Most of you are probably well aware of how alcohol, a recreational substance, can negatively affect the body, especially when combined with pharmaceutical medications. However, cannabis, specifically CBD, is often used for wellness reasons and so the results of what can happen when it is combined with alcohol is a much more imperative topic of discussion.
Marijuana is, typically, an incredibly safe drug to use in comparison to most over-the-counter medicines. Although, it is important to keep in mind that it does still consist of hundreds of different chemical compounds, and scientists don’t know everything about each of them yet. In fact, scientists don’t know everything about CBD yet either, and so nobody can really be sure how the compound will interact with other drugs, such as pain medication.
The body’s metabolism regulates how quickly drugs can pass through our system. In the case of CBD and approximately 65% of all other legal medications, an enzyme in the liver, called cytochrome P450, assists the metabolism in its responsibilities. This has the potential to become hazardous because CBD dominates the enzyme, meaning that the enzyme focusses solely on CBD and nothing else.
When humans consume CBD, the liver ceases to metabolise other substances that use the same enzyme. This means that if you are ingesting a high-strength drug and CBD simultaneously, they could both stay in your body for longer than they should. CBD staying in the system doesn’t pose a huge threat to the body, though pharmaceuticals are a whole different story – if these drugs don’t leave the body properly and at the right time, then the user risks suffering nasty side effects such as tiredness and nausea. If someone were to do this consistently then their liver could suffer some serious harm.
Any substance that is broken down by the liver will be impacted in some way by CBD. Essentially, this means that all kinds of drugs can be affected. The best way to know whether or not you personally are safe to consume your medication alongside CBD is to consult your own physician. Though, there is some evidence that taking CBD with other drugs actually has the capacity to help people. Research published in 105 showed that, because CBD slowed the metabolization of clobazam (an anti-seizure medication), patients were able to take less of the drug and therefore, the side-effects from the substance (tiredness, insomnia, vomiting etc) were lessened.
The bottom line is, consuming CBD while on medication is something that is subjective, in that it really depends what kind of medication you’re taking and whether or not your doctor says that it’s okay. If you are taking some form of medication and using cannabis for fun, just don’t abuse it – be cautious and listen to what your body says.