Can You Take CBD Oil With Aspirin


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Does CBD interfere with aspirin or other antiplatelets? Aspirin may help certain people reduce their chance of suffering a stroke or heart attack. But, the CBD interaction with Aspirin: Does taking them together negatively affect health? Find out more about how the drugs interact and the effects of their combination below. Despite CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits, taking it together with aspirin has its risks and is not recommended. Learn more.

CBD and Aspirin

Does CBD interfere with aspirin or other antiplatelets?

  • Aspirin may help certain people reduce their chance of suffering a stroke or heart attack. But, the antiplatelet may cause serious bleeding, according to a study published by University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) (1 ) .
  • The results of a study from 2012 research that was published in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology revealed that CBD affected platelet production and could be a factor in the capability of CBD to slow down or stop the development of heart diseases (2 ) .
  • But, CBD can inhibit the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) system’s capacity to process certain substances, resulting in the overall growth in process time (3 ) .
  • In a study released in the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Researchers found results of low dose aspirin on CYP450 levels for healthy humans are specific to enzymes which means that the results depend on the type of enzyme (4 ) .
  • The specific effects of the combination of CBD and aspirin haven’t been proven in any long-term scientific research conducted on people, using both substances in combination is not advised.
  • Consultation with a reputable medical professional who is experienced in cannabis is the most effective option for those who want to test CBD at first, or to include CBD within their existing regimen.

Understanding CBD

Medical marijuana, also called medicinal cannabis is the name for the derivatives of the Cannabis Sativa plant (20 ) .

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are common cannabinoids that are natural constituents of cannabis plants, which include marijuana and hemp. Therefore, CBD can either be hemp extract or cannabis.

Marijuana has higher levels of THC as hemp does, whereas hemp is rich in CBD. THC produces a high of euphoria and CBD can help promote tranquility and relaxation.

In an research study that was published in Cerebrum Journal, researchers explained the importance of the endocannabinoid systems (ECS) that comprises the receptors for cannabinoid, as well as endocannabino molecules and metabolic enzymes that they produce are essential in maintaining homeostasis, also known as equilibrium, between physiological functions (21 ) .

CBD Oil or Hemp Oil?

“Hemp oil” or “hemp oil” is sometimes used to describe the CBD-rich oil made from hemp plant leaves and flowers, which is basically CBD oil. However it can also be used to describe hemp seed oil which has none CBD.

While hemp seed oil isn’t CBD oil, it comes from leaves and flowers of the plant, it is important to note that hemp oil extracted from seeds does not contain CBD, THC, and cannabinoids from plants (22 ) .

CBD oil is available in a variety of forms including full-spectrum (oil made from the entire plant) THC-free distillate as well as CBD isolates.

Cannabis and Aspirin

In an 2013, research study that was published in Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, it was discovered that the ECS is involved in a variety of body functions, including control of inflammation and pain (23 ) .

In an 2008 research study that was published in Journal of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, the study’s author Ethan Russo found that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is twenty times the anti-inflammatory power of the drug aspirin (24 ) .

The results of his study indicate that cannflavin A is a flavone that is unique to cannabis, blocks PGE-2 30 times more powerfully than aspirin, however more studies are required (25 ) .

PGE-2 (Prostaglandin E2) is an active lipid that triggers many biological reactions associated with inflammation and cancer (26 ) .

Flavones belong to a sub-group of flavonoids that have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, as well as antidiabetic and anti-thrombogenic (prevents blood clots) and neuroprotective properties by a variety of mechanisms in living organisms and when tested in animals (27 ) .

Cannabidiol and CYP2D6

Cannabidiol, the most important phytocannabinoid, has been identified as an effective atypical inhibitor of CYP2D6 According to an article that was published in drug Metabolism and Disposition Journal (28 ) .

Cannabinoids are the cannabinoids found natural in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are closely related compounds found in cannabis, such as CBD as well as THC.

In the study researchers examined the effects of inhibition on the phytocannabinoids that are the primary phytocannabinoids in the action in human CYP2D6. The results showed that CBD resulted in direct blockade of CYP2D6 capacity.

Drug to Drug Interactions

In the year 2016 research study that was published in Epilepsia Journal The authors discovered that the repeated use of CBD could trigger CYP2B enzymes in animals that could be relevant for those suffering from epilepsy since antiepileptic medications (AEDs) like Clobazam and valproate, are metabolized by the enzymes (29 ) .

However, the antiepileptic properties of CBD are not fully understood. Researchers have noted that there’s a deficiency of information from long-term double-blind, randomized controlled studies of the effectiveness of CBD in its pure form. CBD for treating any condition.

Recently this year, it was announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Epidiolex as the first cannabis-derived medication to treat Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS), the symptoms of which don’t generally respond to anti-seizure medication (30 ) .

Although CBD can be the main ingredient of Epidiolex however, it also has inactive ingredients like dehydrated alcohol sesame seed oil strawberry flavor, as well as sucralose (31 ) .

Aspirin and Beta Blockers

Aspirin blunts the vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) caused by both angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta blockers in hypertensive patients and in patients with heart failure. This conclusion is derived from an research study which was reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (32 ) .

The exact mechanisms behind the interaction are not known the exact mechanisms that cause this interaction, so further research is required. In the absence of definitive evidence there is no reason to take aspirin in conjunction with beta blockers.

Aspirin and Warfarin

An 2017. research study released in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal examined CBD safety and its side negative effects (33 ) .

The researchers of this study observed that although CBD may increase the level of certain drugs in the blood, the negative effects may outweigh the benefits.

Based on the findings from the research, authors suggested that CBD may trigger a rise in the amount of anticoagulant (blood thinner), warfarin (Coumadin) in addition to enhancing the blood-thinning properties of aspirin.


Aspirin is a member of an assortment that includes medications for pain and fever-reducing agents known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).

In addition, CBD’s wide-ranging use in pain relief could be attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties could help reduce risk factors that could cause heart disease, such as high blood pressure, according to an study from 2017 research study indicates (34 ) .

However, despite CBD’s possible beneficial effects on health, using aspirin with it is not advised. It is also not recommended to take CBD items in any shape ( gummies, vape, tincture, or even topical) alongside other prescription medications for antiplatelet therapy. While using CBD and aspirin could have benefits, they also come with dangers. The studies above show that the risk may outweigh the health benefits.

Healthwise. (2019, March 28). Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Retrieved from
Stanley CP, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE. Are the cardiovascular system an effective therapeutic target of cannabidiol?. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(2):313-322. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04351.x. Drugs that may interact in conjunction with CBD Oil. Retrieved from
Chen XP, Tan ZR, Huang SL, Huang Z, Ou-Yang DS, Zhou HH. Isozyme-specific induction by low-dose aspirin on the cytochrome P450 in healthy individuals. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Mar;73(3):264-71.
Project CBD. (2015, Sept. 8). CBD-Drug Interactions: Role of Cytochrome P450. Retrieved from Op. cit.
Chen XP et al. op. cit. is a project that was financed through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. (2020, Feb 16). Retrieved from
Ko JW, Desta Z, Soukhova NV, Tracy T, Flockhart DA. In in vitro inhibition of the Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) mechanism by antiplatelet drugs ticlopidine, which has a powerful impact upon CYP2C19 as well as CYP2D6. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;49(4):343-351. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.2000.00175.x.
S Uchiyama, R Sone, T Nagayama, Y Shibagaki, I Kobayashi, S Maruyama, and K Kusakabe. Therapy with low dose aspirin and ticlopidine for cerebral ischemia.
Mark Fendrick, M.D. (2018, March 15). A day of aspirin, or not? Understanding the risks and benefits. Retrieved from
Stanley CP, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE. Are the cardiovascular system an effective therapeutic target of cannabidiol?. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(2):313-322. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04351.x.
Khalid A. Jadoon, Garry D. Tan, and Saoirse E. O’Sullivan. One dose of cannabis lowers blood pressure among healthy subjects in an experiment that was randomized to crossover. JCI Insight. 2017;2(11):e93760. Retrieved from
Colin W. O’Brien, MD; Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD; Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH. (2019, October 15). Prevalence of Aspirin Use for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in the United States: Results From the 2017 National Health Interview Survey. Retrieved from
(2015, April 2). Blood Thinners, also known as Anticoagulants, Antiplatelet drugs. Medline Plus. Retrieved from
Healthwise. (2019, March 28). Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Retrieved from
Bonni Goldstein, MD On August 15, 2018 (Updated On May 6, 2019). Trade in Your Ibuprofen for Cannabis. Retrieved from
Harry Jackson Jr. (2007, July 23). St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved from
Harvard Health Publishing. Updated: December 16, 2019Published: October, 2013. Bad mix blood thinners as well as NSAIDs. Retrieved from
Mayo Clinic. (2019, Nov. 27). Medical marijuana. Retrieved from
Alger BE. High on the endocannabinoid system. Cerebrum. 2013;2013:14. Published 2013 Nov 1.
Martin A. Lee. Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil. Retrieved from
Fine PG, Rosenfeld MJ. The endocannabinoid system, the cannabinoids, and pain. Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2013;4(4):e0022. Published 2013 Oct 29. doi:10.5041/RMMJ.10129.
Russo EB. Cannabinoids for the treatment of difficult to manage pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928.
Barrett ML, Scutt AM, Evans FJ. Cannflavin A, B and prenylated flavones derived from Cannabis Sativa. Experientia. 1986;42:452-3. DOI: 10.1007/bf02118655.
Nakanishi M, Rosenberg DW. Multiple roles for PGE2 in cancer and inflammation. Semin Immunopathol. 2013;35(2):123-137. doi:10.1007/s00281-012-0342-8.
Jane Higdon, Ph.D. (2005). Flavonoids. Retrieved from
Satoshi Yamaori, Yasuka Okamoto, Ikuo Yamamoto and Kazuhito Watanabe. Cannabidiol, a Major Phytocannabinoid, As a Potent Atypical Inhibitor for CYP2D6. Drug Metabolism and Disposition November 2011, 39 (11) 2049-2056; DOI:
Devinsky O, Cilio MR, Cross H, et al. Cannabidiol is a pharmacological agent with a potential therapeutic use in epilepsy and various neuropsychiatric conditions. Epilepsia. 2014;55(6):791-802. doi:10.1111/epi.12631.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2018, June 25). FDA approves the first drug made up with an active component that is derived from marijuana for treating rare, severe epilepsy forms. Retrieved from
David C. Steinberg, FRAPS, Steinberg & Associates, Inc. Cannabidiol (CBD) The Coming Crisis. Retrieved from
JoAnn Lindenfeld, Alastair D Robertson, Brian D Lowes, Michael R Bristow. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. (2001 Dec). Aspirin inhibits the reverse remodeling of myocardial tissue in patients suffering from heart problems who are treated by beta-blockers. DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(01)01641-2.
Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. Published 2017 Jun 1. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034.
Jadoon KA, Tan GD, O’Sullivan SE. One dose of cannabis lowers blood pressure among healthy volunteers in a random cross-over study. JCI Insight. 2017;2(12):e93760. Published 2017 Jun 15. doi:10.1172/jci.insight.93760.


Dr. Nicole Davis

Nicole Davis is a integrative medicine specialist who focuses on sleep and fatigue. She has extensively explored the therapeutic properties of cannabis, and provides specialized treatment plans according to personal symptoms. Dr. Davis is passionate about helping people feel their best, and believes that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare.

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Does CBD Interact with Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid)?

Information on risks & possible interactions between CBD & aspirin.

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Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the Cannabis sativa plant commonly used to manage chronic pain and inflammation.

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is another common painkiller bought over the counter at drugstores and supermarkets.

Despite similar effects, the level of risk for interaction between these two substances is minimal.

Table of Contents

Does CBD Interact With Aspirin?

CBD is unlikely to interact with low-dose Aspirin.

However, with higher doses or long-term use, CBD could, theoretically, increase serum levels of Aspirin over time — leading to potential side effects.

Both CBD and Aspirin are considered blood thinners and analgesics. It’s possible that this combination could lead to an increase in side effects associated with those effects — including the formation of bruises, blood loss, or liver damage.

However, in practice, none of these side effects have been reported and people who use both supplements on a daily basis rarely, if ever, experience any notable side effects.

Other Names for Aspirin

Aspirin is the generic name for acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). It’s sold under many different names. All share the same risk and potential interactions.

Other names for Aspirin include:

  • Aspirin
  • Ascriptin
  • Aspergum
  • Aspirtab
  • Bayer
  • Easprin
  • Ecotrin
  • Ecpirin
  • Entercote
  • Genacote
  • Halfprin
  • Ninoprin
  • Norwich Aspirin

Similar Medications: CBD & NSAIDs

Acetaminophen is classified as an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). CBD and NSAIDs all share similar risks for interaction and side effects.

Here’s a list of similar medications that share a similar level of risk when combined with CBD:

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, Caldolor & Neoprofen)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex & Onsenal)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Ketorolac (Toradol)
  • Etodolac (Ultradol)
  • Meloxicam (Mobic)

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Aspirin Together?

It’s safe to take CBD along with low-dose Aspirin in most cases. If you’ve been prescribed high potency Aspirin, or are taking Aspirin on a daily basis to manage the risk of heart disease, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting CBD.

While it’s unlikely CBD is going to interact with Aspirin directly, it may be contraindicated for certain types of heart disease.

Is CBD a Viable Alternative to Aspirin?

CBD is widely used for several benefits, the main ones being pain relief and management of anxiety.

For mild to moderate pain and inflammation, CBD may be a viable, and potentially even more effective option than Aspirin.

For use as a blood thinner, CBD is not comparable to Aspirin and is not considered a viable alternative.

What is Aspirin?

Aspirin, and its generic component acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). It’s a medication commonly used for the treatment of pain, inflammation, and fever. It’s classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug — NSAIDs for short.

It’s widely prescribed to patients with cardiac disorders such as heart attack, heart failure, or cardiac arrests as a blood thinner that will prevent any blood clots from forming, and consequently, producing a cardiac injury.

Aspirin is readily available in pharmacies and does not need a doctor’s prescription before it can be purchased from these pharmacies. The drug is manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies and, hence, is available under different trade names, such as Bayer, Easprin, Ecotrin, and Ecoprin, to name a few.

Aspirin has a half-life of either 2 hours to 3 hours, or 15 hours to 30 hours, depending on the dose, with the former being the half-life of 100 mg or less of Aspirin. The drug is excreted mostly through the urine, almost 80 percent, and the rest is excreted via feces and sweat.

Aspirin Specs:

Drug Name Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid)
Trade Name Aspirin, Aspro Clear, Bayer, Disprin, Easprin, Ecotrin, Ecoprin, Entercote
Classification Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID)
CYP Metabolism Liver (CYP2C19 and CYP3A)
Interaction with CBD Agonistic (Increased effects)
Risk of Interaction Low

What Does Aspirin Do?

Aspirin is used to treat a number of medical conditions that present with symptoms such as fever, pain, and inflammation. It’s one of the most commonly prescribed medications in cardiology clinics as its blood-thinning abilities are crucial for patients who have recently suffered from a heart attack or a stroke.

The mechanism of action of Aspirin includes irreversible inhibition of the enzyme, Cyclooxygenase or COX, which is crucial for the synthesis and distribution of prostaglandins and thromboxane in the body.

There are two different types of cyclooxygenases in the human body, namely COX1 and COX2 enzymes with the former being responsible for the production of thromboxanes, a hormone responsible for vasoconstriction and platelet aggregation in the blood vessels.

COX1 is irreversibly inhibited by Aspirin, whereas COX2, the enzyme responsible for the production of the hormone prostaglandins which induces the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, activity is modified by the drug.

COX2 activity modification results in the conversion of the enzyme’s ability to produce prostaglandins to producing a lipoxygenase enzyme which helps with the metabolism of different polyunsaturated fats in the human body.

The inhibitory effect of Aspirin on the COX1 enzyme helps the medication manage bleeding as irreversible inhibition of thromboxane A2 in platelets inhibits platelet aggregation for 7 days to 8 days, the life span of the affected platelet. This mechanism is responsible for the prescription of Aspirin to patients with a history of heart attack, strokes, transient ischemic attack, and unstable angina, to help prevent recurrence of these medical emergencies.

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Prostaglandins play a huge role in the information transmission from the brain to the different parts of the body suffering from pain and inflammation. They are also known to have an effect on the regulation of the hypothalamus’ thermal center, hence altering body temperature and interrupting the body’s temperature homeostasis.

Inhibition of these prostaglandins by inhibiting the enzyme required for their synthesis is essential for the management of pain and inflammation in the body. Aspirin can manage and treat fever-like symptoms by inhibiting these hormones and inducing proper regulation of body temperature.

Irreversible inhibition of local hormones in the body, and eventually platelet aggregation is what separates Aspirin from other NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Diclofenac as they are reversible inhibitors.

Adverse Effects of Aspirin

Aspirin is a widely available, over-the-counter medication that is used by almost all age groups. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind the fact that there are several side effects of this medication that need to be considered.

Aspirin use is contraindicated in pregnancy, especially after the 20th week of pregnancy as it can result in kidney disorders in the fetus as a result of decreased levels of amniotic fluid.

Moreover, it isn’t recommended to be used in children with influenza or the common cold, as it can result in the development of a nearly fatal, progressive brain disease known as Reye’s Syndrome. The use of this medication is contraindicated to patients on warfarin treatment or those with disorders affecting the lining of the stomach such as peptic ulcers and gastritis. The medication should not be taken with alcohol.

Some of the common side effects of Aspirin include:

  • Skin rash
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Abdominal distress
  • Heartburn
  • Tinnitus
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache

Aspirin should not be used if there is a history of gastrointestinal disorders, without the recommendation of a healthcare professional.

Some of the more severe side effects of Aspirin include:

  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Cerebral microbleeds
  • Reye Syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding

Types of Drug Interaction With CBD

Cannabidiol or CBD has several benefits that can be credited for its rising popularity, however, it can produce severe complications when it interacts with other drugs.

CBD can interact with other drugs to produce either increased or decreased effects of the main drug.

These interactions can have either low, moderate, or severe clinical significance with low interactions not requiring any form of precaution, moderate interactions being avoided unless medically necessary, and severe being avoided at all costs.

Based on the effect of CBD on the main drug, the CBD-drug interactions can be classified into three types:

1. Agonistic Interaction

CBD increases the effect of the drug by exerting the same effects. This is common in drugs that share similar painkilling, sedative, anxiolytic, or anti-inflammatory effects.

2. Antagonistic Interaction

CBD decreases the effect of the drug by either clearing the drug from the system faster or inhibiting its effects. This is common in drugs with effects that are opposite to CBD — such as stimulants, emetics, or low blood pressure medications.

3. Metabolic Competition

CBD blocks or competes with the metabolism of medications in the liver. This can cause the concentrations of both substances to increase in the bloodstream, potentially leading to side effects.

This interaction is most concerning for medications used on a daily basis because it can cause levels to rise to dangerous levels over time.

Key Takeaways: Can CBD and Aspirin be Taken Together?

CBD and Aspirin have similar effects for managing pain and inflammation. There’s some mild risk of interaction between these substances, but only when used in high doses or for long periods of time.

Most people find greater pain relief when using both Aspirin and CBD together.

CBD and Aspirin – August 2022

Aspirin is typically used by a person to relieve minor pain and aches or to reduce fever. Veterinarians also often prescribe aspirin for dogs that are suffering from musculoskeletal or osteoarthritis inflammation.

But can people take aspirin and use CBD at the same time?

The cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which is found within the liver, is responsible for metabolizing (breaking down) potentially toxic compounds, including over 60% percent of any drugs consumed (5 ) .

Certain substances can affect processing times within this system, making drugs metabolize faster or slower than they would on their own.

Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, leading to an overall increase in processing times (6 ) .

In a study published by the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers illustrated the effect of low-dose aspirin administration on the activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) in healthy human subjects (7 ) .

Researchers of the said study found that the effects of aspirin on the CYP450 system of enzymes depend on the specific type of enzyme under the CYP450 family of enzymes.

Given that the specific effects of combining CBD with aspirin have not been established in any scientific study, using the two substances together is not recommended.

Can Another Antiplatelet Be a Substitute for Aspirin So CBD Oil Can Be Taken ?

Ticlopidine (marketed as Ticlid), an effective inhibitor of platelet formation, is indicated for patients who cannot take aspirin or in whom aspirin has not worked to prevent a thrombotic stroke (8 ) .

A thrombotic stroke is one that is caused by thrombosis, the formation or presence of a blood clot within a blood vessel.

However, ticlopidine inhibits multiple CYP450 types of enzymes, as data from a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed (9 ) .

According to the research findings, the plasma concentrations and/or toxicity of drugs whose elimination pathways involve the different types of CYP450 enzymes increased when ticlopidine is concomitantly administered.

Thus, ticlopidine may also interact with CBD in the same way that aspirin does.

Given that the specific effects of combining CBD with aspirin have not been established with scientific evidence, using ticlopidine is also not recommended to use with CBD.

It is interesting to note, however, that bleeding time was significantly prolonged by aspirin alone and by ticlopidine alone.

However, the most significant prolongation was produced by aspirin plus ticlopidine, according to results of a study published by the American Heart Association (10 ) .

The results of the study also demonstrated that the combination of aspirin and ticlopidine is a potent antiplatelet strategy.

Can CBD replace Aspirin?

There is no scientific data to establish CBD as a treatment option in the same way that people use aspirin. The two drugs may interact with the heart in different ways.

An article on aspirin risks and benefits by Mark Fendrick, M.D., published by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

In the said article, Fendrick says that aspirin interferes with the blood’s clotting action and reduces the clumping action of platelets, possibly preventing a heart attack (11 ) .

Still, he cautions that it is not advisable to take aspirin tablets, hoping to prevent a heart attack, without a doctor’s supervision .

Is CBD a safer alternative to aspirin in preventing heart attack?

Data from a 2012 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that CBD influenced platelet formation, which could support the ability of CBD to delay or prevent the development of cardiovascular disorders (12 ) .

However, the study was done on animal subjects. Whether the responses to CBD would translate into the human cardiovascular system remains to be established.

In another study , which was first published by JCI Insight in 2017, results showed that CBD could lower blood pressure, which could help prevent hypertensive heart disease (13 ) .

The study was done on healthy volunteers, however. The researchers noted that further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.

New Guidelines for Aspirin Use

According to an October 2019 article published by the American College of Physicians, recent research based on a 2017 National Health Interview Survey has found that, in certain groups of people, there are few advantages and a higher risk of bleeding from daily aspirin use (14 ) .

In response to the results of the survey, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology updated their guidelines in March of 2019.

The two agencies no longer recommend aspirin for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults aged 70 and above or for those with a higher risk of bleeding, like those with stomach (peptic) ulcers.

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Thus, medical experts advise that people speak with their health care providers before taking aspirin daily.

Two Types of Blood Thinners: Which Type is Aspirin?

There are two primary types of blood thinners. Anticoagulants, like heparin or warfarin (Coumadin), slow down the aggregation or formation of clots.

On the other hand, antiplatelet drugs, like aspirin, inhibit blood cells (platelets) from clumping together to form a clot (15 ) .

Aspirin as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce fever and inflammation and relieve pain. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Aspirin, unlike other NSAIDs, can help certain people lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke. However, taking aspirin is not recommended for everyone as the antiplatelet can cause severe bleeding, according to an article published by the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) (16 ) .

The article says that people who are over 65 years old or who have existing kidney, heart, liver, stomach, or intestinal disease are at increased risk for complications .

How NSAIDs Work

NSAIDs work by blocking enzymes called COX-1 and COX-2. These enzymes produce prostaglandins, a group of compounds made by the cells in the body (17 ) .

Prostaglandins made by COX-1 enzymes actuate platelets and protect the lining of stomach and intestines. Prostaglandins produced by COX-2 enzymes are generated in response to injury or infection, controlling inflammation.

Most NSAIDs work non-selectively on both enzymes. However, this lack of selectivity becomes an issue given that pain and inflammation relief from NSAIDs come from blocking COX-2. When COX-1 is also blocked, unwanted adverse side effects emerge.

Aspirin, an NSAID, functions by blocking the production of prostaglandins, the on-off switch in cells that control pain and inflammation. Thus, aspirin prevents mild inflammation and pain (18 ) .

“To the consumer, aspirin is almost a miracle drug,” says Nimita Thekkepat, assistant professor of pharmacy at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “It helps inflammation, fever, and it can save your life from a heart attack.”

However, while aspirin blocks the type of prostaglandins that trigger pain or lead to clotting and narrowing of the blood vessels and inflammation, the drug also blocks a different kind of prostaglandins that protect the stomach lining.

Aspirin belongs to a group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, that include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and ketoprofen (Orudis).

Among these NSAIDs, aspirin induces the most irritation and the most toxic (painkiller) to the stomach, says Dr Richard Brasington, head of the Division of Rheumatology at Washington University School of Medicine.

Medical experts, like Brasington, warn against taking a variety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at the same time as they neutralize each other, making neither drugs perform well. The remedy is to wait several hours after taking one medicine before taking the next.

Blood Thinners and NSAIDs, A Bad Mix

NSAIDs impact the way platelets work and could impede with healthy blood clotting, which could increase the risk of bleeding, especially in the digestive tract, says cardiologist Dr Deepak L. Bhatt, a Harvard Medical School professor, in an article published by Harvard Health (19 ) .

Bhatt also adds that taking NSAIDs together with blood thinners raises the bleeding risk even more.

Understanding CBD

Medical marijuana, sometimes referred to as medical cannabis, is a term for derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant (20 ) .

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are common cannabinoids that are natural constituents of cannabis plants, which include marijuana and hemp. Thus, CBD can either be a hemp or cannabis extract.

Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp contains excellent quantities of CBD. THC induces a euphoric high, while CBD helps promote relaxation and calmness.

In a study published in the Cerebrum Journal, researchers explained that the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid molecules, and their metabolic enzymes, is crucial in maintaining homeostasis, or balance, amongst physiological functions (21 ) .

CBD Oil or Hemp Oil?

The term “hemp oil” is sometimes used to refer to the CBD-rich product extracted from the hemp plant’s flowers and leaves, which is essentially CBD oil. However, the term is also used to refer to hemp seed oil that contains no CBD.

Although hemp seed oil is not CBD oil, which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant, note that oil pressed from hemp seed does not contain CBD, THC, and plant cannabinoids (22 ) .

CBD oil is available in different varieties, such as full-spectrum (oil derived from the whole plant), THC-free distillate, and CBD isolates.

Cannabis and Aspirin

In a 2013 study published in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, it was shown that the ECS is involved in numerous body functions, including the modulation of pain and inflammation (23 ) .

In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management , author Ethan Russo found that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has twenty times the anti-inflammatory potency of aspirin (24 ) .

Results from his research also suggest that cannflavin A, a flavone unique to cannabis, inhibits PGE-2 thirty times more potently than aspirin, although further examinations are needed (25 ) .

PGE-2 (Prostaglandin E2) is a bioactive lipid that elicits a wide range of biological effects associated with cancer and inflammation (26 ) .

Flavones are a sub-group of flavonoids shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-thrombogenic (prevents blood clot), and neuroprotective activities through different mechanisms of action outside a living organism and in animal models (27 ) .

Cannabidiol and CYP2D6

Cannabidiol, a major phytocannabinoid, is a potent atypical inhibitor for CYP2D6, according to a study published in the Drug Metabolism and Disposition Journal (28 ) .

Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are closely-related compounds naturally found in cannabis, like CBD and THC.

In the said study, the researchers investigated the inhibitory impacts of the primary phytocannabinoids on the activity of human CYP2D6. The results indicated that CBD caused directly blocked CYP2D6 potency.

Drug to Drug Interactions

In a 2016 study published in the Epilepsia Journal , the authors found that repeated administration of CBD may induce CYP2B enzymes in animal subjects, which may have implications for people with epilepsy as antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), such as valproate and clobazam, are metabolized via these enzymes (29 ) .

Still, the antiepileptic mechanisms of CBD have not been known. The researchers noted that there is a lack of data from longitudinal double-blind, randomized, controlled studies on the efficacy of pure CBD for any disorder.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex as the first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS), the symptoms of which do not typically respond to anti-seizure medications (30 ) .

While CBD is the active ingredient in Epidiolex, it also contains inactive ingredients that include dehydrated alcohol, sesame seed oil, strawberry flavor, and sucralose (31 ) .

Aspirin and Beta Blockers

Aspirin blunts the vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) caused by both angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta blockers in hypertensive patients and in patients with heart failure. This conclusion was derived from a study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (32 ) .

The specific mechanisms that cause this interaction are unknown, and further studies are needed. Until conclusive evidence is available, it is not advisable to use aspirin in conjunction with beta blockers.

Aspirin and Warfarin

A 2017 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal analyzed CBD safety and side effects (33 ) .

Researchers of the said study noted that while CBD can raise the levels of concentration of certain medications in the blood, its adverse side effects can sometimes outweigh the advantages.

Based on the results of the study, the authors indicated that CBD could cause a surge in the level of the anticoagulant (blood thinner), warfarin (Coumadin), by accentuating aspirin’s blood-thinning property.


Aspirin is part of a group of painkillers and fever reducers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Meanwhile, CBD’s broad utility for pain relief may be partly explained by its anti-inflammatory effects.

CBD’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties may help lower risk factors that can lead to heart disease, like high blood pressure , as a 2017 study suggests (34 ) .

Still, despite CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits, taking it together with aspirin is not recommended . Neither is it advised to use CBD products in any form (gummies, tincture, vape, or topical) with other antiplatelet prescription drugs. Although using aspirin and CBD may each have its advantages, it also comes with risks. As studies mentioned above demonstrate, the risks may outweigh the health benefits.

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