PubMed: Systematic review of drug-drug interactions of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and Cannabis

PubMed: Systematic review of drug-drug interactions of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and Cannabis

Front Pharmacol. 2024 May 22;15:1282831. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2024.1282831. eCollection 2024.


BACKGROUND: The recent exponential increase in legalized medical and recreational cannabis, development of medical cannabis programs, and production of unregulated over-the-counter products (e.g., cannabidiol (CBD) oil, and delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC)), has the potential to create unintended health consequences. The major cannabinoids (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol) are metabolized by the same cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes that metabolize most prescription medications and xenobiotics (CYP3A4, CYP2C9, CYP2C19). As a result, we predict that there will be instances of drug-drug interactions and the potential for adverse outcomes, especially for prescription medications with a narrow therapeutic index.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of all years to 2023 to identify real world reports of documented cannabinoid interactions with prescription medications. We limited our search to a set list of medications with predicted narrow therapeutic indices that may produce unintended adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Our team screened 4,600 reports and selected 151 full-text articles to assess for inclusion and exclusion criteria.

RESULTS: Our investigation revealed 31 reports for which cannabinoids altered pharmacokinetics and/or produced adverse events. These reports involved 16 different Narrow Therapeutic Index (NTI) medications, under six drug classes, 889 individual subjects and 603 cannabis/cannabinoid users. Interactions between cannabis/cannabinoids and warfarin, valproate, tacrolimus, and sirolimus were the most widely reported and may pose the greatest risk to patients. Common ADRs included bleeding risk, altered mental status, difficulty inducing anesthesia, and gastrointestinal distress. Additionally, we identified 18 instances (58%) in which clinicians uncovered an unexpected serum level of the prescribed drug. The quality of pharmacokinetic evidence for each report was assessed using an internally developed ten-point scale.

CONCLUSION: Drug-drug interactions with cannabinoids are likely amongst prescription medications that use common CYP450 systems. Our findings highlight the need for healthcare providers and patients/care-givers to openly communicate about cannabis/cannabinoid use to prevent unintended adverse events. To that end, we have developed a free online tool ( to help identify potential cannabinoid drug-drug interactions with prescription medications.

PMID:38868665 | PMC:PMC11167383 | DOI:10.3389/fphar.2024.1282831 June 13, 2024 10:00 am