Your Good Health: CBD oil risky for anyone on heart medication
Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 49-year-old woman who had a massive heart attack in April of this year. My father died of a massive heart attack at 49 when I was three. I have four stents in three arteries and am on Brilinta, low-dose aspirin, blood-pressure medication, etc.
I have had essential tremor for all of my life, first noticing the tremors in middle school. The tremor is in my hands, making writing nearly impossible, and I have head bobs. I have an internal tremor that never stops.
A previous practitioner prescribed a month’s trial of beta blockers several years ago. I noticed no relief with the tremor, but was physically ill for the first 30 minutes of the morning in the first two weeks of the trial. Recently, while doing some research, I found an online blog regarding essential tremor and CBD oil. Nearly all of the bloggers found some level of relief using this treatment.
If I choose to try CBD oil to assist with my tremor, is there a risk of it interfering with my heart and blood-pressure medications?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a nonpsychoactive substance found in cannabis, as opposed to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the best-known psychoactive component.
CBD is typically sold as an oil, and has been receiving press as a potential treatment for a wide variety of medical issues. Many or most of these claims have no data to support them. Anecdotal reports, such as most blogs, are neither reliable nor scientific (and may or may not be true).
There is also an issue with proving the dosage and purity of products said to contain CBD.
However, in the case of essential tremor, there is some evidence: Studies in mice have shown benefit with CBD, although a single case report showed effectiveness of THC but not CBD in essential tremor.
The issue of drug interactions is a significant one. CBD inhibits two powerful pathways the body uses to detoxify drugs, the CPY3A4 and CYP2D6 systems. This is a serious issue for you. Ticagrelor (Brilinta), an anticoagulant, is metabolized by CYP3A4, as are some of the statin drugs usually prescribed to people with heart blockages.
The effect of the anticoagulant could be much higher than expected, leading to bleeding risk. Other commonly used heart medications are metabolized by CYP2D6, and the effect on these medications is unpredictable.
I can’t recommend CBD products given the medications you are taking, but would suggest you consider alternative treatments.
You might have read about deep brain stimulation and ultrasound, two powerful and effective treatments for people whose symptoms have not responded to standard treatments.
Dear Dr. Roach: This question is for my husband. How safe is drinking tea while on warfarin?
He has his INR checked monthly, and for the most part, it stays between 2 and 3.
He watches his vitamin K intake regularly. He has read conflicting stories about how tea interacts with warfarin by making INR levels high.
Tea comes in two major types: black tea, which is fermented, and green tea, which is not. Black tea has no known interactions with warfarin (Coumadin). Green tea contains small amounts of vitamin K, which could make the INR lower and the warfarin less effective. However, the effect is likely to be small. Further, if he drinks a consistent amount per day, his dose can be adjusted to reflect his vitamin K intake.
Can CBD Help Heart Rhythm Disorders?
Maybe it’s the latest episode of your favourite TV show, maybe your favourite meal, or maybe a special someone in your life. Either way, there’s one individual your heart is undeniably beating for, and that’s you yourself. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
Your heart beats an average of 36 million times per year. That’s quite a few thumps. It means that we break the one-billion-beats mark by the time we hit our 28th year.
Considering the heart’s tremendous performance, it’s not surprising that things don’t always run smoothly. You’ve probably had the experience every once in a while, that feeling of your heart beating faster, due to joy or excitement. Or when you’re super hungry and suffering from low blood sugar levels.
But what if it’s more than just a racing pulse? What if you’re having actual heart palpitations? And does cannabidiol make your heart beat faster, or can CBD actually alleviate heart palpitations?
Keep reading to find out, but also to learn much more about heart rhythm disorders. Oh yeah, and prepare to face the fact that you might not always be doing what’s best for your heart.
Types of heart rhythm disorders
Tachycardia is the technical term for a heart rate that remains continuously high. It’s also known colloquially as “heart palpitations” or “having a racing heart”. It starts with anything over a resting heart rate of 100 beats per minute. As soon as that number exceeds 150 beats, it earns the name of a “pronounced” tachycardia.
On the other hand, if your heart beats less than once per second at a pulse rate of less than 60, medical jargon refers to it as a bradycardia.
And that’s not all: And that’s not all: arrhythmia is the name for an irregular heartbeat, and it doesn’t necessarily exclude the two abovementioned disorders. The terms used to describe a combination of the two are tachyarrhythmia and bradyarrhythmia.
But that’s enough medical terminology for the moment. Let’s take a look at the frequency and causes of heart rhythm disorders and check out some information on whether or not CBD can help alleviate the condition – or whether that’s not such a good idea.
How dangerous are heart rhythm disorders?
A tachycardia is not always unusual nor is it automatically cause for concern. In small children, for example, or when you’re playing sports or you’ve just finished a run, it’s normal to have a little over 100 beats per minute.
Even the so-called “controlled” bradycardia that can occur in athletes’ hearts is not necessarily cause for concern.
However, if heart palpitations become a permanent condition, it might increase a person’s risk of heart failure or heart attack.
Heart rhythm disorders: the causes
Other possible causes are:
- pulmonary embolism
- inflammation of the heart muscle
- accidents involving electrical currents
- genetic components
Simple emotional stress and a concentration of mineral salts (electrolytes) can also disturb heart rhythm. Does that mean all we should do is start eating healthier and do some breathing exercises?
Could cannabidiol also help us alleviate heart rhythm disorders? There is some evidence to suggests that CBD may reduce high blood pressure.
Studies on the effects of CBD on the heart
CBD’s effect on the heart was investigated in a recent study on coronary artery occlusion in rats. Rats who were given CBD 10 minutes prior showed a reduced risk of heart attack and, depending on the dosage, also a lower level of severity in the heart attack that followed.
Scientists even came to the conclusion that cannabidiol could have a protective effect on the heart during an actual heart attack. They credit the substance with having a possible anti-arrhythmic effect (remember: arrhythmia means a person has an irregular heartbeat).
Even though the initial findings sound promising, there are still no studies that examine the effect on humans. For this reason, you should always be cautious and check with your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. The same applies if you take regular medication, just to make sure you avoid potential side effects or interactions of CBD.
Could CBD prevent heart rhythm disorders?
- Depending on the individual case, heart rhythm disorders can be either dangerous or harmless.
- Heart palpitations (tachycardia) and a slowed pulse (bradycardia) are two of the possible forms.
- Next to genetic factors, environmental factors can also encourage the occurrence of heart rhythm disorders.
- In studies on rats, scientists determined that CBD has a potential protective effect on the heart.
What should I look out for if I want to use CBD to help alleviate heart palpitations?
According to a study on rats, taking CBD may contribute to a more regular heartbeat.
At the same time, there is evidence that CBD may also have a blood-pressure-lowering effect. However, if your blood pressure drops too much, your body might work against that by increasing your pulse rate to ensure sufficient blood flow.
In other words, less may be more. If you’ve already consulted with your doctor and you’re interested in treating your heart palpitations with CBD, you can proceed confidently but always with caution regarding the precise CBD dosage.
CBD is one of roughly 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. But don’t worry; in contrast to THC, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. Many people are unaware of the fact that each and every one of us has an endocannabinoid system in our body. This allows CBD to have an effect by docking onto your body’s own cannabinoid receptors.
After you’ve figured out the recommended dosage of CBD oil that is right for you, you should use the pipette to drop the exact number of drops you need under your tongue.
Here are two tips for using CBD oil: 1. It’s best to stand in front of a mirror when you drop the CBD under your tongue, so that you can better count the drops. 2. Don’t swallow the drops right away. Instead, try to keep them under your tongue for 1 to 2 minutes. This will help the CBD oil work faster and more effectively.
Before you purchase a CBD product, you should always inform yourself about the product origin and manufacturing, just so that you can be sure to be getting a high-quality product.