AAPS J. 2021 Jun 28;23(4):91. doi: 10.1208/s12248-021-00616-7.
Medicinal cannabis use has increased exponentially with widespread legalization around the world. Cannabis-based products are being used for numerous health conditions, often in conjunction with prescribed medications. The risk of clinically significant drug-drug interactions (DDIs) increases in this setting of polypharmacy, prompting concern among health care providers. Serious adverse events can result from DDIs, specifically those affecting CYP-mediated drug metabolism. Both cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), major constituents of cannabis, potently inhibit CYPs. Cannabis-based products contain an array of cannabinoids, many of which have limited data available regarding potential DDIs. This study assessed the inhibitory potential of 12 cannabinoids against CYP-mediated drug metabolism to predict the likelihood of clinically significant DDIs between cannabis-based therapies and conventional medications. Supersomes™ were used to screen the inhibitory potential of cannabinoids in vitro. Twelve cannabinoids were evaluated at the predominant drug-metabolizing isoforms: CYP3A4, CYP2D6, CYP2C9, CYP1A2, CYP2B6, and CYP2C19. The cannabinoids exhibited varied effects and potencies across the CYP isoforms. CYP2C9-mediated metabolism was inhibited by nearly all the cannabinoids with estimated Ki values of 0.2-3.2 μM. Most of the cannabinoids inhibited CYP2C19, whereas CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and CYP2B6 were either not affected or only partially inhibited by the cannabinoids. Effects of the cannabinoids on CYP2D6, CYP1A2, CYP2B6, and CYP3A4 metabolism were limited so in vivo DDIs mediated by these isoforms would not be predicted. CYP2C9-mediated metabolism was inhibited by cannabinoids at clinically relevant concentrations. In vivo DDI studies may be justified for CYP2C9 substrates with a narrow therapeutic index.