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can transplant patients use cbd salve for pain

Methods: We assessed patients who asked to receive CBD for pain treatment. Doses were increased from 50 to 150 mg twice a day for 3 weeks. Creatinine, blood count, liver function, liver enzymes, and drug levels were determined every 48 hours the first week and then once a week thereafter.

Background: Chronic pain is a major therapeutic problem in kidney transplant patients owing to nephrotoxicity associated with nonsteroidal antiiflammatory drugs. Benefits in chronic pain treatment with cannabidiol (CBD) have been reported. This study assesses the effect, safety, and possible drug interactions in kidney transplant patients treated with CBD for chronic pain.

Results: We assessed 7 patients with a mean age of 64.5 years (range, 58-75 years). CBD initial dose was 100 mg/d, CBD dose reduction to 50 mg/d has been done on day 4 to patient 1 for persistent nausea. Tacrolimus dose reduction in patient 3 was undertaken on days 4, 7, and 21 owing to persisting elevated levels (even before CBD) and itching, and on day 21 in patient 5. Tacrolimus levels decreased in patient 2 but were normal in the control 1 week later. Patients on cyclosporine were stable. Adverse effects were nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, and intermittent episodes of heat. CBD dose decrease was required in 2 patients. Two patients had total pain improvement, 4 had a partial response in the first 15 days, and in 1 there was no change.

Conclusions: During this follow-up, CBD was well-tolerated, and there were no severe adverse effects. Plasma levels of tacrolimus were variable. Therefore, longer follow-up is required.

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With CBD becoming more mainstream, doctors are on the lookout for how this powerful chemical affects human health. But a typical adult in the U.S. takes at least one pharmaceutical, and CBD ’s interaction with other medications can be significant, especially given how easily one can overdose on common drugs. A new potential interaction has been highlighted by scientists at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio. They report a woman using an extremely high dose of pure CBD for epilepsy — between 2-3 grams per day. She was also taking tacrolimus, a common immunosuppresive drug, to treat a kidney disorder. When combining these two treatments, tacrolimus levels in the blood rose by three-fold — a dangerous result. Because the addition of CBD helped control the seizures, her doctors helped her adjust the dose of these two drugs. This is commonly what happens with drug-drug interactions — there is an important need to monitor drug levels, but the interaction can be managed without ill effect for many patients.

The interaction between CBD and tacrolimus – a drug used in kidney disease and organ transplants – can be managed via dosage adjustment and careful monitoring by a doctor.

Tacrolimus is a mainstay medication for organ transplant, so this possible interaction could be important for patients who need an organ transplant. Moreover, there has been some research on the potential to use CBD in transplant patients. Both THC and CBD tend to tone down immune activity and they have recently been suggested for treating graft-versus host disease, a potentially deadly reaction to organ transplants.

How relevant is a cannabinoid-drug interaction like this to the average person? It depends greatly on the dose of CBD . In this case, there are probably two proteins that CBD interferes with to increase drug exposure — it inhibits CYP3A4 , an enzyme that breaks down more than half of all pharmaceuticals, and it can inhibit P-gp, a protein which pumps chemicals out of certain cells. But this woman was using multiple grams of CBD per day. If she got this from good quality cannabis flower (say, a flower that’s 20% CBD by weight), she would have to eat half an ounce each day. That’s not the normal dose that people take, even those using cannabis for epilepsy. When unpurified cannabis extracts are used, the common doses are 10-100 times lower. THC and other plant compounds appear responsible for this greater potency, and the consequent lesser risk of drug-drug interactions. In other words, THC seems to make CBD a safer more effective medicine.