California-based group releases education primer on cannabis interaction

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Project CBD aims to inform physicians and patients on how cannabis and pharmaceuticals can mix

A program out of California, Project CBD, wants to make sure that people understand how cannabis reacts when mixed with pharmaceutical drugs. The project has published its Primer on Cannabinoid-Drug Interactions, which is designed for physicians, policy-makers and patients. The 33-page publication is available for free on the website.

Given that over half of US adults take prescribed medicine on a regular basis, interactions between any substances need to be addressed. Cannabis is quickly gaining attention across the country and it is important that everyone understands the implications of mixing lab pharmaceuticals with the natural plant.

It’s not a cut-and-dry subject. Adrian Devitt-Lee, a research chemist who wrote the report, points out, “It’s a complicated issue. Although drug interactions are rarely so dangerous as to entirely preclude the use of a medication, they can have serious impacts on a patient’s treatment and wellbeing.”

The good news is that, according to preliminary studies, there are no indications of negative results from a mix of cannabis and pharmaceuticals. However, as the report shows, the possibility exists. “To the extent that there have been problematic drug interactions with cannabinoids, these have involved high doses of nearly pure CBD isolates, not cannabis in general. Even though THC is an intoxicant and CBD is not, the fact that people tend to use much higher doses of pure CBD makes it a much riskier player in metabolic drug interactions,” explains the report.

As cannabis increases in popularity, Project CBD is on a mission to ensure that everyone is informed. It hopes that “as cannabis therapeutics continues to gain acceptance among physicians and patients, adequate resources will become available for clinical studies involving drug interactions with CBD, THC and other plant cannabinoids.”