When selecting what you can take together, medication compatibility, contraindications and interactions are significant factors. While some combinations can be harmless, others, due to potent active ingredients, can prove to have strong side effects, including fatalities.
The effects of CBD on the body remain scarce as it is a relatively new entrant in the market. In addition, some states still deem marijuana and associated extracts illegal.
However, the effects of CBD on bodily functions are well known, especially in the neuroscience discipline of medicine. With limited studies, it is possible to extrapolate the interactions with various drugs, including birth control pills.
How do Birth Control Pills Work
Birth control is a core facet of reproductive health and family planning. Of the various options available to females, birth control pills form a significant percentage due to ease of availability and intake and minimal side effects.
Birth control pills release hormones into your body that prevent pregnancy by reducing or stopping ovulation. In addition, hormones prepare your body to accept the fertilized egg. Birth control pills contain a small amount of human-made estrogen and progestin hormones.
The human-made hormones in the pill inhibit the body's natural hormones, preventing pregnancy. In addition, birth control pills stop the body from ovulating and change the cervical mucus making it difficult for the sperm to go through the cervix and fertilize the egg.
The pills can also change the womb's lining, making implantation unlikely. Among the most used pills are the combined pill and the progestin-only pill. The combined pill contains two hormones: progesterone and estrogen, which changes the uterus and cervix and stops ovulation, lowering your chances of pregnancy.
The combined pill has a package of 21 pills. Each pill is to be taken daily with a 7-day break at the end of 21 days.
When you use the combined pill, ovulation stops endometrium changes and cannot release an egg, and the cervical mucus thickens, preventing sperms from passing. The effects of the combined pill are easy to reverse when you want to get pregnant.
The progestin-only pills contain only one human-made hormone, with each pack containing 28 pills to be taken continuously. The progestin-only pill works to deregulate the hormonal cycle of the body, making procreation impossible.
CBD Effects on Birth Control Pills Metabolism and Absorption
The liver is the primary metabolizer of the medication we take. The central metabolism happens through the CP450 enzyme. The CP450 breaks down the medication and extracts the required ingredients. Unfortunately, some foods and drinks inhibit metabolism. Therefore, doctors caution you on some foods to avoid maximizing metabolism.
CBD is an active CP450 enzyme blocker. In this regard, it thus disrupts the function of birth control pills.
As much as the metabolism rate depends on individual physiological characteristics, the presence of CBD in the body significantly affects the metabolism and effectiveness percentage. You might take the pills diligently, but the intended impact is minimal.
Also, note that low metabolism with regular intake, as birth control pills are taken daily, leads to a build-up of the unprocessed active ingredients in the body. This either leads to exaggeration of the effects of the birth control pills due to the accumulation of the chemicals or an imbalance in the body's mineral constituents.
CBD with Estrogen-Based Pills
The enzyme-inhibiting property of CBD significantly affects the effectiveness of estrogen-based birth control, especially the pills.
In addition, other than blocking the metabolism, CBD affects estrogen production in the body. Sometimes, the effect on bodily functions mimics the natural estrogen effects, thus tricking the body into believing there is already enough estrogen in the body.
CBD has been proven to affect the hormonal cycle of the body. This is because it acts directly on the endocannabinoid system as the natural endocannabinoids do on the major bodily systems, including the reproductive system.
Thus, when you ingest extra CBD, the regulation may go out of sync, and for hormone-based functions such as the female reproductive system, this affects the cycle.
CBD may alter the effects of various birth control pills. Pills with estrogen likely cause adverse reactions when combined with CBD. CBD can decrease the contraceptive potential of estrogen based birth control.
Also, some studies show that estrogen can reduce the elimination of CBD from the body, slowing down elimination and encouraging accumulation.
CBD with birth control pills may also induce drowsiness and breakthrough bleeding since they affect the body's normal functions when taken into the body. CBD and birth control pills may cause side effects to the body, including:
- Digestive issues;
- Changes in blood pressure;
- Dry mouth;
- Breakthrough bleeding.
Administration of CBD with birth control pills like estrogen may produce life-threatening effects; thus, it's very important to consult a medical professional before taking it. In addition, CBD may decrease the effectiveness of estrogen-based pills, leading to increased risks of unplanned pregnancy.
CBD with Progesterone-based Birth Control Pills
Progesterone is the building block of sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. For women, it regulates menstruation, ovulation, and other aspects of the female reproductive system. Other vital functions include sparking libido, balancing mood, and controlling brain activity.
Studies show that the blocking effect experienced with estrogen pills when you use CBD is absent with progesterone-based birth control pills. Therefore, the information presents a viable alternative if you take CBD and birth control simultaneously.
Progesterone-only pills are more reliable with CBD, as progesterone's primary role is to prevent ovulation by decreasing the luteinizing hormone (LH). In females, a spike in LH triggers ovulation readying the body for pregnancy.
Thus, a reduction significantly reduces the chances of pregnancy. And by the way, CBD seems not to change the body's usage of progesterone hormones.
CBD Effect on the Bodily Hormones
CBD fights hormonal imbalances in women. The ovulation period is often associated with a hormonal imbalance due to the peak in production - hormonal imbalance results in mood swings, fatigue, and lack of concentration. The intake of birth control pills containing the same hormones can trigger the same effect on the body.
In cases where the hormonal imbalance is excess and causing undesired effects, the metabolism-blocking properties of CBD can come in handy to balance out.
A significant amount of natural cannabinoids, via the endocannabinoid systems, exist in female reproductive cells. Therefore, ingesting more CBD affects the cell's overall performance concerning fertility, reproduction, and other hormonal functions. Thus, the exact dosage of birth control pills performs differently in someone who takes CBD than a non-user.
Correct Use of CBD with Birth Control Pills
While there is no definitive evidence that CBD explicitly decreases the effectiveness of birth control pills, studies indicate the function and side effects interact with the medication. From the studies, you can safely take CBD with birth control pills, but to reduce the risk of pregnancy, it is safer to take progesterone-based pills.
If using estrogen-based pills, you can manage your body and cycle and either use CBD during the safe days.
If you are on CBD and want to start birth control pills or on pills and seek to experiment with CBD, a safe bet is to consult your doctor first. As highlighted, the effects and contraindications vary with your body’s physiology and the type of birth control pills.
Working with your variables, the doctor should be able to advise on intake, if possible, including dosage and frequency.