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Is CBD Oil a Blood Thinner?

For the past decade or so, CBD oil has been making headlines for its use in treating heart disease to hypertension. Truth be told, it has indeed been shown to be safe, free from side effects, and generally well-tolerated. However, there seems to be ongoing controversy about whether CBD oil can be combined with anticoagulants and blood thinning medications. Is CBD oil a blood thinner? And how safe an option is CBD oil when you are taking blood thinners?  Here is everything you need to know.

CBD and Blood Clotting – The interaction & effects

According to a Harvard Medicine School article, CBD can raise the levels of coumadin (a blood thinner aka as heparin or warfarin) in the blood. Nevertheless, studies have shown that this increase of coumadin is done by the very same mechanisms that grapefruit does. That aside, though, the exact interaction between CBD oil and blood clotting is not well understood yet. Nonetheless, some critical factors are believed to come into play, with the impact of CBD oil on blood flow being among the first ones.


How CBD oil works?

CBD oil dilates blood vessels. In doing so, it helps the circulatory system by enabling the blood to flow quicker in the blood vessels, which, in turn, minimizes the risk of forming blood clots. A 2017 study has evidenced that subjects taking just a single dose of CBD (in both stressful situations and at rest) had a significant reduction in their blood pressure.

Another study on the anticoagulant effects of cannabis has shown that the cannabinoids cannabinol and THC in full-spectrum or broad CBD oil can prevent the formation of blood clots or thrombosis by extending the time it takes for blood clots to form (two times longer to form clots compared to subjects that don’t use CBD).

It should be noted that broad spectrum CBD products do not contain THC but do carry all the other terpenes and cannabinoids of the hemp plant, which makes them ideal for individuals after the anticoagulant effects of CBD but rather not have THC in their product. Full spectrum CBD oil contains 0.3% (or less) THC, which is again in line with the federal laws. Do research your country’s (or state’s) regulations on CBD, THC, and cannabis if you’re unsure whether you’d like a broad- or full-spectrum CBD oil product.


Effects of CBD oil on blood thinners

CBD oil can interact with some pharmaceuticals negatively given its quality to slow down the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system (a body system responsible for processing toxins). The liver enzymes that make up this particular system help the body process specific medications more easily by breaking them (the medicines) down into smaller parts. CBD inhibits the P-450 enzyme system, which means that these medications remain in the body for longer than desired. This increases the risk of experiencing the side effects tied to these drugs. It’s worth pointing out, though, that combining certain prescribed blood thinners such as Heparin, Dabigatran, and Edoxaban, with CBD oil come with significantly fewer risks (even no known interaction at all). This is because the P-450 enzyme system does not process all pharmaceuticals.

How to take CBD Oil and Blood Thinners Safely

Several factors, such as your general tolerance, weight, and health can influence your likelihood to experience some side effects or interactions. Given the many variables that need to be considered, it’s strongly recommended to speak to your doctor before taking CBD oil, especially if you’re taking blood thinning medication. Your healthcare practitioner will need to take into account the processing time of CBD oil and make adjustments to your medication so they can safely add it to your medication regimen, with minimal system disruption. In doing so, you may be asked to start with a lower-than-recommended CBD oil dose (to help build a CBD oil tolerance) and gradually increase over time if required. 

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