Cannabidiol (CBD) products have exploded in popularity now that hemp products with little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have become legal across the nation. CBD oil is widely available in numerous products and dosages without a doctor's prescription and is highly sought-after by chronic pain sufferers.
However, just like vitamins that can be bought over the counter, there are some important reasons to discuss your use of CBD oil for pain management with your physicians. If you don't, you could be putting your life at risk.
Why is oral CBD oil potentially dangerous for some people?
CBD oil can actually affect how quickly your body metabolizes certain drugs. (Many people are familiar with this concept due to the effects of grapefruit on some medications.) When consumed orally, CBD actually inhibits the work of certain enzymes in your liver -- which is where many other medications you may be taking are broken down and metabolized.
By interfering with your body's liver enzymes, CBD can cause you to metabolize some drugs too quickly and others too slowly -- either of which can throw your entire system off balance. Some of the most important drugs that can be affected by CBD oil consumption include:
- Blood thinners -- Drugs like Coumadin, ibuprofen, and aspirin can be metabolized too quickly if there's CBD oil in your system, which could put you in danger. Anyone on blood thinners has to maintain a careful dosage in order to keep their blood concentration at the right level.
- Anti-seizure drugs -- Anti-epileptic medications are usually metabolized in the liver, and ingesting CBD oil can cause the drugs to metabolize faster and cause fatigue or a lack of adequate seizure control.
- Cholesterol and high blood pressure medications -- Statins, like Lipitor, designed to lower your cholesterol and some drugs that treat high blood pressure are also affected by CBD ingestion. Because too much of these drugs in your system could provoke a heart attack, don't ingest CBD oil without a doctor's authorization.
What can you do for chronic pain management instead of ingesting CBD oil?
There are numerous other options that are available for pain management. There are, for example, CBD treatments that are topical -- which don't go through your liver. Lidocaine creams and patches are also highly effective at treating localized pain, like sore muscles. Spinal blocks can be used to get at the heart of your pain, especially if it is related to your back.
Physical therapy is also helpful for many chronic pain conditions since it can correct postural problems and strengthen your muscles. Cortisone shots are also used to alleviate joint pain for months at a time.
If you suffer from chronic pain, don't take risks with over-the-counter pain relievers that could also harm you. CBD oil may, in fact, be worth using -- but you should talk to professional pain management services about all of your options before you decide how to proceed.