Using Cannabidiol (CBD) from marijuana and hemp plants has become a big trend today. CBD is a cannabinoid found in hemp and marijuana and is thought by many researchers to have many medical benefits. Studies continue to determine how effective CBD is in treating some conditions. People are already using it to treat sleeplessness, anxiety, inflammation, pain, and other physical and mental issues. One of the major concerns some people have is whether or not CBD can interfere with other medications they are taking. Blood thinners (anticoagulants and antiplatelets) are among those medications.
One study conducted with a male patient using Warfarin (an anticoagulant). It showed there was an interaction when he was given the CBD anti-seizure drug Epidiolex at the same time. The International Normalized Ratio (INR) is a calculation based on prothrombin time (PT) results. PT is a test that helps diagnose bleeding and clotting disorders. INR is used to monitor patients being treated with blood-thinning medication. CBD was shown to interfere with the patient’s INR.
What Are Blood Thinners Used For?
Blood thinners like Warfarin are prescribed to people at an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. They may have heart or blood vessel disease, irregular heart rhythm, deep vein thrombosis, or those that have already had heart attacks or strokes. Blood thinners can be a life-saving medication. Ensuring medications work correctly is essential.
Some people may only need to take blood thinners for a short time, while others may have to take them for many years. This is determined by your doctor according to the condition you have. Some people that undergo some types of heart surgery may only take blood thinners for several months. Sometimes they take aspirin along with the blood thinners, and sometimes not.
Thrombosis is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms within blood vessels. These blood clots can obstruct blood flow. If they break loose, they can travel through the circulatory system. They may cause blockages in the heart, lungs, or other organs. If this happens, it could cause the organs to shut not work correctly or shut down completely. It can also damage the organs permanently. Thrombosis affects up to 900,00 people per year in the United States and is thought to kill 100,00 per year.
What Are The Most Prescribed Blood Thinners?
Blood thinners have been used for many years to help patients with heart and vein-related issues. Aspirin is also used as a blood thinner. It helps blood platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots. However, for some people taking aspirin daily to help prevent blood clots may also have side effects. Aspirin may cause bleeding in the stomach and the brain. Most people have used aspirin from time to time to treat fever or pain. However, you should not start a daily aspirin regimen before talking to your doctor first.
There are basically two types of blood thinners. Anticoagulants keep blood from clotting. When blood clots, it turns into solid lumps of cells that are stuck together. Some of the most prescribed brand name anticoagulants are Warfarin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Savaysa, Arixtra, Fragmin, Innohep, Lovenox, Xarelto, Coumadin, and Jantoven. These blood thinners come in pill form, but some can be given intravenously at the hospital or home.
Antiplatelets are the second type of blood thinners. These blood thinners target the tiny particles found in blood called platelets. These blood thinners are taken in pill form. Other prescription antiplatelets include Plavix, Persantine, Effient, Brilinta, and Zontivity. Aspirin is one of these antoplatelets.
Can CBD Be Used As A Blood Thinner?
Some studies have shown CBD may be effective in treating the vascular disorder deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when a blood clot forms within a deep vein. Many times blood clots dissolve themselves and are not life-threatening. Other times, they may not dissolve themselves and can be life-threatening if not treated.
Some of the causes of DVT are poor blood flow caused by immobility due to injury or illness. It may be caused when people must sit for long periods, especially if the legs are crossed. Those with a family history of DVT can be at greater risk for it. If you have a history of heart problems or clotting disorders, you may be at risk of developing DVT. Some medicines that are prescribed to treat excessive bleeding may also cause DVT.
CBD has been shown to interact positively in most cases with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). A lack of endocannabinoid receptors in the body has been linked to many disease conditions like chronic pain, migraines, allergies, heart disease, and other conditions. The ECS plays a major role in the cardiovascular system. This is especially true for conditions that can impact the health of blood vessels.
CBD has been shown to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including blood circulation disorders and blood vessels. Some studies have demonstrated that endocannabinoids may help in healing cardiovascular injury and damage.
Studies in the past have shown CBD to have anticoagulant properties, so CBD could help prevent blood clots. Researchers discovered that cannabinoids significantly inhibited blood clot formation. It concluded cannabinoids had potential in treating blood-clot-related conditions like DVT.
What Are The Risks Of Combining Blood Thinners With CBD?
Both CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may interfere with blood thinners like Warfarin. The cannabinoid THC could inhibit cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP2C9. This enzyme is responsible for metabolizing Warfarin. CBD has been shown to inhibit CYP2C19, which converts clopidogrel to its active thiol metabolite. So in short, it does appear CBD could interfere with the metabolism of blood thinners on some level. If blood thinners are not metabolized correctly, it could lead to serious complications.
If your doctor has informed you that you need to take blood thinners, you can ask if CBD might be an alternative to prescription medication. Only a doctor can advise you on what type of medication should be used for your particular condition. They may or may not recommend CBD since it has only been approved by the FDA to treat some epileptic seizures. However, since CBD from hemp is legal nationwide, a doctor might be willing to let you try it before using more conventional medication blood thinners.
If you take a prescription blood thinner already, do not add CBD to your current medication without speaking to your doctor. There could be an interaction between them. Never stop taking a prescription medication to switch to CBD without first discussing it with your doctor.