A growing number of Americans are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to address a wide range of concerns from stress and anxiety, to pain and inflammation. But, with so many people using CBD oil, questions start to arise about potential interactions with common prescriptions, including blood pressure medications.
If you rely on blood pressure medication and want to use CBD oil as an alternative or supplement to your current treatment plan, here is an overview of everything you need to know about using CBD oil while taking blood pressure medications.
Because there are such a wide range of pharmaceuticals prescribed for lowering blood pressure, it’s impossible to speak in broad terms about how CBD oil interacts with them all. However, if you’re taking one of the more common medications for hypertension (valsartan, metoprolol beta blocker, lisinopril, amlodipine besylate, or hydrochlorothiazide), there are a few things you should take into consideration before using cannabidiol oil.
CBD oil is generally recognized as a safe and well-tolerated compound with little to no known side effects. However, while conclusive studies have not been published, it has been suggested that CBD oil may affect the efficacy of blood pressure medication in controlling hypertension. Conversely, blood pressure medication is also believed to potentially reduce the efficacy of CBD oil.
Furthermore, because cannabidiol is an inhibitor of the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system, CBD oil should be used cautiously when combined with medications that use this pathway; in the case of high blood pressure medications, metoprolol and amlodipine besylate specifically.
The cytochrome P-450 system is comprised of liver enzymes that break down medications into smaller substances that the body can more easily process. Cannabidiol and other natural substances like grapefruit slow down this pathway. This may cause medications that rely on the P-450 system, including metoprolol and amlodipine besylate, to remain for longer periods in the system and increase the likelihood that you experience their adverse side effects.
While adverse interactions between CBD oil and blood pressure medication are rare, they should be combined with caution and only under doctor supervision. In some cases, blood pressure medications may delay and/or reduce the beneficial effects of CBD oil. In others, CBD oil may delay and/or reduce the effectiveness of your prescribed blood pressure medication.
For reference, this table breaks down a few of the more common blood pressure medications and the side effects you may feel if taking them in conjunction with CBD oil.
|Generic Name (Brand Name)||Possible Side Effects of Combining Medication + CBD Oil|
|Valsartan (Diovan)||CBD oil may be metabolized slower when used in conjunction with Valsartan|
|Metoprolol (Lopressor; Toprol XL)||The antihypertensive function of Metoprolol may be decreased when combined with CBD oil|
|Lisinopril (Prinivil; Zestril)||The antihypertensive function of Lisinopril may be decreased when combined with CBD oil|
|Amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)||CBD oil may be metabolized slower when used in conjunction with Amlodipine besylate|
|Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)||The antihypertensive function of Hydrochlorothiazide may be decreased when combined with CBD oil|
Another important thing to note is that since CBD oil reduces blood pressure on its own, when it is taken in tandem with medication designed to perform the same action, you essentially have two compounds bringing down your levels. If your blood pressure is reduced too much in a short amount of time, you may feel weak and lethargic. It is for this reason that starting with a small initial dosage of CBD is key.
With the above possible side effects in mind, you may feel dissuaded from trying CBD oil while on blood pressure medication. On the other hand, you might also consider using CBD oil on its own to manage hypertension. Amongst other benefits, CBD oil has been shown to reduce blood pressure by relieving anxiety, reducing stress, and widening blood vessels.
CBD oil’s anti-anxiety and stress-relieving properties encourage a lower heart rate, which ultimately reduces blood pressure. CBD oil’s ability to dilate blood vessels allows for easier blood flow in arteries with plaque build-up, which also reduces the symptoms of hypertension. In fact, a 2017 study found that a single dose of cannabidiol significantly lowered the blood pressure of test subjects both when at rest and in stressful conditions.
In a cumulative 2017 review of numerous studies on cannabidiol’s effect on blood flow, it was concluding that “CBD may be used as a treatment for various cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke.” It is important to mention that the majority of these results were found in animal studies and more clinical research is needed in humans. Still, the findings are promising.
Whether your goal is to supplement your current hypertension treatment plan with CBD oil, or to completely replace your blood pressure medication with CBD oil, you should begin by speaking with your doctor. Because CBD oil can interact with your current blood pressure medications, consulting with your physician on the possible risks—and benefits—is crucial for your safety and health.
You will want to be conscientious of dosage especially since CBD oil may amplify the effects of the medications you’re taking. CBD products generally come with an information leaflet that provides a recommended dosage, but you may want to start with an amount lower than what is recommended and gradually increase your dosage over time as needed. This will allow your body to build a tolerance to CBD oil and reduce the risk of having a sudden drop in your blood pressure.
For more information on proper CBD oil dosage, check out our dosage guide here.
Over a period of time, you may even find you are able to lower the dosage of your blood pressure medication as the CBD oil becomes most effective. If you choose to do this, speak to your doctor before discontinuing or altering your prescription medication. Any changes to your treatment plan are best done under the supervision and guidance of a medical professional.
If you’re still in need of guidance or would like more information on using CBD oil as a medical supplement, consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor who specializes in natural health treatments.
In order to find the best CBD oil product, you need to know what you’re looking for. With thousands of products available online and in stores, how do you know where to start?
First, investigate the different CBD oil delivery formats to decide which one best fits your goals and lifestyle. CBD oil drops, edibles, capsules, and vapes a few of the more common options.
While the majority of people new to CBD oil opt for capsules and edibles because of their convenience and familiarity, it is worth keeping in mind that these will enter your body through the digestive system and therefore lose some potency and take longer before you feel the effects. Inhalants or sublingual drops meanwhile, allow the CBD oil to enter the bloodstream more readily, providing quick and effective results. Experiment with the different delivery methods to decide which works best for your needs and lifestyle.
Once you have decided on your preferred delivery format, look for top-rated CBD oil products that are sustainably sourced, organically grown, and third-party lab tested to ensure quality and purity. Taking these steps is the best way to ensure that your CBD oil product is free from any harmful pesticides, herbicides, and added chemicals.
And when you’re ready to shop, check out our list of the Top 10 Best CBD Products to Buy.
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