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October 30, 2021
 min read

Does CBD oil thin your blood and can you use it with blood thinners?

does cbd oil thin your blood
 Anthony Clement
Written by  
Anthony Clement
July 12, 2021

table of Contents

Most doctors will tell you to avoid cannabis oil and similar items prior to surgery. However, that doesn’t mean that the chemical is necessarily dangerous. There are split opinions regarding medical marijuana and hemp oil, as well as their potential impact on the blood. Usually, medical professionals are concerned about potential interactions with other drugs.

So, does CBD oil thin your blood? Should you avoid it altogether?

CBD and its impact on the circulatory system

There are a lot of things we need to learn about the cannabis plant and its impact on blood pressure, blood clotting, and the circulatory system. Due to its plethora of cannabinoids and terpenes, CBD oil can have a wholesome effect.

If we’re talking about hemp plant substances, they are generally regarded as safe. The World Health Organization claims these products are not psychoactive. Unlike THC distillate extracted from medical marijuana, hemp extracts have a trace amount of this psychedelic substance. In some countries, they even provide an alternative to traditional prescription medication. CBD isolate (otherwise known as pure CBD oil) is even safer as it doesn't have any THC.

It is really hard to predict how the substance will affect your body. The global hemp market is not properly regulated, which is why there is a lot of discrepancy between different products. Items such as CBD vape oil or also know as CBD vape juice, CBD gummies, CBD creams are often recommended for conditions like chronic pain and anxiety. But the truth is, you shouldn't use them to replace the standards drugs.

One of the interesting traits of CBD tincture lies in its potential impact on inflammations. If we presume this to be true, cannabidiol might provide benefits to cell linings of arteries and veins. Because of that, in theory, it can provide help for some heart diseases.

How do blood thinners work?

Blood thinners are prescription medication that works by preventing the clotting of blood. These clots can be very dangerous as they can prevent the supply of blood and oxygen to your organs, in particular, the heart and brain. Clots can create a plaque that can lead to atherosclerosis and subsequent stroke or heart attack.

By using a blood thinner, you can prevent the formation of these clots. Keep in mind that this goes two ways: sometimes you need blood clot to close wounds. This is a natural process, which can cause issues if it's constantly occurring and if you cannot regulate it.

Different anticoagulants work differently. In some cases, they will prevent cells from adhering to blood vessels. But, the majority of them work as antiplatelets. That is, they slow the formation of clots (they don't stop coagulation altogether). 

As already mentioned, clotting is sometimes crucial for a patient's survival. You cannot use a CBD product or something else that would affect the process. Keep in mind that the severity of this issue also depends on the situation. In case of a minor procedure, this isn't a big deal. However, it becomes more serious with major surgeries.

Will CBD oil work as an anticoagulant?

Experts believe that cannabidiol may increase the level of Coumadin, a drug that works as a blood thinner. Medical hemp oil has an effect similar to grapefruit juice. In other words, it can prevent the dissolving of substances and even increase their levels. The use of CBD might lead to some other potential interactions causing adverse impact on coagulation.

Most of these studies were performed on animal subjects, which is why the evidence is not conclusive. During these tests, CBD oil has shown minor anticoagulating properties. As previously mentioned, the chemical compound may impact platelets increasing the potential of bleeding.

Based on all of this, cannabidiol might cause anticoagulation. However, there are no clear rules or instructions on whether you could use it prior to surgery. It is much better to take precautionary measures and stop using cannabis products 2 days before a procedure.  Some experts believe that marijuana and hemp will not cause issues unless you’re using blood thinners. In other words, you need to have some other chemicals in your body to cause a negative reaction.

Another potential issue comes with cannabidiol’s impact on blood pressure. If CBD does work as a blood thinner, it might lower pressure leading to potential complications. Again, we don’t know enough to make any conclusions, but precautionary measures are always in order.

Will CBD oil cause side effects?

When talking about the potential side effects of CBD oil as an anticoagulant, we need to consider drawbacks that would occur when combined with other drugs. In other words, cannabidiol may cause issues side as dry mouth, drowsiness, change in appetite, but together with anticoagulating medicines, these issues become much worse. Here are some of the things that a patient may experience:

·         Discolored urine

·         Frequent bruising

·         Discolored or bloody stool

·         Longer bleeding, which might include heavy menstrual bleeding, hemorrhage, and nosebleed

·         Headache

·         Vomiting blood

·         Stomach pains

·         Extreme fatigue and dizziness

·         Pain in joints, which might be very severe if you're already injured

·         Fever

·         Diarrhea

Most of these issues are very serious and will require immediate attention.

Will CBD oil cause side effects?

Keep in mind that CBD oil is not like coconut oil, MCT oil, or castor oil. This product is much more unpredictable given that we’ve only started uncovering its secrets.

If a blood thinner is not metabolized by the CYP40 system (the same system that processes cannabidiol), there is a chance to use both substances without adverse effects. Medical experts think that Apixaban, Dabigatran, and Rivaroxaban are potential solutions. But, that doesn’t mean there are no risks involved with combining these chemicals.

Dabigatran, in particular, is an interesting option. It is one of rare substances that shouldn’t cause adverse reactions when combined with foods and drugs. Oftentimes, it is used by people who are already on medicines, and can’t stop their current therapy. Regardless, it is crucial to consult a medical professional before you change any treatment or introduce new substances.

If you really want to continue using CBD oil, you can reduce the daily dose. If you do so, make sure to reduce it gradually. You might also consider using hemp seed oil. This liquid is full of fatty oils, but it doesn’t have quite the same effect as cannabidiol. However, it might provide certain wellness benefits and work for as a type of supplement. Once you finish healing from the therapy, you can go back to the regular CBD oil.

Larsen, C., Shahinas, J., (2020), Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials, Journal of clinical medicine research, Candiac, Québec, Canada