CBD and all its acclaimed therapeutic benefits are no longer news. The cannabis extract has been all the rage lately, thankfully, for the right reasons.
Even with the increasing research and awareness of CBD, many are unaware of its effect when consumed with alcohol and other prescription drugs.
While CBD, in itself, is considered safe and widely tolerated, the same cannot be said when consumed with alcohol and other prescription drugs.
This article explains what happens in the body when you consume CBD oil alongside alcohol and other drugs.
Before we delve in, first things first…
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (popularly CBD) is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD has been widely appreciated for its many therapeutic claims without any psychoactive effect.
That means CBD offers you most of the acclaimed health claims linked with the age-long medical cannabis without leaving you high.
After extraction from the cannabis plant, the CBD compound is mixed with carrier oils like palm oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil.
CBD comes in many forms,including tinctures, shots, food products, capsules, sprays, etc.
Research links CBD to several health gains, including pain relief, anxiety management, and improved skin health.
What are CYP450 Enzymes?
When on drug prescription, the body processes or breaks down the substances consumed. This metabolism occurs throughout the body, particularly by the liver.
Cytochrome P450 – popularly CYP450 – is a body of enzymes that convert foreign elements foreasy breakdown and elimination from the body.
Some substances and medications consumed affect the functioning of the CYP450 enzymes. They either speed up or slows down the ability of these enzymes to process drugs.
Such irregularity may affect how the body processes supplements and medications consumed, a condition known as Drug Interaction.
CBD and the CYP450 Enzymes
CYP3A4, a member of the CYP450 family, is particularly responsible for breaking down of cannabinoids, CBD inclusive. During the metabolism process, CBD interacts with CYP3A4.
CYP3A4 is responsible for breaking down about 60% of drug prescriptions. Sadly, CBD’s interaction with the enzyme may inhibit the metabolism process and render the CYP3A4 unable to process the medications as expected.
On the other hand, too many medications can alter the functioning of the CYP3A4. While on such medicines, the body may find it difficult to process your CBD doses effectively.
Either way – When the body is unable to process these substances soon enough, the medications accumulate in the body and, too often, results in adverse health concerns.
Research On CBD Oil and Alcohol’s Interaction
Cannabis and alcohol are commonly consumed substances.
While alcohol reduces inhibitions and enhances relaxation,interestingly, CBD, according to studies, mayalso calm nerves and reduce anxiety.
While the individual effects are widely known, the impact of a combined use is scarcelyresearched.
However, a study reveals that CBD-alcohol combination may dramatically impair performance and alter time perception. These effects were not noticeable with a CBD-only dosage.
So should you take alcohol and CBD?
Till now, there are no scientifically proven adverse effect of mixing alcohol and CBD.
Remember, CBD’s effect varies across individuals. Hence, it can be a challenge to say if an alcohol-CBD mix will have a similar impact on everyone.
Besides, available research data are basically on the effect of a high volume of alcohol and CBD, rather than moderate consumption.
So far, there is no substantial evidence on the effects of occasional and moderate alcohol consumption. As much as possible, avoid dosing alcohol and CBD together, especially if the outcome is uncertain.
If you insist, begin with low doses of both substances to reduce the possible health risks. At any point it doesn’t feel right, consult your local physician.
CBD and Prescription Drug Interaction
Until research underway gives enough data on CBD-prescription drug interaction, here’s a rule of thumb: do not take CBD alongside any medication with grapefruit warning.
FDA warns against the severe side effects of these medications when consumed alongside grapefruit.
Grapefruit contains certain chemicals – referred to as furanocoumarin – which alters CYP3A4’s functioning, just as CBD does. This results in slow medication metabolism, which often poses significant health risks.
So should you take CBD and Prescription Drugs?
If you wish to consume CBD along with any medical prescription, discuss with a physician before you commence. They may come up with a dosage and CBD-infused product that won’t disturb your regular prescriptions.
Do not discontinue your medical prescriptions for CBD oil, except otherwise advised by a certified health practitioner.
Also, you may want to consider CBD-infused topical like creams, salves, and lotions. Since these options do not typically get into the bloodstream, they may be safe.
On your doctor’s advice, dosing CBD and other medications might be safe. However, while on this combination, do well to watch out for changes in your body system.
Drowsiness, nausea, sedation, diarrheas, change in weight, change in appetite, fatigue, among others, are common symptoms to watch out for. If you notice any, kindly stop dosage and discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.
Alcohol, traditional medications, and CBD may, in synergy, offer higher individual effects. When dosed together, sedation, sleepiness,and even worse complications are likely.
Noteworthily, however, most of the available research reports the effects of super-high doses of alcohol/drug prescriptions and CBD. It remains uncertain how a combination of moderate doses may affect consumers.
Again, discuss with a physician if you wish to consume CBD along with alcohol or any other medical prescriptions.