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Does CBD Cream Interact with Medication?

September 28, 2022 5 min read

Does CBD Cream Interact with Medication?

Does CBD Cream Interact with Medication?

Thousands of studies indicate that cannabidiol is a well-tolerated compound and is generally safe for consumption. However, one ample warning is that CBD interacts with some medications. Let's find out if CBD cream can interact with other medications.

Cannabidiol products are a rage in this modern times, promising relief from several health conditions such as pain, seizures, sleep disorders, neurological conditions, and heart problems. Most of these claims have been clinically tested and have shown merit, while others are just hype. Cannabidiol is an active compound that may cause unintended effects. CBD topical products like CBD creams are used topically to help with pain relief, body aches, and skincare routines. Although little is known about how topical CBD gets into the blood, some researchers suggest that CBD can alter the concentration of other drugs by suppressing their effects or increasing their side effects.

What Is CBD?

Cannabinoid (CBD) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant has more than one hundred components known as cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD are the most prevalent compounds. Until recently, THC has been the most common compound used for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and recreational purposes. It also causes psychoactive effects when a person consumes cannabis. Many confuse THC and CBD, but the two compounds are very different. Unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating and does not cause a "high" feeling experienced when you consume marijuana or "weed." CBD is derived from a type of cannabis known as hemp. Hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC. The 0.3% THC is inactive and, therefore, cannot cause any intoxicating effect but might show in a drug test. Opt for CBD products if you would like to tap the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without experiencing head-high effects.

Manufacturers use three types of CBD concentrates in making their products. They include full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD has all the compounds of cannabis, including THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. On the other hand, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate are THC free. The former contains all other compounds of cannabis, while the latter has CBD as the only compound from the cannabis plant. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. Studies indicate that products containing full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD are the most effective because they cause the "entourage effect." According to Nahler, Jones & Russo (2019), CBD may produce more effective results when combined with other cannabinoids, like THC. Those who don't want to test positive for a drug test prefer CBD isolate products.

What are CBD Creams?

CBD creams are applied topically on the skin. They are meant for everyday skincare routines, pain, and inflammation relief, and providing comfort and calming experience to your body and mind. Besides hemp extracts, CBD creams contain other ingredients such as moisturizers, emollients, and pain relievers. Most CBD creams combine the effects of hemp-derived cannabidiol and other botanicals to soothe joint and muscle soreness. They are commonly used by athletes and individuals who deal with physically demanding activities. CBD creams can also be an excellent option for occasional soreness. Besides pain relief, CBD cream can help moisturize and hydrate your skin.

How Does CBD Cream Work?

When CBD gets absorbed into the skin, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS contains receptors that help perform body functions, such as appetite, mood, memory, pain, inflammation, reproduction, and other brain-signaling systems. CBD binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors to ease discomfort and the grievous damage of oxidation, aging, and inflammation. When you apply CBD cream, the cannabinoid penetrates your skin through the ECS to reduce precursors for pain and discomfort. CBD helps reduce your body's normal inflammatory response when your muscles are sore, especially after a workout. It also works with the natural body functions to provide calming effects to your body and mind, enhance comfort by reducing body aches and soreness when applied regularly, and help you unwind after a stressful day.

How CBD Interacts with Other Medications

CBD interacts with other medications, which may result in serious side effects. According to Taylor et al. (2018), CBD affects the metabolism of some drugs. It may compete for metabolism or interfere with the liver enzymes that help break down the drugs. CBD also alters the concentration of other drugs, leading to their increase or reduction, which causes side effects or the drug not working. Such interactions are usually dangerous and may lead to more severe problems.

Kocis & Vrana (2020) evaluated five prescription medications related to THC and CBD, including anti-nausea medications (used during cancer treatment), Sativex (used for muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis), and Epidiolex (an anti-seizure drug). The study also found 139 drugs that CBD and THC may affect. It further narrowed the list to 57 medications that can be dangerous if their concentration is altered. Some of the severe drug interactions with CBD included anti-seizure drugs. The study also warned that cannabinoid products might contain variable cannabinoid concentrations and other components that may increase the risk of incidental drug interactions.

CBD does not affect arthritis medications. However, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have adverse reactions when taken with CBD in arthritis treatment. With anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs, physicians are always looking for their effects on the liver because of the interference in the drug metabolism. Additionally, anxiolytic medications are usually sedatives administered to patients with anxiety to calm their minds and thoughts. However, due to the potential abuse, anxiolytic drugs must be administered with great caution. If one uses anxiolytic sedatives with CBD to treat anxiety symptoms, one needs to take extra caution because CBD increases the effect of the sedatives taken.

Santarsieri & Schwartz (2015) explained that administering a carefully calculated dose is vital because the risk of adverse effects and overdose is significantly increased in patient who is already using antidepressants and sedatives for their anxiety management. You may also experience increased side effects if you use CBD products and medications such as macrolide antibiotics, antipsychotics, and antidepressants.

Conclusion

There is still much to discover on how CBD interacts with other medications and how it gets absorbed through the skin and eventually into the blood. CBD's interaction with anti-nausea, antidepressants, anxiolytics and other pain-relieving medication may be dangerous and can worsen your health. Some medications do not react with CBD. However, research concerning CBD's interaction with other medications is still ongoing, and more is yet to be discovered.

References

Kocis, P. T., & Vrana, K. E. (2020). Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Drug-Drug Interactions. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 3(1), 61.

Nahler, G., Jones, T. M., & Russo, E. B. (2019). Cannabidiol and contributions of major hemp phytocompounds to the "entourage effect"; possible mechanisms. J. Altern. Complementary Integr. Med, 5.

Santarsieri, D., & Schwartz, T. L. (2015). Antidepressant efficacy and side-effect burden: a quick guide for clinicians. Drugs in context, 4.

Taylor, L., Gidal, B., Blakey, G., Tayo, B., & Morrison, G. (2018). A phase I, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose, multiple dose, and food effect trial of the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of highly purified cannabidiol in healthy subjects. CNS drugs, 32(11), 1053-1067. Guide, B. S., & Games, B. M. B. Drug Interactions of CBD.