Today’s article seeks to answer a simple query. Can you take CBD oil with prednisone? In order to successfully answer this query, we first need to understand what Prednisone is. And, we need to understand how it interacts within your body. This will help us determine how safe it is to take CBD oil with Prednisone.
What Is Prednisone?
Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid. A corticosteroid is a steroid hormone that is either naturally produced by our body or is synthetically man-made. Synthetic corticosteroids mimic the actions of naturally occurring corticosteroids. They’re used in people with adrenal glands that are unable to naturally produce adequate amounts of corticosteroids.
There are two types of corticosteroids namely Glucocorticoids and Mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids are mainly used to suppress inflammation and immunity as well as break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Mineralocorticoids are mainly used to retain salt in your body as well as regulate your internal balance of salt and water. Among the two types, Prednisone is a synthetic glucocorticoid.
What Conditions Is Prednisone Used To Treat?
Prednisone is used to treat many conditions not limited to:
- Rheumatic disorders (i.e. psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, gout, or osteoarthritis)
- Skin disorders (i.e. severe allergic reactions, mycosis fungoides (a form of lymphoma), psoriasis, or seborrhea)
- Gastrointestinal disease (i.e. ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
- Hormonal (endocrine) disorders (i.e. adrenal insufficiency, hypercalcemia, or adrenal hyperplasia)
- Skin disorders (i.e. severe allergic reactions, mycosis fungoides, psoriasis, or seborrhea)
- Collagen disorders (i.e. systemic lupus erythematosus)
- Allergic conditions (i.e. allergic reactions, asthma, and atopic dermatitis)
- Eye disorders (i.e. herpes eye infections, keratitis, and optic neuritis)
- Respiratory disorders (i.e. tuberculosis or pneumonia)
- Blood disorders (i.e. thrombocytopenia or anemia)
- Multiple sclerosis
In short, Prednisone is used to treat almost every condition you can think of. The most highlighted benefits of Prednisone treatment are its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. However, Prednisone is a drug you should stay away from if you can because it comes with a very severe negative side effect profile.
What Are The Negative Side Effects Of Prednisone?
The problem with Prednisone and other synthetic corticosteroids are the severe negative side effects they come with. According to an expert from the John Hopkins Arthritis Center,
There is no “safe” dose of prednisone. Prednisone over time increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and infection. It can worsen underlying diabetes and hypertension. The effects are dose related – the higher the dose, the worse the side effects. Prednisone use should be minimized… but current thoughts are to try to eliminate it completely…
The negative side effects of Prednisone that occur at the onset include:
- High cholesterol
- Weight gain
- Increased sweating
- Facial flushing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Oral thrush
- Sore throat and coughs
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Blurred vision
- Water retention
- Mood swings
- Thin skin and easy bruising
- Delayed wound healing
- Stomach irritation
- Muscle weakness
- Susceptibility to infection
- Stunted growth in children
And, the more severe negative side effects of Prednisone likely to manifest over long-term use include:
- Loss of bone density (osteoporosis)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Diabetes, or worsening pre-existing diabetes
- Clouding in your eye lenses (cataracts)
- Stomach ulcers
- Cushing syndrome
Long-term use is defined as any time frame that exceeds 3-months. As you can tell from the list of side effects, they become extremely severe with long-term use. Your doctor will recommend a daily vitamin D and calcium supplement to counteract some of the negative side effects. Supplements are recommended if you take synthetic corticosteroids for more than a 3-month period. Due to the severely negative side effect profile of Prednisone, patients are looking for alternative treatment solutions. One of the solutions being considered is cannabis therapy. This leads us to the question of the day.
Can You Take CBD Oil With Prednisone?
From a safety perspective, the answer is no. From a mechanical perspective, the answer is yes. You can physically take CBD oil with Prednisone but the results may not be as positive as one may hope. However, there is a strategy pro-cannabis doctors recommend if you’re to take CBD oil with other pharmaceutical drugs such as Prednisone.
How RISKY Is It To Take CBD Oil With Prednisone?
The main concern people have is whether CBD oil taken with Prednisone will cause any negative interactions. The risk of negative interactions is more real than one realizes. This is because up to 80% of all pharmaceutical drugs are broken down by a specific enzyme in your liver called Cytochrome P450. This enzyme also breaks down CBD and THC in your body. Hence, CBD, THC, and Prednisone all compete for the same metabolic enzymes that break them down for distribution in your body.
If you take CBD oil with Prednisone at the same time, you risk ending up with an overabundance of Prednisone in your system. If you have an overabundance of Prednisone in your system, you are very likely to experience a lot of the negative side effects associated with Prednisone. It is already a risky endeavor to take Prednisone on its own. Taking it together with CBD oil only heightens that risk of exposing you to very severe negative side effects.
Can You SAFELY Take CBD Oil With Prednisone?
If your goal is to wean yourself off Prednisone, reduce the impact of negative side effects, and/or reduce the impact of withdrawal symptoms there’s a safe way to do it. What most pro-cannabis doctors recommend you do is the following:
- Space out time between your drug administrations
- Microdose your cannabis-based treatment (at the beginning)
- Slowly increase your cannabis dose over time
- Track and journal your treatment actions and results
- Consult with a pro-cannabis medical professional (if you have access to one)
This first strategy is to space out the time between different drug administrations. Due to the fact that Prednisone and CBD oil use the same metabolic enzymes, pro-cannabis doctors recommend spacing out the time between each medical administration. The general time frame doctors recommend is anywhere between 1 – 3 hours depending on your metabolism. This gives your body enough time to break down one medication before taking the next one preventing negative drug interactions.
The second strategy pro-cannabis doctors recommend is a strategy called Microdosing. Micro-dosing is the practice of taking a minimal amount of a given substance to achieve your desired results or effects. With respect to CBD oil, people consume very small amounts throughout the day to achieve results such as reduced anxiety, reduced depression, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory effects. Doses can be as low as 2 – 3 milligrams per serving with the average dose range being around 3 – 10 milligrams per serve. Microdosing enables you to experience the benefits of CBD oil without getting or feeling high.
The third strategy pro-cannabis doctors recommend is to slowly increase your dosage over time. In a practical setting, this means increasing your CBD oil dosage slightly every couple of days while paying close attention to the effects you experience. For example, if you start to feel lethargic or dizzy after a dose increase, then you should reduce your dose slightly to that you do not feel dizzy or lethargic anymore. Then stay at the reduced dosage for a few days before attempting to increase your dosage again.
The fourth strategy pro-cannabis doctors recommend is to track and journal your actions and results. Regarding tracking, you want to track everything from the type of CBD oil you take, the concentration levels, dose amounts, dosage frequency in a day, and the effects experienced. This enables you to keep a close eye on how your body responds to your CBD oil treatment relative to the condition you’re treating for. It also enables you to instantly tell when you slip from positive to negative results and what it took to get there.
The fifth and final strategy is to consult with a pro-cannabis medical professional. Be it a doctor or a nurse, you’re always better off working with a professional. This strategy can be challenging for a lot of patients as cannabis laws are still in a legal grey area in most regions of the world. However, because of the Internet, you have access to doctors around the world. Your challenge is to find one who will consult with you and provide guidance along your journey to recovery.
Can CBD Oil Treat Inflammatory And Autoimmune Diseases Better Than Prednisone?
We already know that Prednisone is used to treat a large variety of conditions. And, its main touted benefits in the medical community are its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, which come with a severe list of negative side effects. Hence, to answer this question, we need to look at the result of a 2000 collagen-induced arthritis rodent study and a 2005 rheumatoid arthritis patient study. The results from these studies will help you see how much better CBD oil is than Prednisone.
In the year 2000, a rodent model study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) treatment in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Arthritis is one of the major conditions that Prednisone is used to treat. This fact helps provide a comparative validation of results the study presents as it relates to Prednisone treatment versus cannabis treatment.
After inducing arthritis in the mice, CBD was administered as soon as signs of clinical symptoms were clear and evident. The mice were administered CBD daily for 10 days either through injection or orally. The mice that received CBD via injection were broken down into the following groups:
- Group 1: 12 mice received 20 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 2: 17 mice received 10 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 3: 15 mice received 5 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 4: 9 mice received 2.5 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 5: 23 mice received 0 mg/kg of CBD, just ethanol/cremophor and saline (control group)
The mice that received CBD via oral administration were broken down into the following groups:
- Group 1: 6 mice received 10 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 2: 6 mice received 25 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 3: 6 mice received 50 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 4: 6 mice received 0 mg/kg of CBD, just olive oil (control group)
The study found that daily administration of CBD in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in both modes of treatment effectively blocked the progression of arthritis. The study also found that CBD was equally effective for treatment whether administered via injection or orally. The optimal daily dosages for the mice were 5 mg/kg via CBD injection, and 25 mg/kg via CBD oral administration.
The study highlighted that clinical improvement was associated with the protection of the joints against severe damage. The data uncovered in this study shows that CBD has a potent anti-arthritic effect through its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions. This suggests that CBD is a valuable treatment option for other (chronic) inflammatory diseases.
In the year 2005, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient study set out to investigate the effectiveness of a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex. The study’s focus was on the pain relief effects Sativex could provide patients. However, it’s worth noting that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes joint damage, joint pain, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness throughout the body.
Sativex is a cannabis-based medicine with a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC dominating the solution. Sativex contains other minor cannabinoids as well. Sativex and placebo were administered to a group of 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients over a period of 5 weeks via an oromucosal spray. 31 patients received Sativex while 27 patients received the placebo.
Results from the study showed that patients who were administered Sativex displayed a significant improvement in the following areas:
- Pain on movement (reduced)
- Pain at rest (reduced)
- Quality of sleep (improved)
However, what was more interesting is that arthritis activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment. Again, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. This suggests that Sativex not only showed pain-relief effects but anti-inflammatory effects as well. The study highlights that the suppression of inflammatory activity indicates an influence on the immune effector system. This is consistent with the results from the rodent model study covered earlier where CBD suppressed the progression of arthritis in mice.
What Are The Negative Side Effects Of CBD Oil?
To answer this question, we need to look at the results of a 2017 clinical review journal and a 2020 meta-analysis systematic review. The results from these reviews will help you understand just how safe cannabis therapy is compared to Prednisone.
In the year 2020, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the adverse effects of CBD in patients with varying conditions. The researchers looked at randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials lasting longer than 7 days. They reviewed 12 clinical trials with a total of 803 participants to glean data from. The researchers found the following negative side effects:
- Somnolence (i.e. sleepiness or drowsiness)
- Abnormal liver function
The researchers pointed out that:
Associations with abnormal liver function tests, somnolence, sedation and pneumonia were limited to childhood epilepsy studies, where CBD may have interacted with other medications such as clobazam and/or sodium valproate.
When the researchers excluded the childhood epilepsy studies, they found that the only negative side effect associated with CBD treatment was diarrhea. The researchers concluded by stating that:
… the available data from clinical trials suggest that CBD is well tolerated and has relatively few serious adverse effects, however interactions with other medications should be monitored carefully.
In 2017, researchers set out to update results established in 2011 regarding the safety and side effects of CBD. The researcher’s focus in this review was on clinical studies and potential interactions CBD has with other drugs. The majority of the clinical studies reviewed in their update were for the treatment of epilepsy and psychotic disorders. In these studies, the most common negative side effects reported were:
- Appetite/weight fluctuations
The researchers stated that:
In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile. This could improve patients’ compliance and adherence to treatment.
The researchers concluded their review by stating that CBD’s safety profile is already established in a plethora of ways as being favorable for patients. Thus, various areas of CBD research should be extended to close knowledge gaps and have a completely well-tested compound.
It is an extremely dangerous act to take CBD oil with Prednisone. Prednisone has an extreme set of negative side effects. Due to CBD, THC, and Prednisone competing for the same metabolic enzymes an over-abundance of Prednisone will cause a lot of unnecessary harm and damage to your body. If you must, consider a strategic approach like the one outlined in this article.
CBD oil is a safer alternative to Prednisone for treating inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. It is effective and useful for providing anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and pain relief effects. The studies highlighted in today’s article clearly demonstrate how effective cannabis therapy is for treating these sorts of conditions.
There should NOT be a doubt in your mind, moving forward, that you will be able to achieve effective treatment results from CBD oil use. Your only challenge now is in finding a suitable CBD oil solution that will assist you in getting results.
Regarding inflammation, CBD alone has been scientifically proven to provide anti-inflammatory effects. However, regarding pain, the best scientifically proven solution is CBD and THC in a 1:1 ratio. This will be challenging to find commercially as current regulation limits the amount of THC availability to either 0.3% or 0.2% in a given CBD oil product based on your location.
However, researchers have stated that high enough doses of CBD-dominant solutions can provide pain relief effects. Yet, what those dose levels look like is unclear at the moment. Hence, it is best to work with a pro-cannabis medical professional to guide you through the process of finding your optimal dosage levels so you can achieve your desired results.
- Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, Malik AS, Andreakos E, Mechoulam R, Feldmann M. The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 15;97(17):9561-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.160105897. PMID: 10920191; PMCID: PMC16904.
- D. R. Blake, P. Robson, M. Ho, R. W. Jubb, C. S. McCabe, Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Volume 45, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 50–52, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kei183
- Chesney, E., Oliver, D., Green, A. et al. Adverse effects of cannabidiol: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Neuropsychopharmacol. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-020-0667-2
- Iffland K, Grotenhermen F (2017) An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 2:1, 139–154, DOI: 10.1089/can.2016.0034