After you have chosen your preferred method for CBD administration, look for a high quality CBD product that has been organically grown, sustainably sourced, and third-party lab tested. Reading the lab reports (called Certificates of Analysis) will ensure the product you purchase is in fact the safest CBD oil to take with blood thinners. A Certificate of Analysis should tell you if the CBD product you have contains herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, or chemical additives.
One of the main metabolic systems in the body is the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system , which is made up of liver enzymes that break down certain drugs in the body, with removal of potentially harmful byproducts. If the P-450 enzyme system is inhibited by a compound like CBD, medications typically broken down by the liver enzymes remain in the system for longer than desirable, making it more likely you will experience side effects from the medication.
When you have your CBD oil product, figuring out your ideal dosage is the final step to making sure you’re using CBD safely. The safest way to take CBD oil with blood thinners is to start with a small dose and gradually increase it over a period of time if needed. For additional guidance on CBD dosage, consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor who specializes in using CBD oil to treat medical conditions.
How to Safely Take CBD and Blood Thinners Together
CBD oil can aid the circulatory system by dilating blood vessels. This allows the blood to flow quicker, and in turn, can make the occurrence of blood clots less likely. A 2017 study found that just a single dose of CBD significantly reduced the blood pressure of subjects both at rest and in stressful situations.
If you are considering combining CBD oil and blood thinners, or simply want to explore if it’s a safe option, here is everything you need to know.
Although CBD oil has been found to be generally well-tolerated and without any significant side effects in studies , it can interact negatively with some medications. Often referred to as the ‘grapefruit effect,’ CBD oil is one of a number of natural substances that can slow down systems the body uses to metabolize and break down toxins.
When combining CBD oil and blood thinners, there are a variety of factors that come into play. Your health, weight, and general tolerance can all influence how likely you are to experience possible drug-drug interactions. Because there are so many variables to consider, you should first speak to your doctor about the possibility of adding CBD oil to your medication regimen. Together, you can create a plan to ensure there is minimal disruption to your system.
Now, we aren’t telling you to throw away your CBD if you are taking blood thinners: instead, you must consult your doctor if you wish to use CBD products.
Depending on your prescribed blood thinner, you may experience various side effects after CBD use. For blood thinners whose interaction with CBD is known (such as Warfarin), undesirable side effects are more likely to occur. Some of these include:
Now, even if your doctor clears CBD use with blood thinners, the safest approach is to start with a lower than recommended dose for your particular CBD product. If medically permitted, you can increase the dosage gradually, with time, if necessary to achieve your desired effects. Factors such as weight, health, and general tolerance to medication are all variables to consider if you wish to add CBD to your medication regimen.
Is It Safe to Use CBD and Blood Thinners Together?
These side effects are serious and require immediate medical attention.
Other mild or less serious side effects including:
Studies suggest an interaction between CBD and Warfarin, the most common anticoagulant on the market. The CYP450 system largely metabolizes Warfarin, and CBD appears to inhibit enzymes belonging to this class. This is because it competes as a substrate for the CYP450 system, which may inhibit the system’s activity.
Specifically, CBD may act as a potent competitive inhibitor for all the enzymes in the CYP450 system, which may cause Warfarin to stay in your bloodstream for too long since its breakdown is impaired. As such, taking CBD may increase Warfarin plasma concentration in your body, as well as the INR (time taken for your blood to clot). This could potentially cause bleeding complications.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.