Is CBD Safe to Take While Using Medications or Contraceptives?
One of the most common questions the Onyx & Rose team gets has to do with mixing our organic, all-natural product with medications and contraceptives. The risks associated with mixing pharmaceuticals and alcohol are well documented, so it’s natural that people would also have concerns regarding mixing CBD and prescription medications.
The short answer to this frequently asked question is that you should always check with your primary care physician before adding CBD to your daily routine.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive with us, read on!
The first important thing to note is that it’s possible for CBD to interact with other medications. While our product is organic and all natural, it can have an impact on metabolic rates, which in turn have an impact on the efficacy of certain medications. The good news is that this interaction often makes prescription medications more effective, leading to a lower dose of chemical medication when taken alongside CBD.
CBD and the P450 System
However, any drug that is metabolized by the liver will be affected by CBD, due to the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. This system is responsible for metabolizing potentially toxic compounds, and doctors use the amount of time it takes for various medications to be processed through the P450 system to determine safe and healthy dosages for patients. CBD can impact the P450 system, making it possible for certain drugs to spend more time in your system. Medications that may interact with CBD include antihistamines, NSAID pain relievers, beta blockers, antidepressants, antibiotics, and steroids. That’s why it’s especially important to consult with your physician before beginning a CBD regimen.
CBD and Birth Control
One of the most common medications that can interact with CBD is the birth control pill. Enzyme inhibitors such as CBD can potentially increase breakthrough bleeding and decrease estrogen-based contraceptive effectiveness, leading to an increased risk of unwanted pregnancy.
The active hormones in your method of birth control may also make a difference. Estrogen-containing contraceptives such as pills, patches, injections, and rings carry a higher risk of failure in the presence of CBD than non-estrogen forms. Progesterone-only alternatives may be a more reliable alternative for CBD users, and you’re a woman who’s concerned about becoming pregnant, you should consult with your doctor about your options. In the meantime, we advise using additional birth control methods such as condoms. Research in this area is still in progress, so we recommend that every woman use caution.
Talking With Your Doctor About CBD
If you don’t feel comfortable discussing your CBD regimen with your doctor, and you’re not prepared to begin the search for a new primary care physician at this time, then you can use what is commonly referred to as The Grapefruit Test to determine whether or not your medication will interact with CBD. CBD interacts with medications the same way grapefruit does, so if you’re unsure about mixing your medications with CBD, just ask your pharmacist or physician if you should avoid eating or drinking grapefruit while taking your medication. If the answer is yes, then your medication will interact with CBD and it will be important for you to have a more candid conversation with your doctor.
Endocannabinoid professionals recommend taking this precaution with every medication you may be prescribed, as many pharmacists and physicians are not highly educated on the endocannabinoid receptor system, and may not realize that patients may experience interactions. However, even though a lot of doctors aren’t up-to-date when it comes to CBD, they will still be the most important link to your health. They have the ability to monitor blood work and deserve your complete honesty when it comes to your CBD use. Only through transparency can you help destigmatize CBD and encourage the medical field to continue to research and study the endocannabinoid receptor system.
Is CBD Safe to Take While Using Medications or Contraceptives? One of the most common questions the Onyx & Rose team gets has to do with mixing our organic, all-natural product with medications
Can CBD Affect My Birth Control?
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Is Taking CBD While Taking Birth Control Safe?
We all want to be safe. None of us wants to be at risk of feeling bad or getting sick. Many people have actually asked whether if taking birth control and CBD at the same is ok, so if anyone is feeling silly for asking, don’t!
According to Statista, there is an average of 81.3% prevalence of contraceptive use in the UK, compared to an overall European average of 69.2%. This means that the United Kingdom is one of the highest-ranking users of contraceptives in Europe, and is currently ranked number one in all of Western Europe.
Also, though there are many different types of contraception available in the UK, one of the most prevalent methods is birth control pills.
In addition to this, the UK just legalised the use of CBD products. Therefore, it is quite natural to wonder whether or not CBD will affect your birth control pills, especially since it is a relatively new subject.
Unfortunately, there has not been enough research done on this subject to determine with certainty whether or not taking CBD alongside with birth control pills can lower their effectiveness.
However, there are few leads which some pharmacists and researchers have used as a base and theorised certain outcomes are interactions between CBD and birth control.
Birth Control and the CYP Enzyme System – Why Does This Matter?
The hormones in birth control pills are metabolised by the Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System. In short, it is called the CYP enzyme system. It is important to know a little bit about it before establishing whether or not CBD can actually alter the way these hormones are metabolised within your body.
The CYP enzyme system is within the liver and is responsible for metabolising different types of drugs found in common medications. Amongst these drugs or substances metabolised by the enzyme the hormones found in contraceptives such as birth control pills.
Just like grapefruit, CBD can affect how the CYP enzyme system metabolises drugs, and could possibly cause a higher or lower concentration of the drug within your system than was actually anticipated.
The main point to take away from all of this is that the CYP enzyme is responsible for metabolising the hormones in birth control, and can possibly be inhibited by CBD, according to this study.
Again, there still has not been enough research done on this subject. That means no one can say with 100% certainty or medical approval that CBD will, in fact, affect contraceptives, or that people who take birth control pills will get pregnant if they take CBD.
Progestin-Only Pills vs Estrogen & Progestin (Combination) Birth Control
Certain types of Birth Control can contain different hormones, one is a progesterone-only pill (sometimes called the mini pill), and another is a combination hormone pill, meaning it combines estrogen and progesterone in one.
According to the NHS (Natural Health Services) in Canada, the type of birth control pills that you’re taking might make a difference. They state that contraceptives that contain the estrogen hormone can be at a higher risk of not working the way they should because of the interaction of CBD and the CYP enzyme system. These can include tablets, injections, the patch or rings.
The majority of these concerns all stem from a study in 1983 which found that cannabinoids can compete with estradiol (the major female sex hormone) and may prevent any estrogen-based contraception from working effectively. This can lead to spotting and an increased risk of pregnancy.
While there has not been enough concrete evidence to find if CBD truly affects birth control, if this is a major concern of yours, then it may be best to talk to your doctor about contraceptives. Progesterone-only contraceptives have been recommended or even an IUD.
It is important to note that there are many other herbal remedies and even medications that interact with birth control such as St John’s Wort and even Garlic Pills. It is always essential to be careful when taking any supplements.
At the moment, there are some studies being done to determine if CBD and birth control interactions could increase the risk of certain side effects, but right now, we still don’t know exactly what could happen.
3 Simple Steps to Make Sure You’ll Be Safe When Taking CBD
- The first thing that you should do before taking any supplements or any new substance for that matter is to talk to your doctor or specialist. I know that sometimes researching online seems efficient, and it gives us all a sense of accomplishment. But it’s very important to talk to someone who knows about your health and has a valid, professional medical opinion.
- Another important step to take before buying and taking CBD is to make sure you are getting it from a reliable, reputable source. Of course, many of the CBD companies and brands you find on the high street market in the UK are definitely reputable and reliable, and will always give you high-quality CBD.
- The third step that you can take towards making sure that you’ll be safe when taking CBD is doing your research on the brand, and on the product. While I did mention it is very important to know where your CBD is sourced from, it can help if you find a brand that you know you can trust.
As of today, there are so many great resources that you can use to find out what’s inside of the CBD you are taking. These usually consist of third-party lab results, and they usually show the actual CBD content, if there are any herbicides or pesticides and if there any heavy metals.
Although we don’t have enough concrete evidence about CBD’s effect on birth control, you may want to look into the CYP enzyme system and how it interacts with other substances. I have found this study to be very informative and very clear on the subject.
Otherwise, we hope you have found this blog to be informative, and if you want to learn more about CBD and its different facets, please visit our blog page!
Are you on birth control but want to try CBD? Concerned it could interfere with your medication? Find out the truth on CBD Scanner today!