According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease accounts for every one in four deaths in the United States(1). This alarming number urges people to look for natural and safer options to combat conditions linked to heart disease, like high blood pressure.
Cannabidiol (CBD) products, like CBD oil, are gaining popularity as the best alternative treatments for high blood pressure. CBD oil has been shown to possess therapeutic benefits in alleviating symptoms of conditions linked to heart diseases, like anxiety, depression, and sleep problems(2). Others also turn to organic essential oils when looking for the best alternative treatments for hypertension.
While high blood pressure may not always have clear warning signs or symptoms, some of the best medical procedures for screening hypertension, like interventional radiology (IR), may detect them. Seek professional advice to get accurate diagnosis and treatment.
CBD and High Blood Pressure
According to Mayo Clinic, the more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure(3).
CBD is one of over one hundred natural compounds in cannabis plants. Found mostly in hemp, CBD has been shown to have characteristics that may benefit people with hypertension.
CBD and Blood Pressure
A 2017 study exposed healthy human volunteers to stress and gave them a dose of CBD. Results observed that a single dose of the compound may help reduce the subjects’ blood pressure(4).
In a study on rats exposed to a stressful situation, researchers noted that CBD may lower the animals’ blood pressure(5).
However, both studies used healthy subjects. There is no guarantee that researchers would arrive at the same conclusion if the experiment was conducted with subjects of different health conditions.
Further research is needed to explore CBD’s role in treating cardiovascular disorders.
CBD vs. Anxiety
Anxiety and sleeping disorders are linked to high blood pressure. A 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal showed that CBD may improve sleeping patterns and benefit individuals with anxiety-related conditions(6).
A cross-sectional study of cannabidiol users, published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, emphasized CBD’s potential therapeutic efficacy in psychotic symptoms, anxiety, depression, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis symptoms, and chronic pain(7).
CBD vs. Inflammation
A 2019 study published in Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) highlighted the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD(8). As inflammation can cause high blood pressure, reducing inflammation may help manage hypertension.
However, other diseases may also cause inflammation. More research is needed to show the link between inflammation and CBD.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is recommended while taking CBD oil and other CBD products, like creams, lotions, and gummies.
CBD and Arterial Walls
CBD may help relax the arteries’ walls and reduce blood pressure(9). In a study, researchers noted CBD’s potential to protect the arteries from the significant weakening and damage caused by high blood pressure.
CBD vs. Arrhythmia
An irregular rhythm in the heartbeat characterizes arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, your heart could be beating too slow (bradycardia), too fast (tachycardia), or irregularly.
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that CBD may effectively suppress cardiac arrhythmia(10).
However, this was from an animal study. More human studies are needed to explore CBD’s antiarrhythmic effects.
CBD and Stroke
Heart diseases may increase the risk of stroke. Stroke has two causes: a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) and the bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke)(11).
Signs and symptoms of stroke include(12):
- Numbness of the face, arm, or leg
- Difficulty speaking and understanding other people’s statements
- Problems seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking
Results of a 2010 review, published in Pharmaceuticals, showed that CBD may help protect stroke patients from brain damage(13). It was also beneficial in the recovery stage, where it showed its potential to boost brain functions.
In another review, CBD increased cerebral blood flow (CBF) in mouse models of stroke(14). However, the same study emphasized the limited research in human subjects.
More research is needed to confirm if the findings also apply to humans.
Choosing the Right CBD for You
Choosing the right CBD may be tricky, especially given the wide range of options available in the market. To ensure safety and maximum benefits, consider these tips.
Know the Different CBD Types
Knowing the difference between CBD types will help you identify the best CBD products to suit your needs and preferences.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all compounds in cannabis plants, including the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Full-spectrum CBD products produce the “entourage effect” once all compounds interact.
Broad-spectrum CBD is like a full-spectrum CBD but without the THC. Broad-spectrum CBD is recommended for those who do not like the “high” associated with THC.
Meanwhile, CBD isolate is pure CBD extracted in isolation from all other compounds. While it does not produce the entourage effect, it allows you to get the maximum CBD benefits.
Conducting research is necessary to ensure that you are choosing safe and high-quality CBD products. For instance, know the source of hemp and the extraction methods applied to the CBD products.
You should also check whether these CBD products undergo third-party lab testing. Reliable CBD brands make lab results available on their website.
Verify if these CBD products are free from harmful contaminants by checking the COA (certificate of analysis).
Check Product Labels
Trusted CBD brands provide the necessary information on their product labels. Check whether the ingredients are free from artificial flavors and other synthetic additives.
Product labels also indicate the CBD content. Confirm whether it matches the lab result provided on the brand’s website.
Credible CBD brands also avoid adding unsupported health claims on their product labels or websites.
Know CBD’s Possible Side Effects
While CBD holds promising benefits in alleviating conditions linked to heart diseases, it has its corresponding side effects, including(15):
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Changes in weight
CBD may also interact with other medications that you are taking, like blood thinners.
Seek Professional Help
While you may start taking CBD products at lower doses, you should consult a health professional to ensure proper use.
Medical advice is particularly crucial if you are taking other medications for other medical conditions.
How to Take CBD Oil For Heart Disease
You can take CBD in various formulations: oils, tinctures, creams, lotions, and gummies. CBD oils, tinctures, and gummies are recommended for ingestion.
These products work with the digestive system for easy absorption of compounds. However, you may also take CBD oils and tinctures sublingually (placed directly under your tongue) to absorb CBD into your system quickly.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, Sept. 8). Heart Disease Facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
- Corroon, J., & Phillips, J. A. (2018). A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 152–161. doi.org/10.1089/can.2018.0006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/#:~:text=Results%3A%20Almost%2062%25%20of%20CBD,reported%20%E2%80%9Cnot%20very%20well.%E2%80%9D
- Mayo Clinic. High blood pressure (hypertension). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410
- Jadoon KA, Tan GD, O’Sullivan SE. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight. 2017;2(12):e93760. Published 2017 Jun 15. doi:10.1172/jci.insight.93760. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
- Resstel, L. B., Tavares, R. F., Lisboa, S. F., Joca, S. R., Corrêa, F. M., & Guimarães, F. S. (2009). 5-HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats. British journal of pharmacology, 156(1), 181–188. doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2008.00046.x. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697769/
- Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041. doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
- Corroon, J., & Phillips, J. A. (2018). A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users. Op Cit.
- Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 21. doi.org/10.3390/antiox9010021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/#:~:text=Therefore%2C%20it%20has%20been%20suggested,of%20immune%20cells%20%5B66%5D.
- Stanley, C. P., Hind, W. H., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2013). Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 75(2), 313–322. doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04351.x. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22670794/
- Walsh, S. K., Hepburn, C. Y., Kane, K. A., & Wainwright, C. L. (2010). Acute administration of cannabidiol in vivo suppresses ischaemia-induced cardiac arrhythmias and reduces infarct size when given at reperfusion. British journal of pharmacology, 160(5), 1234–1242. doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00755.x. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936031/
- Mayo Clinic. Stroke. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113
- Hayakawa, K.; Mishima, K.; Fujiwara, M. Therapeutic Potential of Non-Psychotropic Cannabidiol in Ischemic Stroke. Pharmaceuticals, 2010, 3, 2197-2212. doi.org/10.3390/ph3072197. https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/3/7/2197
- Sultan, S. R., Millar, S. A., England, T. J., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2017). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Haemodynamic Effects of Cannabidiol. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 81. doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00081. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28286481/
- Bauer, B. A. (2018, Dec. 20). What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700
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