CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the active compounds from the cannabis plant known to provide a wide range of health benefits including relief from anxiety, chronic pain relief, help manage blood pressure, and even treatment for two forms of epilepsy. But like any other medication, CBD can provide adverse effects like dry mouth and nausea.
Some people also wonder if CBD can be taken alongside their medications. For women, they may not be sure if they can take CBD with birth control pills. However, doctors typically don’t recommend medications that can possibly interact with CBD, while other drugs need the dosage to be reduced or modified to prevent serious issues. This article will give more information about how CBD can affect hormonal contraceptives, as well as other birth control options you can use when taking CBD.
Does CBD impact the effectiveness of the pill?
Yes. One of the most common medications that CBD interacts with is the birth control pill. According to research, CBD is an enzyme inhibitor which means that it interacts with an enzyme and reduces the rate of its activity. CBD can also affect the liver enzyme called CP450 (Cytochrome P450 enzymes), responsible for about 60% of all the medication we take. It means that CBD with the birth control pill can increase the risk of pregnancy.
A study published in Biochemical Pharmacology stated that cannabinoid compounds fail to stimulate estrogen receptors in vitro conditions at very high concentrations but CBD competes with a naturally occurring estrogen called estradiol and hinders it to work properly. This means that CBD can decrease the effects of the birth control pill.
What are other birth control options when taking CBD?
Progesterone only pills are oral contraceptives said to work great if you use CBD and do not want to have kids yet. Progesterone is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body but can be made in a laboratory. This hormone works by preventing ovulation and resulting in a decrease in luteinizing hormone, which is a hormone that triggers the release of an egg from the ovary.
Using a barrier method of birth control or a non-hormonal type of birth control is another option if you want to take CBD. This includes condoms, contraceptive patches or rings, or a diaphragm (silicone cup). Although hormonal contraceptives are convenient and reliable, taking non-hormonal birth control can also be effective. You won’t have to remember to take the pill at the same time every day and you won’t need prescriptions to use them.
Can I take CBD and a birth control pill?
Yes, you can take CBD with birth control pills. However, according to the Center for Women’s Health, CBD may change how effective birth control bills are, so talk to your GP first before taking CBD and the birth control pill to avoid unplanned pregnancy.
Factors that could affect the pill’s effectiveness
There are many birth control options available to reduce the chance of unplanned pregnancy. However, other factors can make oral contraceptives less reliable. These include:
- Taking certain medications
- Taking antibiotics
- Taking herbal remedies
- Taking the pill late or forgetting to take it
- Not taking injections on time (for people taking birth control injections)
- Not changing patches or rings on time (for people taking contraceptive patches)
- Not using condoms or diaphragms properly
- Not waiting long enough after vasectomy
- Not abstaining when you’re fertile
- Obesity or excess weight
Many methods of birth control come with emotional and physical challenges. You need to work with your doctor to find other solutions to balance your birth control needs.