By Mathew Fairfax | Oct 13, 2022

CBD and Blood Pressure Medication. Discover the facts.

CBD and Blood Pressure Medication. Discover the facts.

By Mathew Fairfax | Oct 13, 2022

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    Is taking CBD and blood pressure medication safe?  What about other common combinations such as CBD and blood thinners, or CBD and anti-seizure medications?  As we start this discovery, let’s first talk about how CBD might impact blood pressure on its own.

    CBD and Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

    Recently it has been reported that CBD alone may effectively treat high blood pressure and other related heart or circulatory conditions.  For example, one study conducted in 2017 indicated that CBD could lower blood pressure at rest and under stressful situations.  Recent studies suggest that CBG may be the better cannabinoid for lowering blood pressure. 

    CBD and Blood Pressure Medication

    Current science indicates that CBD works to dilate blood vessels (vasodilator), making blood flow through your veins and arteries easier by widening the “pipes.”  We at Redeem do not recommend our products to treat cardiovascular conditions.  But, we want to be sure that you are informed about the effect CBD has on blood pressure and the potential interaction of CBD and other cannabinoids with medications prescribed to treat blood pressure and other conditions.

    CBD and Blood Pressure Medication Metabolism

    To understand the interaction between CBD and blood pressure medications as well as other possible medications, we must first look at how your body breaks down both CBD and blood pressure medication.

    CBD and many prescription medications are broken down (metabolized) in your small intestines and liver using what is known as the Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) family of enzymes.  This group includes numerous enzymes that work to metabolize compounds by breaking chemical bonds, reducing the compounds to smaller and smaller molecules until they can be flushed from your body.  

    It’s all about the Competition!

    When ingested together, CBD and blood pressure medication begin a battle to occupy the active sites of your CYP450 enzymes. Your liver only has so many CYP450 enzymes available at any given time, and your circulatory system can only route the compounds in your blood through the liver so fast. 

    When you add CBD to your system, other compounds now have more competition for the finite number and amount of enzymes available to break them down.  This situation may mean that it takes longer to metabolize certain prescription drugs that you take for a multitude of ailments, including blood pressure and control of clotting. This phenomenon is probably familiar to you in the form of “Grapefruit Warnings.”

    Many prescription drugs contain a warning against consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice.  This warning is because grapefruit juice includes a group of compounds called furanocoumarins.  These compounds can outcompete many prescription drugs causing the drug in question to be more bioavailable and therefore more potent.

    And the Winner Is?

    The result of this contest is hard to determine.  The short answer is that CBD can slow the breakdown of many drugs, making the half-life of the various compounds longer.  When this happens, the concentration of any drug may increase in your blood.  In a sense, this competition can make a drug more potent than your physician intended at the time it was prescribed. 

    The potential result of taking CBD and blood pressure medication in your blood pressure. If we are considering the potential result of the interaction of CBD and a blood thinner such as Warfarin, you could experience difficulty in clotting when injured or internal bleeding.

    Are any of my other Medications Affected?

    Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine set out to evaluate potential drug interactions with CBD and THC.  In this publication, they determined an initial 139 drugs that may be affected by CBD.  They then narrowed that list to 57 medications for which altered bioavailability may 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 included several blood thinners like CBD and Warfarin, CBD and Eliquis; heart drugs such as Amiodarone (arrhythmia), the thyroid drug Levothyroxine, and anti-seizure medications ClobazamLamotrigine, and Valproate.

    Bottom Line, Ask your Doctor about the Use of CBD!

    The degree of Cytochrome P450 competition and the resulting effect will vary from person to person.  Genetic variation as well as your general state of health have a large impact on your ability to metabolize CBD and blood pressure medication along with other compounds.  Our advice to anyone considering using CBD and blood pressure medication or with underlying health conditions requiring prescription drugs is to consult your physician before adding CBD to your daily regimen. 

    CBD and Blood Pressure Consultation

    Many doctors are realizing the potential health benefits provided by CBD and are open to discussing the use of CBD for a variety of health conditions. If you and your doctor decide that CBD is right for you, he will likely suggest that you start with a low dose or she may change the dosage of the potentially affected prescription medications.

    If you are anxious about speaking to your doctor about CBD, maybe our blog on the subject can help?


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