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CBD, an acronym for cannabidiol, is an essential component of medical marijuana. It is one of the two major active compounds present in the Cannabis sativa plant, the otherbeing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both of these produce feelings of relaxation and calm, but the main difference is CBD is not psychoactive. It means CBD intake is not associated with a high, or potential for abuse or dependence.
CBD imparts its effect on the body by influencing the CB1and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  The endocannabinoid system (ECS) normally helps in the regulation of certain functions such as appetite, sleep, mood, immune response, memory, fertility, and the perception of pleasure and pain; regardless of the CBD use. CB1 receptors are present in the central nervous system (CNS) and govern coordination, movement, appetite, pain, mood, and memory. CB2 receptors are primarily found in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and regulate immune cell functions, including pain and inflammation. CBD can also modulate serotonin receptors, which explains its positive effects on anxiety,depression, and insomnia.
In most cases, CBD is well-tolerated; however,there is a slight chance of experiencing some unwanted effects. The risk of having a side effect is increased when it is contaminated with other compounds. The most common side effects that occur after taking CBD are dry mouth, diarrhea,reduced appetite, fatigue, and low blood pressure. Though it is not euphoric,it can sometimes lead to light-headedness and drowsiness.
CBD is also used topically, but there is not enough data on its possible toxic effects on the skin and is generally regarded safe.
A rare side effect of CBD that can occur in people with chronic liver disease is acute liver injury. Another rare side effect is, high doses of CBD can worsen the motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.
CBD can interact with certain drugs; it is recommended to consult your healthcare provider before you start using it.
CBD interacts with other sedatives which results in additive effects and excessive inhibition of the receptors in the central nervous system. The sleep induced by CBD is calming and wake-inducing, but it is better to avoid the combined use of CBD and sleeping pills.
CBD slows down the metabolism of blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin. This allows these drugs to remain in the body for a longer period, increasing the risk of bleeding.
CBD is an effective therapy for epilepsy. In certain circumstances, CBD may produce undesired effects by interacting with other antiepileptic drugs. It was found in a study that at low doses, CBD does not produce antiepileptic effects, instead, it inhibits the cytochrome p450, which is responsible for the metabolism of clobazam and narclobazam. Prolonged availability of these drugs can result in more aggressive seizures. More Recent studies, however, regard CBD as a safe and effective therapy in epilepsy patients receiving clobazam.
CBD interacts with anti-cancer drugs by inhibiting their metabolism. The principle of chemotherapy is, drugs work only in the therapeutic range, as both decreased and increased concentrations produce undesired effects. The increased availability of chemotherapeutic agents, therefore, has negative consequences.
CBD provides a wide range of therapeutic advantages by interacting and affecting the endogenous regulatory systems of the body. However, its ability to inhibit cytochrome p450, which metabolizes many drugs, produces complex drug interactions and adverse effects.Therefore, people who are using the following medications should not use CBD.
· Calcium channel blockers
· Anti-histamine (anti-allergic)
· Prokinetics (motility drugs)
· Anti-HIV drugs
· Proton pump inhibitors (reflux drugs)
It should also be avoided in the following conditions:
· CBD has an adverse effect of lowering blood pressure;therefore, people who usually are hypotensive must avoid using it.
· CBD can worsen Parkinson’s disease, so it is not recommended for Parkinson’s patients.
· CBD deranged liver enzymes. People with pre-existing liver disease are at the greatest risk for further deterioration of hepatic function; thus, they should avoid it.
There is not much data on the effects of CBD on the growing baby. Therefore, pregnant women must avoid using it, as the mother shares everything that goes into her body with her baby. Similarly, lactating women should also not consume CBD, as the risk to the baby is not established. Here are somethings that women must know.
· If it is really necessary to use CBD for therapeutic purpose, then the mother should, atleast, avoid in the first trimester, which is the period of organogenesis (formation of organs). Any negative stimulus in this period may lead to birth defects.
· If a woman is planning to conceive, she must avoid or cautiously use CBD.
· Lactating Women should not consume CBD two to three hours before feeding the baby.
Before using CBD for medical purposes, one must know that the benefits of CBD are not confirmed by FSA, EFSA & FDA-approved research. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease, and also not an alternative to conventional allopathic medicine. Pregnant and lactating women should not use CBD. It is best not to give to children unless medical advice has been taken. Before using CBD, it is better to take advice from a healthcare professional, particularly for those who are already taking some other medicine.
The information provided on this page is no substitute for doctors’ advice. This page does not promote self-medication or intend to stop medical treatment. It is advised to always consult a physician before starting any therapy.