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Shanti RyleContent Writer
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If you rely on the beta-blocker propranolol to manage a heart condition, you may wonder if it’s safe to use both propranolol and marijuana.
Cannabis, while used to treat a wide variety of health concerns, carries some cardiovascular risks and is known to cause some adverse effects like increased heart rate and blood pressure. The current research – while minimal – suggests a potential benefit to combining propranolol with cannabis, with the former working to mitigate the heart-related side effects of the latter. But, to avoid caution, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding cannabis products to your daily regimen if you take a beta-blocker.
This article dives into what we know about pairing these two substances and what patients need to know about using marijuana if they take propranolol.
What Is Propranolol?
Propranolol is a medication used to treat conditions to do with the heart, such as high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and tremors. It’s part of a group of drug beta blockers and is available under the brand names Hemangeol, Inderal, InnoPran, and Pronol.
Uses and How It Works
The drug changes how the body responds to nerve impulses, lowering overall blood pressure and heart rate and making it easier for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.
It is sometimes prescribed to treat migraines, severe chest pain, or thickened heart muscle and is available in capsule, solution (liquid), and tablet form.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Propranolol
Evidence from an old study suggests that pre-treatment with propranolol could effectively block the adverse cardiovascular effects of marijuana, mitigating increased heart rate and blood pressure. This means that using propranolol could protect those with heart conditions from the potential negative effects cannabis may have on the heart.
However, according to the study, the subjective experience of the “high” was lessened when individuals took propranolol before consuming cannabis.
No current research has examined the potential risks of combining propranolol and cannabis, but it’s essential to proceed with caution when using any two drugs concurrently.
Keep an eye on your heart rate and minimize cannabis intake to what’s necessary to avoid unwanted impacts on your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall heart function. When in doubt, be sure to consult with your physician or pharmacist.
What to Do If You Need to Use Both Propranolol and Marijuana
Patients should proceed with caution when combining marijuana use and propranolol treatment, as the combination may alter the latter’s efficacy.
Cannabis can impact certain drugs’ metabolization, mainly when consumed via inhalation. Other consumption methods may have less of an impact on propranolol’s effectiveness.
CBD has also shown mild anticoagulant (blood-thinning) effects, which may react with propranolol’s effect on blood flow. Despite its scarcity, the evidence suggests that propranolol may be a valuable tool in managing the intoxication and physiological effects of cannabis, broadening its therapeutic window.
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The Bottom Line
We need more studies on the possible interactions of propranolol and cannabis before we can understand how the two interact. Be sure to talk with your doctor before mixing propranolol and marijuana to understand your unique medical needs and potential pharmacological interactions.
If you’re interested in medical marijuana, you can apply for a medical marijuana card today through Leafwell’s virtual clinic. Our team is here to guide you through the process step-by-step.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should you not take propranolol?
Individuals with asthma, slow heart rates, or other severe heart conditions should not use propranolol unless recommended by a physician.
Can CBD cause irregular heartbeat?
No research suggests that CBD causes irregular heartbeat, but some preliminary studies suggest that CBD may help regulate heart rhythm.
What medications should not be taken with beta-blockers?
Beta-blockers like propranolol negatively interact with many common prescription drugs, including NSAIDs, psychotropic dogs, anesthetics, warfarin, anti-anginal drugs, and many others.