The cannabis plant has many health benefits to offer, and most of us are aware that cannabinoids are safe to consume. The effects vary from person to person, but cannabis has become a cornerstone within our medical community and it’s quite obvious people are happy about it. While that is true, we’ve also come across evidence that supports CBD (Cannabidiol) and cannabinoids can reduce how effective certain medications are.
One of those medications would be birth control, which is a problem for obvious reasons. The prevention of unwanted pregnancies is important in this day and age, and some users might not realize that CBD can stop the medication from working at full strength. While it might hurt the effectiveness of your birth control, understanding the situation will keep you prepared for anything that happens in the future.
Why You Should Be Cautious
CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical that is found within cannabis, meaning it isn’t going to get you “high”. There is no impairment of any sort to be had while consuming CBD, which is why there are so many CBD oils (and creams, among other things) available on the market. Patients could even use a vaporizer with specific strains to get their CBD intake for a day! While it’s beneficial for the most part, high doses of CBD can slow down an active liver enzyme known as “Cytochrome P450”.
What is Cytochrome P450?
This liver enzyme is meant to help your body process about 60% of the medications you take. Grapefruit is known to be a “superfruit” that offers amazing detoxifying powers, but did you know this liver enzyme is capable of slowing down (or blocking) medications at a higher rate? If you have a medication that states “avoid grapefruit” on the label, you’re the perfect candidate for worrying about CBD usage.
This is why most people will use a strain or oil that balances out the THC and CBD levels using a 1:1 ratio. You won’t feel as “high” after you’re done your session, as CBD is meant to counteract that cloudy and lazy feeling you get while stoned. Research settings have only made use of CBD which has been isolated, meaning the “total package” of smoking cannabis hasn’t been tested just yet. Although that is the case, you may be better off avoiding any non-approved CBD isolates while you’re taking birth control pills (just to stay on the safe side of things).
What Does This Have to Do with My Birth Control?
Smoking weed on birth control can be tricky, and if you want the birth control to work as intended you’ll want to avoid the consumption of enzyme inhibitors (including CBD). If you don’t, you could deal with an abundance of side effects, most of which aren’t too pleasant. Some of the side effects you can expect to experience would be:
- Increased breakthrough bleeding
- Decreased effectiveness of estrogen-based contraceptives
- Increased risk of pregnancy
- Anxiety due to being unsure of your birth control situation
Some other serious side effects to consider (although they are much rarer) would be both blood clots and breast cancer, although there are studies taking place trying to determine how much of a risk CBD can produce while taking birth control. The active hormones that are used for your birth control are going to be a determining factor as well since contraceptives can be delivered in many different forms.
Estrogen-Based Birth Control and CBD
Some women will use Estrogen-based contraceptives that are delivered orally, as well as injections of even patches (sometimes rings that are inserted directly into the body). These are the kinds of birth control that offer up the highest risk while consuming CBD, while non-estrogen forms are a bit more forgiving. If you’re using CBD daily and want an effective form of birth control, you may want to consider using Progesterone-based contraceptives (if you’re ingesting CBD oil pills or anything of that nature, this would be ideal).
Talk to your doctor and discuss the options available to you, because they are going to know more about the situation than most. You might also want to consider forgoing birth control completely and simply using condoms, especially if you’re a heavy smoker and enjoy the high that cannabis has to offer (and you’re using estrogen-based birth control). While the levels of CBD needed to affect your estrogen is currently being researched, we can still suggest that you take caution while ingesting CBD and birth control at the same time.
What Else Should I Know About Smoking Weed on Birth Control?
We’ve seen instances where other contributing factors play a part in your birth control not being as effective. When you combine other things alongside CBD and birth control it could make the problem much larger. For example, it’s said that both smoking cigarettes and the chronic use of alcohol should be actively avoided while you’re taking birth control (and should be especially avoided if you’re also taking CBD).
Now that you understand how serious it can be when birth control and CBD interact with each other, you can decide to either stop ingesting CBD or stop taking birth control. In the perfect world you’d get to do both, which is achievable if you’re willing to work for it – just take the tips and information we’ve written here today and apply them for yourself.
Better Safe Than Sorry!
Being limited in life sucks and that’s why we want as many people to enjoy the befits of CBD as possible, but we also understand that circumstances are preventing an individual from doing that at times. If you’ve been curious as to how CBD and your birth control interact with one another, I genuinely hope we were able to shed some light on the situation with this article. We’re pro-cannabis around here, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
The one thing in life that you need to care for most has to be your personal health, so we hope this article was able to shed some light on your current birth control and CBD usage.