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Author: Jason Beverly
In recent years the popularity and therapeutic appeal of CBD have grown a significant amount, with many people turning to CBD oils and CBD-infused products for relief from a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, epilepsy, and chronic pain.
While CBD may help to ease the symptoms associated with these conditions, it is important to be aware of some of the potential side effects of its use.
One of these major side effects is blood thinning, which can lead to serious health risks, especially if you use CBD products while taking other medications or have a bleeding disorder. This article discusses the potential blood-thinning effects of CBD and offers useful information about how using CBD products may affect you.
What is CBD?
With its growing mainstream popularity, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with CBD and its wide range of reported health benefits, but what exactly is it? CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis Sativa hemp plant, which is extracted to create CBD oil.
CBD is most commonly sold as an oil or tincture, although there are also a growing number of CBD-infused options, including foods and drinks, lotions and balms, and even health and beauty products.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD is not a psychotropic compound, which means it does not result in a high like its sister compound, THC. Instead, CBD works by interacting with your body's central nervous system to regulate various biological processes, resulting in several therapeutic effects, including low blood pressure and reduced inflammation.
CBD oil is the most popular form of CBD in use, and it can be applied topically to decrease localized pain or swelling, added to food and drinks, or inhaled as a vapor. However, the method of use can impact the levels of CBD in your system and how fast it works or how long the effects last. This can also influence the likelihood of CBD interacting adversely with other medications or conditions.
Lotions or tinctures applied topically seem to take the longest for the body to absorb, resulting in low amounts of CBD in the bloodstream and lower risks of interactivity. When ingested, CBD is absorbed quicker than when used topically, and can result in levels high enough to interact with other medications. CBD that is inhaled is absorbed the fastest and can lead to the highest concentrations and most potential risk of adverse interaction.
Is CBD a Blood Thinner?
One of the major concerns about the safety of CBD is about its blood-thinning capability. A blood thinner is any chemical or substance that inhibits or prevents blood from clotting. When prescribed by a doctor, this is helpful to prevent blood clots from forming in people with certain conditions, but in people with increased bleeding risks, blood thinners can introduce serious unwanted health risks.
CBD can act as a blood thinner in a couple of different ways, so it's important to have a clear understanding of how this chemical works within the body. First, CBD lowers your blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and letting blood flow faster through your body. This can help reduce anxiety and make you feel calmer, but it also makes blood less likely to clot.
In addition to this, CBD use results in slightly higher coumadin levels, an anticoagulant naturally found in your body. The effect is generally a small one and normally does not cause significant issues, but in some cases, it can result in blood that has difficulty coagulating. This is especially true if CBD is combined with certain blood-thinning medications or used by those with a bleeding disorder.
Can CBD Be Taken with Blood Thinners?
If you are already on blood thinners, you might wonder whether it is safe for you to use CBD products. Combining two medications with similar side effects can mean an increase in both the risk of experiencing those unwanted symptoms and their severity. This is also true when using natural remedies, such as CBD, in combination with your prescribed medications.
In the case of blood thinners, doubling up on these effects can potentially lead to a higher risk of bleeding or bleeding that you cannot easily stop. In addition, since CBD can dilate your blood vessels and increase coumadin levels, it acts as a blood thinner. It may interact adversely with any prescription anticoagulants that you may be taking.
The safest choice is to let your doctor or pharmacist know that you are taking or considering taking CBD. They can help advise you on how CBD may react with other medications you might be taking and even offer alternatives to help you manage your symptoms safely.
Is CBD Safe for People with Bleeding Issues?
CBD can help ease the typical symptoms of many ailments, including those with common disorders like pain, nausea, headaches, and inflammation. However, while CBD can help offer relief, it is also important to be aware of any potential side effects from its use. For example, one of the major side effects for people with a bleeding issue is an increased risk of excessive bleeding.
If you have a bleeding disorder, you already know how important it is for your blood to clot properly. Much like those taking blood thinners, people with bleeding issues should take caution when using any substance that may make it difficult for blood to clot. CBD is generally safe when used on its own, but it is best to consult your doctor first before taking CBD.
While CBD oil is generally a safe and natural way to ease the symptoms of some common ailments and conditions, it is still an active compound that may have unintended effects in certain circumstances. Therefore, talking to your doctor or pharmacist about potential risks beforehand is important, especially if you have a blood disorder or are currently taking blood thinners or other prescription medication.
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