Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are very popular, promising relief from a wide range of maladies. But if you are considering taking a product containing CBD, be aware that if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbal products, CBD can interact with them and cause unexpected … Renowned for its recently discovered benefits, CBD oil is of growing interest for cardiovascular health. But can it be used with conventional heart medication? Taking CBD oil and beta-blockers? Or considering it? Then here's the answer on using both together, or whether CBD oil can replace beta-blockers! A guide!
CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) seem to be all the rage these days, promising relief from a wide range of maladies, from insomnia and hot flashes to chronic pain and seizures. Some of these claims have merit to them, while some of them are just hype. But it won’t hurt to try, right? Well, not so fast. CBD is a biologically active compound, and as such, it may also have unintended consequences. These include known side effects of CBD, but also unintended interactions with supplements, herbal products, and over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.
Doubling up on side effects
While generally considered safe, CBD may cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and, in rare instances, damage to the liver. Taking CBD with other medications that have similar side effects may increase the risk of unwanted symptoms or toxicity. In other words, taking CBD at the same time with OTC or prescription medications and substances that cause sleepiness, such as opioids, benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Ativan), antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines (such as Benadryl), or alcohol may lead to increased sleepiness, fatigue, and possibly accidental falls and accidents when driving. Increased sedation and tiredness may also happen when using certain herbal supplements, such as kava, melatonin, and St. John’s wort. Taking CBD with stimulants (such as Adderall) may lead to decreased appetite, while taking it with the diabetes drug metformin or certain heartburn drugs (such as Prilosec) may increase the risk of diarrhea.
CBD can alter the effects of other drugs
Many drugs are broken down by enzymes in the liver, and CBD may compete for or interfere with these enzymes, leading to too much or not enough of the drug in the body, called altered concentration. The altered concentration, in turn, may lead to the medication not working, or an increased risk of side effects. Such drug interactions are usually hard to predict but can cause unpleasant and sometimes serious problems.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine evaluated existing information on five prescription CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabinoid medications: antinausea medications used during cancer treatment (Marinol, Syndros, Cesamet); a medication used primarily for muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis (Sativex, which is not currently available in the US, but available in other countries); and an antiseizure medication (Epidiolex). Overall, the researchers identified 139 medications that may be affected by cannabinoids. This list was further narrowed to 57 medications, for which altered concentration can be dangerous. The list contains a variety of drugs from heart medications to antibiotics, although not all the drugs on the list may be affected by CBD-only products (some are only affected by THC). Potentially serious drug interactions with CBD included
- a common blood thinner, warfarin
- a heart rhythm medication, amiodarone
- a thyroid medication, levothyroxine
- several medications for seizure, including clobazam, lamotrigine, and valproate.
The researchers further warned that while the list may be used as a starting point to identify potential drug interactions with marijuana or CBD oil, plant-derived cannabinoid products may deliver highly variable cannabinoid concentrations (unlike the FDA-regulated prescription cannabinoid medications previously mentioned), and may contain many other compounds that can increase the risk of unintended drug interactions.
Does the form of CBD matter?
Absolutely. Inhaled CBD gets into the blood the fastest, reaching high concentration within 30 minutes and increasing the risk of acute side effects. Edibles require longer time to absorb and are less likely to produce a high concentration peak, although they may eventually reach high enough levels to cause an issue or interact with other medications. Topical formulations, such as creams and lotions, may not absorb and get into the blood in sufficient amount to interact with other medications, although there is very little information on how much of CBD gets into the blood eventually. All of this is further complicated by the fact that none of these products are regulated or checked for purity, concentration, or safety.
The bottom line: Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if using or considering CBD
CBD has the potential to interact with many other products, including over-the-counter medications, herbal products, and prescription medications. Some medications should never be taken with CBD; the use of other medications may need to be modified or reduced to prevent serious issues. The consequences of drug interactions also depend on many other factors, including the dose of CBD, the dose of another medication, and a person’s underlying health condition. Older adults are more susceptible to drug interactions because they often take multiple medications, and because of age-related physiological changes that affect how our bodies process medications.
People considering or taking CBD products should always mention their use to their doctor, particularly if they are taking other medications or have underlying medical conditions, such as liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart issues, a weakened immune system, or are on medications that can weaken the immune system (such as cancer medications). A pharmacist is a great resource to help you learn about a potential interaction with a supplement, an herbal product (many of which have their own drug interactions), or an over-the-counter or prescription medication. Don’t assume that just because something is natural, it is safe and trying it won’t hurt. It very well might.
Beta Blockers and CBD Oil Interaction
Alone, CBD oil has been shown to lower blood pressure, help manage anxiety, and control inflammation. It’s therefore no wonder that people with heart conditions are trying to find a way to combine CBD oil with their existing medications like beta blockers.
If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of this cannabinoid but aren’t sure if CBD oil interacts with beta blockers, here you’ll find an overview of what you need to know.
But before getting started, keep in mind the information on this page is meant to serve as an educational tool and should not be substituted for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor before trying CBD oil.
How Does CBD Oil Interact with Beta Blockers?
Like beta blockers, CBD oil lowers blood pressure and improves health in patients whose heart is under strain due to lifestyle factors, medical complications, or both. CBD oil has also been shown to help reduce anxiety , another condition doctors will often prescribe beta blockers for.
In fact, many people use CBD oil instead of beta blockers because it produces similar benefits at a lower cost and has relatively few side effects. However, if you are already using beta blockers for conditions like hypertension or anxiety and want to explore adding CBD oil into your routine, it’s important to understand how they interact with each other in your body.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is widely considered to be a safe, well-tolerated compound with very few unintended effects. However, because of its inhibition of the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system in the liver, it should be used cautiously if you take any medication that acts through this pathway, such as beta blockers.
The cytochrome P-450 enzyme system breaks down toxins, including certain medications, for the body to process. CBD oil, along with other natural compounds like those found in grapefruit, has been shown to slow down the activity of this system.
When the P-450 pathway is occupied with something like CBD, your body could take longer to process specific medications. So, if you’re taking beta blockers and CBD oil, it could result in a higher amount of the active ingredient in beta blockers to remain present and unmetabolized in your body for a longer period of time. This increases the likelihood of experiencing the side effects of the medication.
Because CBD oil can inhibit your body’s ability to break down beta blockers, it’s crucial to speak to your doctor before combining the two.
Side Effects of Combining CBD Oil and Beta Blockers
Beta blockers are designed to reduce heart rate by slowing or preventing the release of the stress hormone adrenaline. When effective, beta blockers lower blood pressure and relieve stress on the heart. CBD oil has also been shown to lower blood pressure and could amplify the effects of beta blockers.
If you take the two together, there’s a chance your blood pressure could drop too much, which may cause you to feel tired, lethargic, dizzy, and weak. In extreme cases, you could risk fainting or even going into shock, which is considered a medical emergency.
With two compounds reducing blood pressure, dosages may need to be adjusted for both the beta blocker and CBD oil to achieve the right balance if you decide to combine the two.
CBD Oil for Common Beta Blocker Side Effects
The most common side effects reported among beta blocker users are nausea and fatigue, and while CBD oil could possibly potentiate these effects, it may also help relieve them.
CBD oil has been shown to reduce the experience of nausea across a range of health conditions, from general motion sickness to chemotherapy-induced nausea . Many people also anecdotally report that feelings of nausea are negated by the effects of CBD oil. Therefore, if you feel nauseous after taking beta blockers, CBD oil may be able to help.
CBD is also being researched for its effect on wakefulness. Several studies have found that CBD taken in smaller doses increases wakefulness and alleviates daytime sleepiness caused by factors such as sleep apnea, substance abuse, or certain medications. If you’re experiencing drowsiness or fatigue as a result of your beta blockers, CBD oil in small doses could help.
How to Safely Use CBD Oil with Beta Blockers
When it comes to safely using CBD oil and beta blockers, slow and steady is the way to go. First and foremost, make sure to consult with your primary physician. You can also speak to a naturopathic doctor who specializes in CBD-based medical treatments.
Once you have the “all clear” from your doctor, start by taking a lower dosage of CBD oil than what is suggested on your product’s information leaflet. This will reduce the risk of experiencing a sudden drop in blood pressure.
If you aren’t seeing the beneficial effects of CBD you were expecting, and still feel your blood pressure is at a healthy level, you can gradually increase your dosage. Again, slow and steady wins the race.
Being mindful of how you feel after taking CBD oil with beta blockers will be crucial to ensuring you’re getting the desired results in the safest way possible. Logging your physical and cognitive energy levels on a scale of 1-10 with descriptions may be helpful after taking CBD oil with your beta blockers. If you start to notice your ratings are dropping, you should either reduce your CBD dosage or stop taking it entirely.
Many people find that as their body begins to build a tolerance to CBD oil, they are in a position to phase out the use of beta blockers. You may be able to accomplish this by carefully lowering your beta blocker dosage as you increase your CBD oil dosage. This should, of course, be done under the supervision and guidance of your doctor.
For more information about CBD oil dosage, check out our dosage guide here.
Best CBD Oils to Use with Beta blockers
All CBD oil products are not created equal, and finding the best CBD oil to use with beta blockers requires doing your due diligence. While this may seem to be an overwhelming prospect, it really isn’t so difficult.
First, decide on the method you’d prefer for taking CBD oil. There are a variety of options including capsules, tinctures, edibles , transdermal patches, and vapes. Most people who are new to CBD oil tend to opt for capsules for the familiarity, convenience, and dose consistency. But keep in mind that this method, along with CBD edibles, releases CBD into the body via the digestive system, with some potency lost in the process. A tincture, meanwhile, comes in dropper form and when applied under the tongue, is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Vapes will provide you the fastest-acting but shortest-lasting effects of CBD and are ideal for on-the-go doses. Transdermal patches will provide you with the longest lasting distribution of CBD; however, because it’s a relatively large dose over a long period of time, you will want to be careful about combining this method with beta blockers.
Once you’ve settled on a method, do your research on the product itself. Choose a product which has been organically-grown and third-party laboratory tested. This ensures that the CBD oil is free from harmful pesticides and that its content has been tested without bias. Read any posted Certificates of Analysis to ensure the listed potency of the product is correct, and so you know exactly what is in the final product. If a brand does not post a Certificate of Analysis for the product you’re interested in, ask to see it. If they do not provide one, you should know to shop elsewhere.
CBD Oil and Beta-Blockers, Can You Take Both? Here’s What to Do!
Perhaps you’re taking beta-blockers, and you want to know if CBD oil and Beta-blockers can be taken together. Or could CBD potentially replace the need for Beta-blockers?
So, we’re diving into more details around this subject. But here’s the quick answer to get us started.
CBD Oil and Beta-Blockers, what happens? Many take CBD and beta-blockers together to reduce blood pressure levels quickly or reduce/relieve beta-blockers’ side effects by using CBD oil. Doing this results in an unhealthy level of low blood pressure. This is because CBD oil inhibits the body’s ability to metabolize beta-blockers.
Why Are CBD Oil And Beta Blockers Taken Together?
CBD is a natural supplement that has shown effectiveness in controlling and healing a variety of medical conditions. One of the medical conditions that CBD has shown high potential to control is lowering high blood pressure.
CBD alone, with no other medications or supplements, has positive results for patients with high blood pressure.
So, the first and foremost reason patients combine CBD with heart medications like beta-blockers is for high efficacy.
Meaning, many patients combine CBD with beta-blockers to experience an effective reduction of high blood pressure or expect stabilized blood pressure levels throughout the day.
The second and perhaps the most overlooked reason why CBD oils are combined with beta-blockers is to negate the side effects of beta-blockers.
How CBD Oil Helps Relieve the Side Effects of Beta-Blockers
Some of the most common side effects of beta-blockers are nausea and fatigue. Many user experiences believe the use of CBD has a high potential to relieve these common side effects.
However, some users also state, CBD oil may sometimes worsen the side effects of beta-blockers if you take the wrong dose.
CBD oil in general helps to reduce the experience of nausea across a range of health conditions. This can range from general motion sickness to chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Along these lines, some users also make the connection that the use of CBD oil will also help to negate nausea induced by beta-blockers. This is why some will advocate for taking CBD oil if you begin to feel nauseous after taking a beta-blocker.
CBD is also being studied in an ongoing process to assess its effectiveness in promoting wakefulness.
Surprisingly, many studies have concluded that taking smaller doses of CBD oil helps increase wakefulness, alleviating daytime sleepiness caused by factors like sleep apnea, substance abuse, or certain medications.
So, it’s reasonable to say that patients who experience fatigue or drowsiness as a result of beta-blockers may find relief in taking CBD oil along with beta-blockers.
Interactions of CBD Oil and Beta-Blockers
CBD is a natural compound and is generally considered very safe with tolerant compounds. This also makes CBD oil exhibit very few unintended side effects.
However, CBD oil inhibits the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system in the liver. So, because of this, any medications that use this cytochrome P-450 enzyme system as a pathway for processing the medication face a threat or a risk.
One such medication that uses this specific pathway for processing medications is beta-blockers. So, CBD oil can interact with beta-blockers, and in turn, the effectiveness of both beta-blockers and CBD oil may be undermined.
Giving a clearer breakdown of this, the P-450 enzyme system breaks down toxins into substances the body can process.
These toxins include certain medications too. Taking CBD oil, along with natural compounds like grapefruits, has resulted in slowing down the metabolic process of the P-450 enzyme pathway.
CBD Inhibits Pathways
When the P-450 pathway is filled or occupied with something like CBD oil, the time taken for your body to process other things, like beta-blockers, is delayed.
This is because CBD inhibits the pathway’s ability to break down the medication and enable it to work in the body.
When the beta-blockers are not broken down, higher amounts of active ingredients stay in the system for a longer period. Not only that, but the active ingredients from beta-blockers also stay unmetabolized for longer in the P-450 pathway.
This delayed time required to process and metabolize beta-blockers increases the likelihood that you’d experience the side effects of the interaction.
So, it’s pretty clear, CBD oil can interact with beta-blockers, and the primary reason for this comes with CBD oil inhibiting your body’s ability to break down beta-blockers.
Side Effects of Combining CBD Oil and Beta Blockers
The side effects of taking CBD oil and beta-blockers include low to very low blood pressure.
This is because beta-blockers are designed in a way to reduce your heart rate by slowing down or preventing the release of the stress hormone “adrenaline.” This is primarily how beta-blockers help with lowering blood pressure and relieving stress.
On the other hand, CBD oil does the same thing. CBD oil relieves stress and is shown to be effective in lowering high blood pressure.
Nevertheless, CBD oil also amplifies the effects of beta-blockers. This means as beta-blockers reduce high blood pressure, CBD reduces the blood pressure even further.
This will result in your body lowering blood pressure beyond what would be considered healthy.
Feeling tired, lethargic, dizzy, and weak are some common symptoms of low blood pressure. In extreme cases, such as when your blood pressure reduces too much, you could faint or even move into a state of shock, which are all medical emergencies.
How to Safely Use CBD Oil with Beta-Blockers
As it’s clear, both CBD oil and beta-blockers reduce blood pressure levels, so the key to using both safely is to find the right balance.
To find the right balance, the first and foremost thing to do is consult your doctor.
You can also speak to a professional in alternative medicine who specializes in CBD-based medical treatments.
It would be typically recommended that if you were to combine CBD oil and beta-blockers that you start with the lowest dose possible. You can then gradually increase your dose if need be. However, you must consult your doctor for medical advice to ensure you are not putting yourself at any risk.
Tolerance to CBD Oil
Some patients find their body beginning to build a tolerance to CBD oil. This means that they can phase out the use of beta-blockers.
For this, you can try lowering the dose of beta-blockers and gradually increase your CBD oil dosage.
However, this must be done under the guidance and advice of your doctor.
For some, CBD oil might be seen as a natural alternative to beta-blockers, and this may be the case for you. But tread with caution. Beta-blockers can serve as a life-preserving medication and should not be messed with lightly.
So, before taking CBD oil and beta-blockers, always consult your doctor regarding any changes in these medications.
If you’re having trouble affording any of your medications, then Prescription Hope may be able to help. Enroll with us and see if you qualify to pay only $50 a month for each of your medications.