What’s the Relationship Between CBD Topicals and Blood Thinners?

People taking certain medications may have heard something about the relationship between CBD topicals and blood thinners. While CBD oil may be a great option for relief from inflammation and joint pain, there may be a risk of a bad interaction when combined with blood-thinning medications.

Because there's no value in swapping out one ailment for another, the best approach is to ask your doctor about whether or not using a CBD topical will have negative consequences. A physician can make recommendations for a blood test and physical to ensure that your body won't suffer adverse reactions when taking supplements.

Basically, no wellness supplement is worth gambling your health. Even though CBD topicals do not penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream, it's important to know for sure whether or not your anticoagulant medication could cause problems. Ask your doctor first.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at how CBD topicals work and why they could interact with blood-thinning medication.

How Grapefruit Factors In

A group of citrus fruits

What could grapefruit possibly have to with CBD supplements? Brain chemistry. It turns out that certain foods (such as grapefruit) can alter the ways that medications work. With blood thinners, grapefruit can cause a more rapid or more prolonged release of the drug, potentially leading to ineffective medicine or toxic overdoses.

Grapefruit has the ability to offset blood thinners like felodipine and nifedipine by weakening the body's ability to create enzymes. As enzymes are crucial in absorbing waste and stopping the effects of medicine, blood thinners may not work as intended.

Does it seem like your enzymes are working against you? If so, here's the good news—without enzymes, your cells would never stop growing, leading to the potential for more mutation and diseases. Slowing them down is an important part of life.

So what does grapefruit do to offset medications?

Cytochromes & Enzymes

One of the most prominent brain structures is the cytochrome. Just about every living thing contains cytochromes, and they perform the important task of oxidizing and expelling waste products once bodily processes end. This prevents waste build-up and keeps your brain working properly.

For humans, the cytochrome associated with drug interactions is called P4503A4. It is responsible for sending out electrical signals through your brain that trigger the production of enzymes.

Both grapefruit and CBD target this particular cytochrome, helping to slow the production of enzymes and allow the brain to create hormones for longer periods of time.

How Medications Interact with Cytochromes

A spoon filled with pills

Some people think medications work by adding to the body's chemistry and targeting a problem area, but actually, medications merely trigger the production of your own chemicals. In the case of CBD oil, the cannabidiol instructs the brain to keep producing endocannabinoids as it holds up the production of enzymes.

Under normal circumstances, enzymes go in and clean up the residual waste that comes with cell growth, but medications like blood thinners weaken enzymes to—in this case—keep blood from clotting. They weaken cytochromes to take control of bodily processes.

In the case of CBD (and grapefruit), CYP3A4 is targeted and weakened so that the body's endocannabinoid system can keep producing the desired chemicals. However, this means that there aren't as many enzymes to absorb other medications.

Depending on the medication, CBD in the bloodstream can cause too much or too little absorption. When blood thinners aren't working properly, those taking them are at higher risk of adverse health risks.

To sum it all up, if your medication mentions anything about not eating grapefruit (known as a grapefruit warning), you should ask your doctor before using a CBD topical.

Topicals as a Safer CBD Product

Now that we have all that out of the way, let's talk about why CBD topicals may not pose the same risks as CBD that is ingested via vaping or with oil tinctures.

Your endocannabinoid system runs throughout your entire body, and it has receptors in nearly all of your organs. One of those organs—the biggest one, in fact—is the skin. When topicals are applied to the skin, the endocannabinoid system is triggered and starts to produce hormones for anti-inflammation that can provide relief for the pain.

One reason that some choose CBD topicals for pain relief is that it does not pose the same health risks as other medications like Fentanyl or OxyContin—substances that have a reputation for causing addiction and weakening of the respiratory system.

By only activating the skin's endocannabinoid receptors, CBD topicals provide a safer way to relieve pain without threatening addiction or penetrating the bloodstream, and messing up how medications work.

Should You Take a CBD Topical?

A woman stretching her legs

The most conclusive answer you'll find about CBD topicals and blood thinners has to come from your doctor. As a wellness supplement, cannabidiol just doesn't have the required research and applied solutions to make any blanket statements about how it works.

There are communities of people dealing with joint pain, and many of them describe their experiences taking CBD in tandem with blood thinners. You may find value in what they have to say.

So, you've had a chat with your doctor about using a CBD topical, and you've determined that it's a good idea. What should you do next? Probably go and buy the cheapest CBD topical you can find, right? Wrong.

There's no substitute for quality CBD products. They are more likely to work as intended, allowing you to feel the effects with greater efficacy. Far too many people have purchased subpar CBD supplements only to feel scammed and ripped off, and they never try it again.

CBD topicals can be a great solution to your joint pain and inflammation. However, you have to buy products that can work well and give you the relief you need.

How to Find the Best CBD Products

It can be hard to know which CBD topicals will work as intended. There are a million vendors out there with products that are, at best, ineffective, and at worst, dangerous. Make sure you get a product that was cultivated and formulated with your health in mind.

But how?

The best place to look is at a product's lab reports. These documents show exactly what's inside your supplement. These reports detail everything from cannabidiol content to the presence of pesticides, fertilizers, toxins, and heavy metals. If you want to know what you're getting, read the lab reports. If your vendor doesn't have any, shop somewhere else.

You can also glean a lot of helpful information from customer reviews. When a vendor's customers are happy, it usually means the products are good and the service is satisfactory.

Take a look at the vendor's inventory as well. A large selection usually means expert formulations that cater to different needs.

So, in closing, ask your doctor about using CBD topicals, then shop around for one that actually works.

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