Medical Writing for Patients
In the early 1990s, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered. Many of the questions related to how marijuana and its primary active agent, THC, began to come in focus. It turns out that the body produces neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send information from the brain to various parts of the body.
These bind to receptors found throughout the human neurosystem, including the brain. The ECS assists in regulating many processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory and other cognitive aspects. They also are involved in regulation of fertility, pregnancy, and even embryo development. Plant extracts from the hemp family are suitable in size and shape to bind to these receptors and influence the function of the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system. These include THC and Cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
CBD oil is a safe, non-intoxication, non-addictive compound derived from the Hemp plant. Many are now taking this oil with the hope of addressing various ailments including pain relief and anti-inflammation, smoking cessation, drug withdrawal, cancer prevention, PTSD, and numerous others.
One of the primary ways the body gets rid of drugs and drug break-down products is through the liver. In the liver, the cytochrome P450 system (CYP450) eliminates many drugs from the body. Those whose doctor has advised them not to drink grapefruit juice will be familiar with this because it is this pathway that grapefruit juice inhibits. Slowing down the CYP450 system can alter the impact and amount of drugs in the system and so care must be taken with anything that impacts this system.
It has recently been found that at high doses of CBD can inhibit the CYP450 system as well. The exact dose varies by person. At lower doses, there is no impact. However, at some point – unique to each individual – as the CBD is processed by the CYP450, CBD starts to stick to the breakdown enzymes in the system. This causes it to “back up” and slows the normal breakdown that occurs.
The bottom line here is that CBD is a safe natural product. It can be used to help with a wide variety of ailments. It needs to be used with care when taking other medications so that those exiting through the CYP450 system of the liver do not artificially build up in the system and cause side effects.