Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in cannabis plants. It has gained significant attention due to its potential therapeutic benefits, which may include pain relief, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep. Unlike its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive. This means it does not create a "high" or change a person's state of mind, but it influences the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively.
How CBD Works in the Body
CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signalling system that plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes including sleep, mood, appetite, and immune response. CBD inhibits the absorption of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid molecule that regulates pain. Increased levels of anandamide in the bloodstream may reduce the amount of pain a person feels. Furthermore, CBD also interacts with several other receptors in the body, such as serotonin and vanilloid receptors, which can affect one's mood and perception of pain.
Understanding Blood Thinners: Warfarin and Eliquis
Blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants, are medications that prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger. They are often prescribed for people with certain types of heart disease or blood vessel disease. Two common blood thinners are Warfarin, also known by the brand names Coumadin and Jantoven, and Apixaban, marketed under the brand name Eliquis.
How Blood Thinners Work in the Body
Warfarin and Eliquis work by inhibiting the formation of blood clots. Warfarin interferes with the function of Vitamin K, a key player in the clotting process. Eliquis, on the other hand, directly inhibits Factor Xa, an enzyme essential in the coagulation cascade, thus preventing clot formation.
Potential Interactions Between CBD and Blood Thinners
While CBD has potential health benefits, it may interact with several medications, including blood thinners like Warfarin and Eliquis. This is because CBD is metabolized by the same liver enzymes (cytochrome P450 complex) that break down many prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Warfarin and CBD
When CBD and Warfarin are taken together, CBD can inhibit the metabolism of Warfarin, leading to increased levels of this blood thinner in the body. This can increase the risk of bleeding, as the blood may become too thin. A study published in "Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports" highlighted a case where a patient on Warfarin experienced an increased international normalized ratio (INR) - a test used to monitor the effects of Warfarin - after using CBD.
Eliquis and CBD
Like Warfarin, Eliquis may also interact with CBD. While there are not as many documented cases, the same potential risks apply. CBD could inhibit the metabolism of Eliquis, potentially leading to an increased risk of bleeding.
While CBD offers potential health benefits, it is important to be aware of potential drug interactions, especially if you are on medications like blood thinners. CBD may interact with drugs like Warfarin and Eliquis, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting CBD, particularly if you are on any medications. While CBD can offer many benefits, safety should always be the top priority.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting or stopping any medication or supplement, including CBD.