Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is extensively studied for its potential health benefits and medical uses. While some of its aspects are yet to be proven scientifically, CBD already shows potential for its skincare, pain relief, and stress relief benefits. And if you have difficulties sleeping, many people recommend adding CBD to your routine.
Different blood thinners work differently; some thin the blood by preventing blood cells from sticking together in your blood vessels. However, most blood thinners are antiplatelets and anticoagulants, meaning that they work by increasing the time it takes for blood clots to form. Some common anticoagulant blood thinners are Warfarin, Heparin, and Enoxaparin.
What Are Blood Thinners?
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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:
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.
The use of CBD oil for inflammation and pain has become an exciting options for people who suffer (see our article, What is CBD? for more information). It offers a natural alternative to pain relievers that may help reduce certain health risks. The challenge is recognizing the potential dangers from interactions with your prescription medications. By evaluating the risks, you are able to discuss the benefits of using CBD oil with a medical professional to avoid potential drug interactions.
Hemp-derived CBD oil is safe for most users, largely because CBD leaves your system fairly quickly, and the negative side effects of CBD are relatively few, but CBD drug interactions raise concerns about your health. When you take blood-thinning medications, like Warfarin, you may have side effects or interactions with the hemp oil. Hemp oil and blood thinners do not have a positive interaction. Studies into the use of blood thinners and CBD oil show that it actually increases the amount of the blood thinner in the blood.
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When you take a medication that your liver breaks down into a different substance in your body, such as Prilosec or Motrin, you may have interactions with CBD oil. CBD drug interactions with different medications depend on the way your liver breaks down the medication and uses the medication in your body. In many cases, the interaction will cause your body to increase the effectiveness of the drug or increase the amount of the drug in your system.
Avoid using CBD oil with pain relievers like morphine. You also want to avoid using CBD oil with benzodiazepines. Since it may cause extreme drowsiness, discuss the risks of CBD drug interactions when you take a depressant medication.
Since your liver breaks down the medication, the CBD oil may enhance the effects of the medication. This is one of the rare negative side effects of CBD. Depending on the medication, it may lead to a bleeding risk or other health risks due to the changes to your medication. You want to pay particular attention to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, because the medication and the CBD oil have a similar impact on your body. CBD drug interactions with NSAID medications relate to the impact of the medication. Hemp oil and NSAIDs both focus on reducing inflammation in the body.
Statins are processed by CYP function in the liver, which CBD inhibits. While no research has specifically studied interactions between statins and CBD, the cannabinoid could potentially increase the strength and duration of statins in the system and the risk of unwanted side effects.
Caffeine and CBD are two substances gaining in popularity, particularly when they’re mixed. Caffeine can keep sleep-deprived individuals alert and clear-headed. Further, a 2007 study on rats published in the journal Pharmacology Reports showed that caffeine is metabolized by CYP enzymes, which CBD inhibits. This could extend the time caffeine stays in the body and has the potential to extend the stimulating effects of caffeine.
Acetaminophen and CBD both are metabolized by CYP450, which lowers the effectiveness of both chemicals as they’re processed in the body. One controversial 2019 study, conducted by the University of Arkansas on mice and published in the journal Molecules, claimed that high doses of CBD contributed to liver toxicity, which could compound acetaminophen’s liver damage potential. However, the study’s authors have been accused of cherry-picking research and designing experiments to showcase potential CBD toxicity. The one study they cited with human test subjects did not show liver toxicity from CBD.
Drugs that should not be taken with CBD
Potentially, CBD can increase the duration and strength of ibuprofen, thereby increasing the risk of adverse side effects. No human studies to date examine CBD’s interaction with NSAIDs specifically. Still, two studies conducted on animal models in 2006 and 2008 and published respectively in the journals, Pain and Pharmacology, suggest that other cannabinoids may work synergistically with NSAIDs like ibuprofen to reduce pain.
Eliquis (generically called apixaban) is a blood thinner used to lower the risk of stroke or a blood clot in veins, the heart, the lungs, and the legs following knee or hip replacement surgery. Eliquis increases the risk of severe bleeding, and patients taking Eliquis are typically prescribed precise dosages by their doctor.
Currently, sparse research suggests that CBD can illicit problematic interactions with certain other prescription drugs. The findings are far from conclusive — further research is still needed on CBD’s interaction with different medications. Many doctors and researchers urge individuals using CBD medically or recreationally to be cautious about mixing it with other prescriptions and to consult healthcare providers about possible interactions.
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine that reduces pain and inflammation in the body. Ibuprofen has a risk of blood-thinning and can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea.