Here at Lolahemp, we want to make sure our customers are using our full spectrum hemp oil for dogs responsibly. One of the issues that owners need to be aware of is that cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD oil, has the potential to interact with other veterinary medications.
This article will explore how these interactions might occur and emphasizes the importance of working with your vet before giving hemp oil to your dog if they are taking other medications.
Liver Enzymes in the Cytochrome P450 Family
Many pharmaceutical drugs are metabolized in the liver using specific enzymes. One group of these enzymes is known as the Cytochrome P450 family, or CYP450 enzymes. The action of these enzymes metabolizes certain drugs, taking them out of the bloodstream. Dosing for such drugs is based on the proper functioning of this metabolic pathway.
If the CYP450 metabolic pathway is disrupted or inhibited, then the levels of certain drugs in the bloodstream will not be properly metabolized, and in some cases, this means that higher levels of those drugs stay in the bloodstream rather than being pushed out as waste in the liver. The real danger here is that it can create situations where there is too much of the pharmaceutical drug in the bloodstream, in some cases, causing overdose or other complications.
For example, let’s take a look at a common blood thinner, warfarin. It is given to people with cardiovascular disease who benefit from it’s blood thinning properties. However, it is dosed with the assumption that the CYP450 metabolic pathway will remove some of the active compounds from the bloodstream at a given pace. If that process is inhibited by CBD, then it can cause too much of the blood thinner to be active in the blood, causing serious problems from the blood being thinned too much, such as internal hemorrhaging.
Can CBD Enhance Drug Effectiveness in Some Cases?
On the other hand, because of this interaction, compounds such as CBD may actually enhance the effect of some drugs. That is, since less of the drug needs to be administered to be effective because it stays in the bloodstream longer, some doctors, researchers, and vets are looking into how this might be used to advantage.
For example, some research has shown that CBD, due to action on CYP450 pathways as well as other complex signaling functions in the central nervous system, may actually enhance the action of some drugs, allowing medical practitioners to potentially decrease the amount of those drugs without reducing the effectiveness of treatments.
Often referred to as a “synergistic effect,” research on this enhancing effect is still very much in the early stages. However, there is some preliminary research to show this effect with:
- Opioids and NSAIDs for pain relief
- Anti-seizure drugs for childhood epilepsy
- Chemotherapy agents in a study on rats with pancreatic cancer
Can Other Things Interfere with the CYP450 Pathway?
Yes. In fact, several scientific studies have shown that many other foods and supplements used in people can inhibit the CYP450 metabolic mechanisms. (Less studies have been done on dogs, but the working assumption is that the mechanisms of this metabolic pathway are similar in dogs and people.)
Which Drugs Can Interact with CBD?
About 60% of pharmaceutical drugs used in human medicine use the CYP450 metabolic pathway. In veterinary medicine, many of the drugs prescribed to our pets also use this metabolic pathway. That is why, if your dog is taking any other medications, you should absolutely consult with your vet about the use of CBD oil.
Represented in the table below are some of the more commonly prescribed veterinary drugs that can interact with CBD. Note this is not an exhaustive list, so again, it is critical to consult with your vet first.
Talk to Your Vet: CBD Veterinary Drug Interactions
At Lolahemp, we strive to keep our customers aware of the ongoing research exploring CBD and health for our canine companions through our informative blog. But we also want our customers to be aware of how to use CBD for dogs responsibly.
It is important to talk to your vet if you notice physical or behavioral problems with your dog. Early veterinary diagnosis can treat many conditions that could be otherwise life threatening. Never attempt to diagnose your own pet.
In addition, if your dog is taking any other medication, check with your vet to be sure that their treatment plan is adjusted with CBD in mind. This may mean a decrease in other medications such as NSAIDs or anticonvulsants. Or, your vet may recommend that adding CBD is not a good idea due to interference with medications your dog may need to maintain their health.