Studies are showing that in addition to being a potent treatment for rare types of intractable epilepsy, cannabis may also enhance the effects of conventional pharmaceutical medication – preliminary research has demonstrated this quality in HIV treatment, too. It’s no real shock, since the phenomenal potential of cannabis as an epilepsy medicine is well-documented and has even made the national media.
Charlotte’s Web, and other high-CBD strains cultivated especially to be made into high-CBD, low-THC extract oils to treat epilepsy and other illnesses have exploded over the past decade. However, much of the research has concentrated on cannabis as a solo medication for epilepsy. Only now are we realizing that the herb may also make existing epilepsy drugs more effective.
Cannabis and the Cytochrome P450 system
Cannabis influences the Cytochrome P450 system of enzyme proteins in the liver. This system is responsible for breaking down – or metabolizing compounds – such as those found in pharmaceutical drugs. But it appears that some cannabis compounds, like CBD, have a stifling effect on these enzymes, increasing the concentration of some compounds in the bloodstream.
A study of more than 80 epilepsy patients carried out by the Official Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy revealed these findings about CBD. Initially, the patients were treated with a 5mg daily dose of CBD – this was steadily upped to 50mg per day as their bodies adjusted to the treatment. The researchers found that the concentrations of anti-epilepsy drugs in the blood increased alongside increased dosages of CBD.
Pharmaceutical epilepsy drugs which exhibited this increased potency in the blood include rufinamide, N-desmethylclobazam and topiramate. Interestingly, a reduction in clobazam serum levels were reported when more CBD was administered.
In addition to reducing the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures, a CBD treatment plan for epileptic patients also helps to combat pain and fatigue – disrupted sleep caused by pain is often what leads to the fatigue. Researchers believe that CBD anti-seizure properties manifest from its interactions with a brain receptor, calming its electrical activity. This is a unique effect which traditional epilepsy drugs have been unable to replicate.
CBD seems to enhance the effects of several substances
CBD’s ability to boost the effects of substances may not just be limited to anti-seizure medication. This finding should be of interest to anyone taking prescription medication with harsh side effects, as it shows CBD may allow people to reduce their overall dose. Not to mention, some pharmaceutical drugs are eye-poppingly expensive, so anyway of bringing down costs is often welcomed.
On top of that, CBD also boasts powerful anti-inflammatory qualities, and it is this mixture of therapeutic effects which makes cannabinoid therapy so exciting. Cannabis Science Inc. has already experimented with the IGXBio HIV/AIDS vaccine, infusing beneficial cannabinoids with the goal of reducing the severity of the disease’s symptoms.
And a study from the Israel Medication Association Journal has found that CBD oil can combat side effects of the HPV vaccine. One study does not make a medication, but it’s a good starting point for additional research.
That medical experts and pharmaceutical companies are now recognizing the immense potential of cannabinoids in managing the side effects of vaccines is huge. It suggests they’ll also consider incorporating them into treatment plans along with existing medication, instead of just utilizing CBD as a standalone medication.