July 20, 2021 3 min read
CBD is often used to treat or manage insomnia, seizures, chronic pain, arthritis, stress, and anxiety, but can CBD lower blood pressure? High blood pressure is a very common condition in the U.S. with over 108 million adults suffering from the health issue. Chronic high blood pressure can cause serious problems such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, vision loss, dementia, and memory problems. CBD may be a viable natural treatment to lower blood pressure without the use of prescription medication.
Cannabidiol, typically just referred to as CBD, is a chemical compound that is naturally produced by cannabis plants. Very similar to THC, another cannabinoid (chemical compound) found in cannabis, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects. This is great news for people who don’t want to get high, but still want to benefit from the many health benefits of the green goddess. Many parents and working professionals turn to CBD since they can keep a clear mind throughout the day. The main reason for the rise in popularity of CBD is due to its legal status in the U.S. Former President Trump passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp, thus also making hemp-derived products such as CBD legal across the country. To abide by the law, hemp-derived CBD products must have less than 0.3% THC.
Cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times and is known for having a wide range of health benefits for both humans and other animals. CBD works by triggering our endocannabinoid system. This complex system of neurotransmitters is responsible for regulating important functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and fertility. Scientists are still uncertain as to exactly how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, however it seems to attach itself to certain receptors that produce these positive sought-after effects. CBD is used to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep disorders, treat epilepsy and seizures, ease inflammation, manage pain such as that caused by arthritis and cancer treatment, and more.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a serious issue that can lead to a stroke or heart attack if left untreated. Roughly half of American adults are diagnosed with high blood pressure and many are on prescription medication. CBD may be able to help those with this ailment get off of blood pressure medication, however be sure to speak with your doctor before using CBD.
There hasn’t been much research done regarding CBD treatment for most health conditions, however there is a scientific study that specifically looked at the correlation between CBD and blood pressure in humans. The groundbreaking study from 2017 found that just one moderately-sized dose of CBD reduced blood pressure in healthy adults. Nine adult males in good health were either given a placebo or 600 mg of CBD and were monitored. All participants who took the dose of CBD had lower resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume. The study concluded that “...a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress, particularly cold stress, and especially in the post-test periods. This may reflect the anxiolytic and analgesic effects of CBD, as well as any potential direct cardiovascular effects.” A more recent study in 2020 looked at both humans and rats. It found that CBD improved blood flow and opened up blood vessels in rats as well as obese, hypertensive, and hypercholesteremic participants.
CBD is known to reduce stress and anxiety as well as decrease inflammation. Since blood pressure increases when a person is very anxious, it makes sense that CBD also lowers blood pressure. The anti-inflammation properties seem to relax the body’s blood vessels and allow more blood to flow. The 2017 study found that CBD reduced a person’s resting systolic blood pressure by around 6 mmHg.
The same study from 2017 found that while CBD lowered blood pressure and stroke volume in participants, it also increased their heart rate by approximately 10 beats per minute. This is important to keep in mind when beginning a CBD regime and something to mention to your healthcare provider.
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