For those of you with interest in medical cannabis, especially CBD, I’d like to share with you a story that illustrates the importance of working with your health care providers to ensure the best possible outcome when treating your condition. At Weedwell™, we believe that cannabis is a powerful medicine that can help many people live better quality lives. At the same time, this medicine needs the same care and respect as other treatments.
83-Year Old Woman Suffering from Chronic Pain
An 83-year-old woman came to us about using CBD for her chronic pain. She did not want to use opioids to address the pain. Reviewing her medical history, it became apparent that she was taking Tamoxifen for breast cancer. It is our practice to complete a thorough review of our client’s medications and to note any potential interactions with either CBD or THC.
Most interactions will occur with CBD. Essentially what CBD does, it prevents the breakdown of many medications by the liver. Sometimes, it prevents the breakdown of an active medicine, and sometimes it prevents the breakdown of medicine into its active form.
In this case, the concern was that CBD could potentially prevent the breakdown of Tamoxifen, her anti-cancer drug, into its active form resulting in her cancer medicine being less effective.
Nobody wants to be taking a cancer medicine only to find out it is being made ineffective by an interaction with another medication!
An Alternative to Tamoxifen
In this case, we consulted her oncologist to discuss alternatives. The oncologist was not aware that the patient was planning to use CBD or that this interaction was possible. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the 1990s, and most doctors and pharmacists have had no formal training regarding cannabis.
This oncologist was amazing to work with, and together, we discussed the issues and decided to use alternative medicine to the Tamoxifen, one that did not interact with CBD.
Our client was very pleased that, together, we were able to honour her wish to avoid narcotics and to try CBD. At the same time, we were able to ensure that she received the best possible care for her breast cancer.
With the current popularity of CBD, we wonder how many women out there with breast cancer, may be using it, not knowing about this potential concern. If you have a loved one, using Tamoxifen and CBD, please share this story with them, so they can share it with their doctors and spread the word.
Always Consult a Doctor
Remember, the purpose of sharing this story with you is to spread the word that cannabis is a medicine, like many others, and does have the potential to interact with medications. We feel that, although many doctors are not comfortable or are not supportive of using cannabis to treat medical conditions, that this will eventually change. In the meantime, it is important, especially if you are on several medications, to work with someone who understands potential interactions and can work with you to ensure you are taking all of your medications to achieve the best effect with the fewest side effects.
Click here for more information regarding Tamoxifen.