• CBD when sick

Studies show that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic properties. It may benefit the common cold, which results from nose and throat inflammation and induces pain, such as headaches or sore throat. The researchers noted that cannabinoids may help with persistent viral infections.

  • Will CBD affect medications

Taking CBD at the same time with OTC or prescription medications and substances that cause sleepiness, such as opioids, benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Ativan), antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines (such as Benadryl), or alcohol may lead to increased sleepiness, fatigue, and possibly accidental falls and accidents when driving. Increased sedation and tiredness may also happen when using certain herbal supplements, such as kava, melatonin, and St. John’s wort. Taking CBD with stimulants (such as Adderall) may lead to decreased appetite, while taking it with the diabetes drug metformin or certain heartburn drugs (such as Prilosec) may increase the risk of diarrhea.

CBD can increase the level of blood thinning and other medicines in your blood by competing for the liver enzymes that break down these drugs. Grapefruit has a similar effect with certain medicines.  People taking high doses of CBD may show abnormalities in liver-related blood tests. Many non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), have this same effect. So, you should let your doctor know if you are regularly using CBD.

Potential serious drug interactions may occur with these prescription drugs.

a common blood thinner, warfarin

a heart rhythm medication, amiodarone

a thyroid medication, levothyroxine

several medications for seizure, including clobazam, lamotrigine, and valproate

  • CBD and alcohol

CBD and alcohol may amplify each other’s effects, and taking both together in high doses may cause sleepiness and sedation.

However, many human and animal studies show that CBD protects against alcohol-induced cell damage and reduces blood alcohol concentration and addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

  • CBD and anxiety

In a more recent 2020 study, researchers evaluated CBD’s effects in 397 adults living in New Zealand. The study participants received medical CBD prescriptions for a variety of ailments, including non-cancer pain, cancer-related symptoms, neurological symptoms, and mental health symptoms.

All groups reported improvements in their overall quality of life after 3 weeks of CBD treatment. The individuals who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions and reduce pain and anxiety or depression symptoms.

70% of study participants reported some level of satisfaction with CBD treatment, ranging from good to excellent. Only 9.9% of participants experienced adverse side effects, such as sedation and vivid dreams. An even smaller portion of the study population (0.8%) reported worsening symptoms.

In a retrospective study, researchers evaluated the effects of CBD treatment in 72 adults with either anxiety or sleep problems.

The majority of study participants received one 25 milligram capsule of CBD once a day (mg/d). A few participants received 50 or 75 mg/d. One individual with a history of trauma and schizoaffective disorder received up to 175 mg/d.

After the first 2 months of CBD treatment, 78.1–79.2% of participants reported improvements in anxiety symptoms.

  • CBD when pregnant / breastfeeding

Using CBD while breastfeeding isn’t recommended. If you plan on breastfeeding in the future, avoid using CBD for at least 1 week beforehand.

The Food and Drug Administration strongly advises against it because of the lack of comprehensive research on the effects of CBD on breastfed babies. What we do know so far is that some CBD is transferred to babies through breast milk.

CBD products can also contain THC and other substances that can pose risks to a breastfed baby. Research is ongoing, but until experts know more, it’s best to avoid using CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Written by Daniel Veilleux

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