When you take CBD alongside certain medications, it can trigger negative drug interactions. Here we explain what drugs shouldn’t be taken with CBD — and when to consult your doctor if you’re not sure about the potential interactions. CBD interaction with Aspirin: Does taking them together negatively affect health? Find out more about how the drugs interact and the effects of their combination below. Despite CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits, taking it together with aspirin has its risks and is not recommended. Learn more.
CBD Drug Interactions – Mixing Cannabidiol and Medications
Are you worried about potential CBD-drug interactions? In this article, we explain the mechanism behind drug metabolism and how CBD may interfere with it.
The range of therapeutic properties offered by CBD (cannabidiol) has spurred its popularity in recent years. This natural compound is known to relieve a host of symptoms, allowing for safer and more effective management of different health conditions.
And unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high.
CBD can assist in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression, inflammation and pain, neurodegeneration, seizure disorders, sleep deprivation, metabolic conditions, neuropathy, migraines, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.
Considering CBD has so many potential health benefits, you may start wondering if it can interact with certain medications used to address the same symptoms — and whether you should or shouldn’t take these drugs with CBD.
Below you’ll find the dos and don’ts of using CBD along with medications.
Let’s start with the don’ts.
What Drugs Should Not Be Taken with CBD
Studies from the Indiana University Department of Medicine have provided a list of pharmaceutical drugs and medications which shouldn’t be taken with CBD.
The list below covers all groups of drugs that can negatively interact with CBD oil.
- Angiotension II Blockers
- Anticonvulsants / Anti-Seizure Medications
- Calcium Channel Blockers
- HIV Antivirals
- HMG CoA Reductase Inhibitors (Statins)
- Immune Modulators
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Oral Hypoglycemic Agents
- Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
- Steroids and Corticosteroids
There’s also a group of drugs called “prodrugs” that first need to be processed into their therapeutic compounds instead of being therapeutic compounds on their own. In plain English, the inactive compound is consumed, and once in the body, it turns into the active compound.
If this mechanism is dependant on the CYP450 system (more on that later), a drug interaction can lead to insufficient concentrations of the therapeutic agent in the bloodstream — reducing its potency.
CBD Interaction with Drugs & Medications
This section covers the most common interactions between CBD and medications. If you take any of the substances listed below, make sure to consult your doctor before buying CBD oil.
CBD and Ibuprofen Interaction
Ibuprofen is one of the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), meaning it can produce similar benefits to CBD in terms of inflammation and pain relief. Previously we’ve mentioned that NSAIDs interact with CBD, which may raise concerns about potential negative interactions between CBD oil and Ibuprofen.
According to a study from the Journal of Neurology Research, there have been no reported interactions between CBD and ibuprofen, although it doesn’t mean they do not exist. Health experts suggest that potential interactions may be dosage-dependent. If a certain dosage threshold is breached, CBD and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen can lead to unforeseen and potentially severe nervous system pathology.
CBD and Adderall Interaction
A 2020 study found that higher doses of medical cannabis led to a decreased use of ADHD medication in adults. Products containing a higher concentration of CBD were linked to lower ADHD scores. This means that CBD can interact with ADHD meds, decreasing their efficacy while providing more pronounced benefits. The potential side effects of interactions between CBD and Adderall may lead to decreased appetite.
CBD and Lamictal Interaction
Using medical cannabis and Lamictal may increase side effects such as dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Elderly consumers may also experience impairment in judgment. That being said, none of these side effects were proven to result from CBD use per se. When it comes to interactions between CBD and Lamictal, it can make the medication more or less effective, depending on the dosage.
CBD Oil and Antibiotics
There is no known interaction between CBD and antibiotics, although these interactions may occur if an antibiotic is metabolized through the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. Some studies indicate that taking CBD and antibiotics together may amplify the effects of one another without any negative side effects. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings on a larger scale.
CBD Oil and Omeprazole
CBD can inhibit the enzymes that are targeted by omeprazole and other Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). Taking CBD with certain heartburn medications can increase the risk of diarrhea.
CBD and Thyroid Medications
Some people report mild nausea when taking CBD oil together with their thyroid medications. Since both substances are processed by the CYP450 enzyme system, taking CBD with a thyroid medication may cause hyperthyroidism because more thyroxine would be secreted than the body could metabolize.
CBD and Lisinopril
CBD can temporarily lower blood pressure, so taking it alongside medications like Lisinopril might reduce it even more, making you feel lethargic and weak. Always consult your doctor before adding CBD to your routine if you use anti-hypertension meds.
CBD and Prednisone
Since both CBD and corticosteroids are potent inhibitors of the CYP450 enzyme system, concomitant use may increase the risk of systemic side effects from corticosteroid use due to decreased glucocorticoid clearance. Corticosteroids like prednisolone and hydrocortisone should never be taken with CBD.
How Drugs Interact: Understanding Drug Metabolism
Metabolism can refer to how your body uses energy for weight management, or the way drugs are metabolized in your body.
The former is known as the basal metabolic rate, or in simple terms, the number of calories a person needs to maintain healthy body functions while at rest.
The latter is very different from the basal metabolic rate. Drug metabolism refers to how a substance is processed and used by the body — with the majority of this processing happening in the liver.
Scientists call it the ‘first-pass effect’ or ‘first-pass metabolism.’
Using straightforward terms, when you take a medication, it is broken down in the liver into its active compounds so that the body can use them. Just like carbohydrates are broken down into sugars, fats into triglycerides, and proteins into amino acids — drugs break down into their individual ingredients.
From there, they are controlled by specific enzymes, which transform these compounds into metabolites. These metabolites then influence different processes in your body and are flushed with urine once used up.
How Is CBD Metabolized?
Drug metabolism determines the rate at which the body processes medications and other therapeutic compounds into their individual metabolites and how long they can stay in your system.
When you take CBD in the form of an oil, capsule, or gummy, it has to pass through your gut, where it is released into the bloodstream. From then, they travel through the bloodstream to the liver, where it absorbs through the hepatic portal. The liver breaks CBD down into its metabolites using enzymes, after which it can circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream again.
What Is the Cytochrome P450 System?
Aside from breaking compounds down into metabolites, the liver also detoxifies and excretes foreign substances and other types of toxic compounds. This can happen through a system of enzymes referred to as the Cytochrome P450 (CYP450). These enzymes contain heme as a cofactor to convert cannabinoids into more water-soluble molecules, increasing their absorption and efficacy.
Researchers estimate that the CYP450 system is responsible for metabolizing 60% of any drugs out there. And interestingly, doctors and pharmacists use this system to understand, evaluate, and predict the benefits of the drug and potential side effects based on their dosages.
However, certain compounds have the ability to compromise the CYP system’s functioning, negatively affecting the metabolism of certain medications. Once these interactions occur, the drugs can be metabolized faster or slower than normal.
CBD And the Cytochrome P450 System
As mentioned earlier, CBD can interact directly with the CYP450 system in the liver. According to preclinical studies, CBD binds to the site where the enzyme activity occurs, competing with other compounds and thus preventing this system from breaking down other substances.
This inhibitory effect on the CYP450 enzymes mainly depends on how much CBD a person takes, their unique physiology, and the type of CBD used (e.g., full-spectrum CBD vs. CBD isolate). The dosage determines the strength used by the CBD to bind to the active site of the metabolic enzymes. The tighter the bond, the more competitive inhibition.
Contraindications for Taking CBD with Medications
The mechanism behind CBD’s health benefits proves that it’s not a biologically inert compound. Instead, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of CBD are complex and similar to any other medication. Therefore, it has the potential to compromise the metabolism of certain medications.
Any therapeutic substance that relies on the CYP450 system can be potentially affected by CBD. A common indicator for such interaction is when your medication has a grapefruit warning on the bottle. However, this is by no means a solid point of reference, and you should always check with your doctor and pharmacist before taking the two compounds together.
Why You Should Always Consult Your Doctor First
The list of drugs that we’ve mentioned above is by no means definite and doesn’t include all the pharmaceutical substances that may interact with CBD. Similarly, not all the medication from these categories will necessarily cause an interaction — as is the case for antibiotics and Ibuprofen.
A consultation with a doctor experienced in CBD and cannabis use can help you establish the right routine for your medications and supplements to avoid potentially negative interactions. Some compounds work synergistically with CBD, so asking your doctor can help you maximize the effect of your treatment.
Not to mention that the doctor can guide you on finding the optimal dosage for yourself.
Key Takeaways on CBD Drug Interactions
The safety profile of CBD has been acknowledged by major health agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), showing that it’s well-tolerated by animals and humans and rarely produces any dangerous side effects.
CBD also has a profound impact on an array of systems, which explains its therapeutic versatility. That being said, this versatility is also the reason why CBD interacts with so many prescription meds and over-the-counter (OTC) PRODUCTS.
Again, if you’re not sure if CBD will interact with the medication that you might be taking, a consultation with a health professional will not harm — unlike trying to figure out these interactions on your own.
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
Does CBD Interact with Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid)?
Information on risks & possible interactions between CBD & aspirin.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the Cannabis sativa plant commonly used to manage chronic pain and inflammation.
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is another common painkiller bought over the counter at drugstores and supermarkets.
Despite similar effects, the level of risk for interaction between these two substances is minimal.
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Does CBD Interact With Aspirin?
CBD is unlikely to interact with low-dose Aspirin.
However, with higher doses or long-term use, CBD could, theoretically, increase serum levels of Aspirin over time — leading to potential side effects.
Both CBD and Aspirin are considered blood thinners and analgesics. It’s possible that this combination could lead to an increase in side effects associated with those effects — including the formation of bruises, blood loss, or liver damage.
However, in practice, none of these side effects have been reported and people who use both supplements on a daily basis rarely, if ever, experience any notable side effects.
Other Names for Aspirin
Aspirin is the generic name for acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). It’s sold under many different names. All share the same risk and potential interactions.
Other names for Aspirin include:
- Norwich Aspirin
Similar Medications: CBD & NSAIDs
Acetaminophen is classified as an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). CBD and NSAIDs all share similar risks for interaction and side effects.
Here’s a list of similar medications that share a similar level of risk when combined with CBD:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, Caldolor & Neoprofen)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex & Onsenal)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Ketorolac (Toradol)
- Etodolac (Ultradol)
- Meloxicam (Mobic)
Is It Safe to Take CBD & Aspirin Together?
It’s safe to take CBD along with low-dose Aspirin in most cases. If you’ve been prescribed high potency Aspirin, or are taking Aspirin on a daily basis to manage the risk of heart disease, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting CBD.
While it’s unlikely CBD is going to interact with Aspirin directly, it may be contraindicated for certain types of heart disease.
Is CBD a Viable Alternative to Aspirin?
CBD is widely used for several benefits, the main ones being pain relief and management of anxiety.
For mild to moderate pain and inflammation, CBD may be a viable, and potentially even more effective option than Aspirin.
For use as a blood thinner, CBD is not comparable to Aspirin and is not considered a viable alternative.
What is Aspirin?
Aspirin, and its generic component acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). It’s a medication commonly used for the treatment of pain, inflammation, and fever. It’s classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug — NSAIDs for short.
It’s widely prescribed to patients with cardiac disorders such as heart attack, heart failure, or cardiac arrests as a blood thinner that will prevent any blood clots from forming, and consequently, producing a cardiac injury.
Aspirin is readily available in pharmacies and does not need a doctor’s prescription before it can be purchased from these pharmacies. The drug is manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies and, hence, is available under different trade names, such as Bayer, Easprin, Ecotrin, and Ecoprin, to name a few.
Aspirin has a half-life of either 2 hours to 3 hours, or 15 hours to 30 hours, depending on the dose, with the former being the half-life of 100 mg or less of Aspirin. The drug is excreted mostly through the urine, almost 80 percent, and the rest is excreted via feces and sweat.
|Drug Name||Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid)|
|Trade Name||Aspirin, Aspro Clear, Bayer, Disprin, Easprin, Ecotrin, Ecoprin, Entercote|
|Classification||Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID)|
|CYP Metabolism||Liver (CYP2C19 and CYP3A)|
|Interaction with CBD||Agonistic (Increased effects)|
|Risk of Interaction||Low|
What Does Aspirin Do?
Aspirin is used to treat a number of medical conditions that present with symptoms such as fever, pain, and inflammation. It’s one of the most commonly prescribed medications in cardiology clinics as its blood-thinning abilities are crucial for patients who have recently suffered from a heart attack or a stroke.
The mechanism of action of Aspirin includes irreversible inhibition of the enzyme, Cyclooxygenase or COX, which is crucial for the synthesis and distribution of prostaglandins and thromboxane in the body.
There are two different types of cyclooxygenases in the human body, namely COX1 and COX2 enzymes with the former being responsible for the production of thromboxanes, a hormone responsible for vasoconstriction and platelet aggregation in the blood vessels.
COX1 is irreversibly inhibited by Aspirin, whereas COX2, the enzyme responsible for the production of the hormone prostaglandins which induces the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, activity is modified by the drug.
COX2 activity modification results in the conversion of the enzyme’s ability to produce prostaglandins to producing a lipoxygenase enzyme which helps with the metabolism of different polyunsaturated fats in the human body.
The inhibitory effect of Aspirin on the COX1 enzyme helps the medication manage bleeding as irreversible inhibition of thromboxane A2 in platelets inhibits platelet aggregation for 7 days to 8 days, the life span of the affected platelet. This mechanism is responsible for the prescription of Aspirin to patients with a history of heart attack, strokes, transient ischemic attack, and unstable angina, to help prevent recurrence of these medical emergencies.
Prostaglandins play a huge role in the information transmission from the brain to the different parts of the body suffering from pain and inflammation. They are also known to have an effect on the regulation of the hypothalamus’ thermal center, hence altering body temperature and interrupting the body’s temperature homeostasis.
Inhibition of these prostaglandins by inhibiting the enzyme required for their synthesis is essential for the management of pain and inflammation in the body. Aspirin can manage and treat fever-like symptoms by inhibiting these hormones and inducing proper regulation of body temperature.
Irreversible inhibition of local hormones in the body, and eventually platelet aggregation is what separates Aspirin from other NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Diclofenac as they are reversible inhibitors.
Adverse Effects of Aspirin
Aspirin is a widely available, over-the-counter medication that is used by almost all age groups. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind the fact that there are several side effects of this medication that need to be considered.
Aspirin use is contraindicated in pregnancy, especially after the 20th week of pregnancy as it can result in kidney disorders in the fetus as a result of decreased levels of amniotic fluid.
Moreover, it isn’t recommended to be used in children with influenza or the common cold, as it can result in the development of a nearly fatal, progressive brain disease known as Reye’s Syndrome. The use of this medication is contraindicated to patients on warfarin treatment or those with disorders affecting the lining of the stomach such as peptic ulcers and gastritis. The medication should not be taken with alcohol.
Some of the common side effects of Aspirin include:
- Skin rash
- Gastrointestinal ulcers
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal cramping
- Abdominal distress
Aspirin should not be used if there is a history of gastrointestinal disorders, without the recommendation of a healthcare professional.
Some of the more severe side effects of Aspirin include:
- Retinal vein occlusion
- Cerebral microbleeds
- Reye Syndrome
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
Types of Drug Interaction With CBD
Cannabidiol or CBD has several benefits that can be credited for its rising popularity, however, it can produce severe complications when it interacts with other drugs.
CBD can interact with other drugs to produce either increased or decreased effects of the main drug.
These interactions can have either low, moderate, or severe clinical significance with low interactions not requiring any form of precaution, moderate interactions being avoided unless medically necessary, and severe being avoided at all costs.
Based on the effect of CBD on the main drug, the CBD-drug interactions can be classified into three types:
1. Agonistic Interaction
CBD increases the effect of the drug by exerting the same effects. This is common in drugs that share similar painkilling, sedative, anxiolytic, or anti-inflammatory effects.
2. Antagonistic Interaction
CBD decreases the effect of the drug by either clearing the drug from the system faster or inhibiting its effects. This is common in drugs with effects that are opposite to CBD — such as stimulants, emetics, or low blood pressure medications.
3. Metabolic Competition
CBD blocks or competes with the metabolism of medications in the liver. This can cause the concentrations of both substances to increase in the bloodstream, potentially leading to side effects.
This interaction is most concerning for medications used on a daily basis because it can cause levels to rise to dangerous levels over time.
Key Takeaways: Can CBD and Aspirin be Taken Together?
CBD and Aspirin have similar effects for managing pain and inflammation. There’s some mild risk of interaction between these substances, but only when used in high doses or for long periods of time.
Most people find greater pain relief when using both Aspirin and CBD together.
CBD and Aspirin – August 2022
Aspirin is typically used by a person to relieve minor pain and aches or to reduce fever. Veterinarians also often prescribe aspirin for dogs that are suffering from musculoskeletal or osteoarthritis inflammation.
But can people take aspirin and use CBD at the same time?
The cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which is found within the liver, is responsible for metabolizing (breaking down) potentially toxic compounds, including over 60% percent of any drugs consumed (5 ) .
Certain substances can affect processing times within this system, making drugs metabolize faster or slower than they would on their own.
Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, leading to an overall increase in processing times (6 ) .
In a study published by the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers illustrated the effect of low-dose aspirin administration on the activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) in healthy human subjects (7 ) .
Researchers of the said study found that the effects of aspirin on the CYP450 system of enzymes depend on the specific type of enzyme under the CYP450 family of enzymes.
Given that the specific effects of combining CBD with aspirin have not been established in any scientific study, using the two substances together is not recommended.
Can Another Antiplatelet Be a Substitute for Aspirin So CBD Oil Can Be Taken ?
Ticlopidine (marketed as Ticlid), an effective inhibitor of platelet formation, is indicated for patients who cannot take aspirin or in whom aspirin has not worked to prevent a thrombotic stroke (8 ) .
A thrombotic stroke is one that is caused by thrombosis, the formation or presence of a blood clot within a blood vessel.
However, ticlopidine inhibits multiple CYP450 types of enzymes, as data from a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed (9 ) .
According to the research findings, the plasma concentrations and/or toxicity of drugs whose elimination pathways involve the different types of CYP450 enzymes increased when ticlopidine is concomitantly administered.
Thus, ticlopidine may also interact with CBD in the same way that aspirin does.
Given that the specific effects of combining CBD with aspirin have not been established with scientific evidence, using ticlopidine is also not recommended to use with CBD.
It is interesting to note, however, that bleeding time was significantly prolonged by aspirin alone and by ticlopidine alone.
However, the most significant prolongation was produced by aspirin plus ticlopidine, according to results of a study published by the American Heart Association (10 ) .
The results of the study also demonstrated that the combination of aspirin and ticlopidine is a potent antiplatelet strategy.
Can CBD replace Aspirin?
There is no scientific data to establish CBD as a treatment option in the same way that people use aspirin. The two drugs may interact with the heart in different ways.
An article on aspirin risks and benefits by Mark Fendrick, M.D., published by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
In the said article, Fendrick says that aspirin interferes with the blood’s clotting action and reduces the clumping action of platelets, possibly preventing a heart attack (11 ) .
Still, he cautions that it is not advisable to take aspirin tablets, hoping to prevent a heart attack, without a doctor’s supervision .
Is CBD a safer alternative to aspirin in preventing heart attack?
Data from a 2012 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that CBD influenced platelet formation, which could support the ability of CBD to delay or prevent the development of cardiovascular disorders (12 ) .
However, the study was done on animal subjects. Whether the responses to CBD would translate into the human cardiovascular system remains to be established.
In another study , which was first published by JCI Insight in 2017, results showed that CBD could lower blood pressure, which could help prevent hypertensive heart disease (13 ) .
The study was done on healthy volunteers, however. The researchers noted that further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.
New Guidelines for Aspirin Use
According to an October 2019 article published by the American College of Physicians, recent research based on a 2017 National Health Interview Survey has found that, in certain groups of people, there are few advantages and a higher risk of bleeding from daily aspirin use (14 ) .
In response to the results of the survey, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology updated their guidelines in March of 2019.
The two agencies no longer recommend aspirin for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults aged 70 and above or for those with a higher risk of bleeding, like those with stomach (peptic) ulcers.
Thus, medical experts advise that people speak with their health care providers before taking aspirin daily.
Two Types of Blood Thinners: Which Type is Aspirin?
There are two primary types of blood thinners. Anticoagulants, like heparin or warfarin (Coumadin), slow down the aggregation or formation of clots.
On the other hand, antiplatelet drugs, like aspirin, inhibit blood cells (platelets) from clumping together to form a clot (15 ) .
Aspirin as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce fever and inflammation and relieve pain. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
Aspirin, unlike other NSAIDs, can help certain people lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke. However, taking aspirin is not recommended for everyone as the antiplatelet can cause severe bleeding, according to an article published by the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) (16 ) .
The article says that people who are over 65 years old or who have existing kidney, heart, liver, stomach, or intestinal disease are at increased risk for complications .
How NSAIDs Work
NSAIDs work by blocking enzymes called COX-1 and COX-2. These enzymes produce prostaglandins, a group of compounds made by the cells in the body (17 ) .
Prostaglandins made by COX-1 enzymes actuate platelets and protect the lining of stomach and intestines. Prostaglandins produced by COX-2 enzymes are generated in response to injury or infection, controlling inflammation.
Most NSAIDs work non-selectively on both enzymes. However, this lack of selectivity becomes an issue given that pain and inflammation relief from NSAIDs come from blocking COX-2. When COX-1 is also blocked, unwanted adverse side effects emerge.
Aspirin, an NSAID, functions by blocking the production of prostaglandins, the on-off switch in cells that control pain and inflammation. Thus, aspirin prevents mild inflammation and pain (18 ) .
“To the consumer, aspirin is almost a miracle drug,” says Nimita Thekkepat, assistant professor of pharmacy at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “It helps inflammation, fever, and it can save your life from a heart attack.”
However, while aspirin blocks the type of prostaglandins that trigger pain or lead to clotting and narrowing of the blood vessels and inflammation, the drug also blocks a different kind of prostaglandins that protect the stomach lining.
Aspirin belongs to a group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, that include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and ketoprofen (Orudis).
Among these NSAIDs, aspirin induces the most irritation and the most toxic (painkiller) to the stomach, says Dr Richard Brasington, head of the Division of Rheumatology at Washington University School of Medicine.
Medical experts, like Brasington, warn against taking a variety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at the same time as they neutralize each other, making neither drugs perform well. The remedy is to wait several hours after taking one medicine before taking the next.
Blood Thinners and NSAIDs, A Bad Mix
NSAIDs impact the way platelets work and could impede with healthy blood clotting, which could increase the risk of bleeding, especially in the digestive tract, says cardiologist Dr Deepak L. Bhatt, a Harvard Medical School professor, in an article published by Harvard Health (19 ) .
Bhatt also adds that taking NSAIDs together with blood thinners raises the bleeding risk even more.
Medical marijuana, sometimes referred to as medical cannabis, is a term for derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant (20 ) .
CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are common cannabinoids that are natural constituents of cannabis plants, which include marijuana and hemp. Thus, CBD can either be a hemp or cannabis extract.
Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp contains excellent quantities of CBD. THC induces a euphoric high, while CBD helps promote relaxation and calmness.
In a study published in the Cerebrum Journal, researchers explained that the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid molecules, and their metabolic enzymes, is crucial in maintaining homeostasis, or balance, amongst physiological functions (21 ) .
CBD Oil or Hemp Oil?
The term “hemp oil” is sometimes used to refer to the CBD-rich product extracted from the hemp plant’s flowers and leaves, which is essentially CBD oil. However, the term is also used to refer to hemp seed oil that contains no CBD.
Although hemp seed oil is not CBD oil, which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant, note that oil pressed from hemp seed does not contain CBD, THC, and plant cannabinoids (22 ) .
CBD oil is available in different varieties, such as full-spectrum (oil derived from the whole plant), THC-free distillate, and CBD isolates.
Cannabis and Aspirin
In a 2013 study published in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, it was shown that the ECS is involved in numerous body functions, including the modulation of pain and inflammation (23 ) .
In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management , author Ethan Russo found that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has twenty times the anti-inflammatory potency of aspirin (24 ) .
Results from his research also suggest that cannflavin A, a flavone unique to cannabis, inhibits PGE-2 thirty times more potently than aspirin, although further examinations are needed (25 ) .
PGE-2 (Prostaglandin E2) is a bioactive lipid that elicits a wide range of biological effects associated with cancer and inflammation (26 ) .
Flavones are a sub-group of flavonoids shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-thrombogenic (prevents blood clot), and neuroprotective activities through different mechanisms of action outside a living organism and in animal models (27 ) .
Cannabidiol and CYP2D6
Cannabidiol, a major phytocannabinoid, is a potent atypical inhibitor for CYP2D6, according to a study published in the Drug Metabolism and Disposition Journal (28 ) .
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are closely-related compounds naturally found in cannabis, like CBD and THC.
In the said study, the researchers investigated the inhibitory impacts of the primary phytocannabinoids on the activity of human CYP2D6. The results indicated that CBD caused directly blocked CYP2D6 potency.
Drug to Drug Interactions
In a 2016 study published in the Epilepsia Journal , the authors found that repeated administration of CBD may induce CYP2B enzymes in animal subjects, which may have implications for people with epilepsy as antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), such as valproate and clobazam, are metabolized via these enzymes (29 ) .
Still, the antiepileptic mechanisms of CBD have not been known. The researchers noted that there is a lack of data from longitudinal double-blind, randomized, controlled studies on the efficacy of pure CBD for any disorder.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex as the first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS), the symptoms of which do not typically respond to anti-seizure medications (30 ) .
While CBD is the active ingredient in Epidiolex, it also contains inactive ingredients that include dehydrated alcohol, sesame seed oil, strawberry flavor, and sucralose (31 ) .
Aspirin and Beta Blockers
Aspirin blunts the vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) caused by both angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta blockers in hypertensive patients and in patients with heart failure. This conclusion was derived from a study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (32 ) .
The specific mechanisms that cause this interaction are unknown, and further studies are needed. Until conclusive evidence is available, it is not advisable to use aspirin in conjunction with beta blockers.
Aspirin and Warfarin
A 2017 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal analyzed CBD safety and side effects (33 ) .
Researchers of the said study noted that while CBD can raise the levels of concentration of certain medications in the blood, its adverse side effects can sometimes outweigh the advantages.
Based on the results of the study, the authors indicated that CBD could cause a surge in the level of the anticoagulant (blood thinner), warfarin (Coumadin), by accentuating aspirin’s blood-thinning property.
Aspirin is part of a group of painkillers and fever reducers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Meanwhile, CBD’s broad utility for pain relief may be partly explained by its anti-inflammatory effects.
CBD’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties may help lower risk factors that can lead to heart disease, like high blood pressure , as a 2017 study suggests (34 ) .
Still, despite CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits, taking it together with aspirin is not recommended . Neither is it advised to use CBD products in any form (gummies, tincture, vape, or topical) with other antiplatelet prescription drugs. Although using aspirin and CBD may each have its advantages, it also comes with risks. As studies mentioned above demonstrate, the risks may outweigh the health benefits.