Cannabidiol (CBD), a natural compound derived from plants like hemp, is safe for humans and animals, according to evidence presented in a new research review. German investigators Iffland Kerstin and Grotenhermen Franjo recently examined the available articles on the safety and side effects of CBD and published their findings in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
Researcher Mateus Machado Bergamaschi led a similar comprehensive survey review in 2011. Kerstin and Franjo set out to extend and update Bergamaschi’s study, which concluded that controlled CBD was safe for humans and animals. Their review, with new evidence from studies that had been published after Bergamashi’s review, confirms his and his team’s findings.
“This review could substantiate and expand the findings of Bergamashi et al. about CBD favorable safety profile,” Kerstin and Franjo concluded.
According to the research presented in the review, CBD has demonstrated to be beneficial for reducing seizures, managing psychosis, inhibiting cancer, reducing anxiety, and treating heroin addiction. The compound has also shown to have immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties , suggesting that it could be potentially beneficial for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
While CBD has shown to potentially have therapeutic applications, studies show that the compound has no adverse physiological effects on blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, glucose levels, hematocrit, pH, potassium and sodium levels, rectal temperature, emesis, or pressure exerted by carbon dioxide or oxygen. Even chronic CBD use was shown to have no negative neurological, psychiatric, or clinical effects. Respiratory depression or cardiovascular complications have not been observed or recorded.
The review did make note, however, of potential CBD drug interactions. Studies indicate that CBD influences general drug-metabolizing enzymes belonging to the cytochrome P450 family. The P450 enzyme group is responsible for metabolizing many commonly used or prescribed medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, codeine, Xanax (alprazolam), and Lipitor (atorvastatin). Clinical studies indicate that CBD’s effect on the P450 enzymatic system can increase the effects of these medications.
The review also found evidence showing that CBD inhibits enzymes CYP236 and CYP2C9 to alter the metabolization of drugs like omeprazole, risperidone, diclofenac, and warfarin. In vitro studies have shown that CBD may inhibit the ABC transporters P glycoprotein and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein, potentially preventing some anticancer drugs from binding to transporters. In one human study, CBD was found to interact with isozymes CYP3A4 and CYP2C19 to increase the bioavailability of the antiepileptic drug clobazam, making it more effective at a lower dose.
Kerstin and Franjo point out that research investigating CBD’s potential adverse effects on genetic material, hormones, and the immune system are lacking. The investigators urged for more clinical research.
You can learn more about CBD and what research has so far discovered about its natural health benefits by visiting our education page.
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