only with prescriptions, but also with other herbal or over-the-counter drugs. They point out that even smoking can be a problem because it may change the way cannabinoids are metabolized.

Symptoms of interaction can cover all areas, and research shows that the most common may be:

  • Dizziness
  • Puzzled
  • Heart side effects, such as rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Respiratory problems

Need more research

In particular, CBD has triggered a wide range of claims about its benefits, including improving sleep, reducing anxiety,Better exercise recovery,Lower pain levels,And increased attention.Jordan Tishler, MD, professor at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, said that these potential benefits drove some preliminary research, but it was still very early in the CBD era that it became a must-have for everyone.

“CBD Oil has a lot of hope and excitement,” he said. “However, in addition to anecdotal evidence and preliminary research, we have a lot of research to do. In terms of quality and other issues, it is now the Wild West because it is not regulated. But for those who have problems that can help. , CBD provides an option worth trying.”

An important area of ​​necessary research is why CBD and medical marijuana may be effective for some people but not others. With this information, it is easier to determine potential drug interactions and side effects.

Jordan Tisler, MD

In addition to anecdotal evidence and preliminary research, we still have a lot of research work to do. In terms of quality and other issues, it is now the Wild West because it is not regulated. But for those who have questions that can help, CBD offers an option worth trying.

— Jordan Tishler, MD

But unlike drugs that act on other systems of the body (such as the cardiovascular or respiratory system), this is tricky because the main mechanism involves the body’s endocannabinoid system, and the way this system works is not straightforward. On the contrary, endocannabinoids, cannabis-like molecules produced by the body, are used to regulate other systems to maintain body homeostasis.

Your body in CBD

Tishler says that a good analogy to how an endocannabinoid system works is to think about cars manufactured today. It contains a computer that can control almost everything from fuel delivery to GPS to assessing tire pressure.

Tishler said that the car brain keeps track of each system and can make small adjustments to efficiency, and your endocannabinoid system will do the same. Neurotransmitters are distributed throughout the body, providing a continuously regulated registry update.

“Endocannabinoid receptors are present in every system, from the lungs, kidneys and bone marrow to immune response, reproductive health and pain regulation,” he said. “It affects almost everything you can tell about the body.”

According to Tishler, these receptors can be regulated with cannabis and CBD, but it is impossible to predict their response to these receptors. They may optimize the receptor function of some people, but not the receptor function of others. This is part of the need for more research—to understand why people’s response strengths vary.

Alternative ways of research

Another research direction that may be pursued in the near future is the efficacy of different formulations, including medical marijuana and CBD. For the latter, for example, the breadth of products is amazing, from topical creams and tinctures to inhalable forms for atomization, soft candies and other food choices, and even CBD-infused water.

Although medical marijuana has more limited forms, it still comes in the form of pills, extracts, liquids, topical medicines, and dried leaves for smoking.

There is not enough evidence to prove what is considered the most effective, but what is interesting is that there seems to be a personalized response. For example, medical marijuana or CBD tinctures may not help you, and the extract works like a charm, but it may be the opposite to others.

In order to obtain a more refined effect, one brand may not be able to relieve symptoms, while another brand may, even though they may contain the same amount of active ingredients.

Talk to your doctor

Although researchers have identified many paths for these products, those who use them should take action: track what is being used, when it is used, and any potential impact.

This applies not only to CBD and medical marijuana, but also to any type of medicine. There may be interactions with herbs, and some supplements such as St. John’s wort and honeysuckle may be particularly problematic.

“You need to let your doctor know what you are taking, all the way to the vitamin formula,” said Abigail Hildkrut, an internal medicine expert, who runs a consulting company that uses medical insights to try to get more Effective medical care is provided to patients. “Tracking everything and getting this information before making an appointment can not only save time, but it can also show a response pattern that indicates a possible problem.”

What this means to you

Facts have proved that medicinal cannabis and CBD products can help manage various physical and mental conditions,But the key to success is to monitor the full picture of your treatment plan.

Keep track of how you feel after taking cannabinoids and regular prescription drugs, and make sure to ask your doctor about possible interactions before adding any new substances to your daily routine.


Research shows that cannabis and CBD may cause adverse drug interactions
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