More people are seeking natural remedies to lower blood pressure, like CBD oil.
This plant-based, non-intoxicating extract of the cannabis plant has unique properties that help to alleviate hypertension and support improved blood flow.
In particular, CBD oil reduces blood pressure by:
- Reducing stress: CBD is anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) and works to alleviate stress symptoms. Chronic stress is a significant risk factor for hypertension. Cortisol (the stress hormone) causes elevated blood pressure and heart risks. Preventing these risk factors by mitigating stress is an excellent way to manage blood pressure better.
- Vasodilation: interestingly, the cannabinoid is directly vasodilating. This means CBD can help to widen blood vessels, improving blood flow. Correspondingly, it aids with hypertensive symptoms and counteracts high blood pressure.
- Cardiovascular inflammation: cannabinoids like CBD are anti-inflammatory via their endocannabinoid system effects. This helps protect arteries and blood vessels from inflammatory degradation. Doing so enables better cardiovascular well-being and circulation.
- Sleep: CBD oil can help improve and normalise sleep health. This reinforces the body’s ability to fight stress and the blood pressure problems resulting from poor sleep.
Early research is increasingly backing these effects. More clinical trials are demonstrating the benefits of CBD for high blood pressure.
While it won’t replace blood pressure medications like statins or blood thinners, CBD oil presents a natural way to bolster cardiovascular well-being.
Many of the phytonutrients it contains from hemp are also potently antioxidative. They work to defend cardiovascular cells from damage caused by oxidative stress.
Let’s delve into how CBD oil lowers blood pressure, its cardiovascular benefits, and its potential risks with blood pressure medications.
- 1 Can CBD Oil Lower Blood Pressure?
- 2 What Is High Blood Pressure?
- 3 What Is CBD?
- 4 Evidence for CBD’s Hypertension Benefits
- 5 Risks in Using CBD for Hypertension
- 6 Takeaways
- 7 FAQs
- 8 References
Can CBD Oil Lower Blood Pressure?
There are multiple ways that CBD oil helps reduce blood pressure.
Each of these effects has differing degrees of evidence behind it. The product’s most valuable and potent application for lowering blood pressure is its ability to prevent stress.
Keep in mind that although it helps mitigate high blood pressure, CBD oil won’t treat hypertension or cardiovascular conditions. It’s better taken as an overall aid for holistic wellness and circulation.
So, what are the main benefits of using CBD products to lower blood pressure?
Stress is very detrimental to the heart and blood vessels due to the effects of cortisol.
By blocking stress and keeping people calmer, CBD oil helps to reduce blood pressure.
Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Excessive cortisol release from stress is associated with poor sleep, suppressed immunity and cardiovascular decline.
Chronic exposure to cortisol aggravates inflammation across the cardiovascular system and heart. It’s a contributor to high blood pressure, hypertension and cardiac risks.
This makes preventing stress and staying relaxed vital to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
CBD oil is beneficial here because of its soothing, anxiolytic effects on the mind. It helps to suppress stress and improves resilience against daily stressors. Over time, this means chronic stress can be avoided, which will help lower blood pressure.
In studies, CBD oil displayed the best effects on blood pressure when used with stressed individuals. Those with normal baseline stress levels saw less overall cardiovascular benefit from it overall. This suggests that people with hypertension or blood pressure problems stemming from factors like a sedentary lifestyle won’t see as much benefit in using CBD oil for it.
Interestingly, CBD oil can directly improve blood flow by stimulating vasodilation.
It achieves this through the endocannabinoid system in the body. When consumed, CBD causes the body to produce endocannabinoids (endogenous cannabinoids). Some of these, such as anandamide, have vasodilatory properties. Research from the Journal of Neuropharmacology has demonstrated these properties.
This study revealed the vital link between the endocannabinoid and cardiovascular systems. It showed that anandamide and other endocannabinoids had cardiovascular-regulating benefits. In particular, these compounds normalised blood pressure and prevented vasoconstriction from hypertension. The actual mechanism behind this wasn’t apparent. What was clear was that endocannabinoids from CBD use had potent abilities in reducing cardiac and hypertensive health risks.
In other words, this means using CBD oil for hypertension is helpful because it prevents vasoconstriction. It functions as a vasodilator, assisting with blood flow to help with cardiovascular well-being.
Other studies have also suggested that these benefits may make CBD useful as a novel treatment for hypertension.
For example, a 2023 study explored the application of CBD in treating high blood pressure in both hypertensive and non-hypertensive subjects over five weeks. It used a placebo test group for comparison against subjects given a CBD oil treatment.
Versus placebo, using CBD oil daily over several weeks helped to lower systolic, diastolic and average blood pressure among subjects. It presented a potent, natural way of alleviating high blood pressure problems.
This hugely successful study opened the door for future investigations into how CBD can support lower blood pressure, reduce hypertension, and improve circulation.
Another way that CBD oil helps with hypertension and blood pressure reduction is through its anti-inflammatory properties.
Excessive inflammation is harmful to the heart and cardiovascular system.
Studies have linked it directly to arterial plaque build-up, poor circulation and elevated blood pressure.
Preventing chronic inflammation is essential to managing blood pressure levels. Chronic inflammation occurs from immune dysregulation.
Immune cells in the body, such as cytokines, can exacerbate cardiovascular inflammation and degrade artery or blood vessel structure.
This occurs due to micro damage that occurs in blood vessels when they are chronically inflamed.
Over prolonged periods, this damage accumulates and develops into arterial stiffness or plaque build-ups.
Preventing these sources of high blood pressure risks by using CBD oil is powerful.
A well-known property of CBD and other cannabinoids is their anti-inflammatory benefits. Many are capable of blocking inflammation through immune system modulation. For example, endocannabinoids produced from CBD help normalise the immune system’s cytokine production. This prevents chronic inflammation in the blood vessels, which helps with blood pressure.
Additionally, CBD oil contains several vital antioxidants that protect cardiovascular cells from degradation. For example, hemp-derived antioxidants such as Beta-Caryophyllene defend blood cells from oxidative stress. These natural antioxidative compounds bolster the abilities of CBD oil to provide cardioprotective benefits.
Poor sleep contributes to high blood pressure.
Because it supports sleep health, CBD oil can assist with reducing blood pressure.
It helps people sleep more easily by calming them at night. In addition, the cannabinoid helps reinforce circadian rhythm or sleep regularity through the endocannabinoid system.
CBD is particularly great for people with minor sleep problems like mild sleep apnoea. These disorders can adversely affect blood pressure and cause cardiac risks over time.
Studies have shown that CBD oil can lower blood pressure by preventing these issues. For instance, comparative research analyzed its effects on 29 patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. The group was dosed with CBD oil daily and had their blood oxygen concentrations measured during sleep each night. Their blood pressure and oxygen levels were compared to a control group given no medication.
The study concluded there was a positive correlation between endocannabinoid receptor activation from using CBD oil and reductions in hypertension symptoms.
It was thought that these effects resulted from suppressing sympathetic nervous system activity.
The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the stress response or ‘fight and flight’. Reducing its sensitivity meant sleep was improved, and sleep apnoea had less impact. Throughout the study, this enhanced blood pressure levels and mitigated hypertension in subjects.
Bolstering sleep health and preventing apnoea from damaging it was an excellent way CBD oil helped reduce blood pressure here.
Before continuing, let’s step back to understand what high blood pressure is and its causes.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is abnormal pressure in the body’s blood vessels. It’s known as hypertension when blood pressure is chronically elevated. Usually, this results from vasoconstriction or narrowing of the arteries and veins.
Blood pressure should generally sit under 120/80 and above 90/60 in systolic pressure for most healthy adults.
Pressure significantly below or above this range creates a wide range of dangerous health risks for the heart, organs and body.
Hypertension can lead to heart disease, strokes, chest pain, dizziness and other symptoms. It’s a leading contributor to heart attacks, which are the most common cause of death in Australia.
These risks are why more people are looking for natural ways to prevent hypertension, such as CBD oil.
Hypertension and blood pressure disorders don’t always show up with visible symptoms. They’re known as ‘silent killers’ because they often slip under the radar until too late. Regular blood pressure checks with your doctor are critical to detect any problems before they worsen.
Prevention is much more straightforward than cure for hypertension.
Preventative measures can include:
- Getting more movement and exercise.
- Keeping stress levels low.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Ensuring dietary quality is high.
- Getting enough sleep each night.
- Not smoking or drinking to excess.
These are the most essential foundational factors in avoiding hypertension in the first place. CBD oil is additionally helpful for healthy blood pressure here due to its stress-reducing benefits. Staying calm and mentally balanced has direct benefits in mitigating the risk of hypertension.
But when hypertension can’t be avoided, it often has to be treated using medications.
Statins, blood thinners or other blood pressure medications are sometimes unavoidable. Not taking them could mean someone has dangerous heart attack risks.
Doctors prescribe these medications to help manage and lower blood pressure. However, they’re usually a last resort because they can have many adverse side effects.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Many factors can contribute to chronic high blood pressure.
Genetics plays a significant role. Some people are born with inherited susceptibility to heart disease and hypertension.
For instance, congenital heart diseases can cause hypertensive symptoms and increased heart attack risk.
Lifestyle factors are also a major underlying cause. Smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, chronic stress, and a poor diet can all accelerate cardiovascular system decline. Carrying excess body weight and visceral fat are also risk factors.
Another factor tends to be sleep quality and sleep disorders. Poor sleep worsens cardiovascular function. It means the heart and blood vessels are less resilient and at greater risk of hypertension.
Boosting sleep quality is a lesser-known way that CBD oil can help mitigate hypertension.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a naturally occurring bioactive compound sourced from the hemp plant. It is known as a cannabinoid and is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in the plant.
CBD is different to the other primary cannabinoid, THC. Unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive. Due to this, it can’t get you intoxicated or ‘high’.
CBD activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body, which form part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Activating this system provides health benefits to the mind and body through multiple pathways. That’s because the endocannabinoid system has a regulatory role in maintaining immunity, sleep, mood, and metabolic processes.
But it also helps with cardiovascular regulation and function. More studies are showing the connection between endocannabinoids and heart health. These compounds produced by the ECS relax the arteries and blood vessels, helping to prevent them from constricting. In other words, they allow the heart and arteries to function ‘normally’ and avoid being dysregulated from problems like hypertension.
Evidence for CBD’s Hypertension Benefits
How does CBD work to lower blood pressure?
In the body, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. In doing so, it triggers effects that lower stress, supports cardiovascular health and mitigates hypertension.
Let’s explore the clinical evidence for these benefits.
While the clinical research into CBD oil’s benefits for blood pressure is limited, initial studies have been very positive.
Most of these trials have been targeted at understanding the stress-alleviating potential of CBD and how this may reduce blood pressure.
A 2017 study on nine healthy male volunteers yielded promising results. This experiment looked at the effects of a single 600mg CBD oil on blood pressure in volunteers across stressful and routine situations. Across the nine subjects tested, CBD reduced resting systolic blood pressure by an average of 6mmHg but didn’t affect diastolic blood pressure. In other words, using the product helped lower blood pressure in otherwise healthy people by calming them.
A separate study performed in 2020 produced similar results. Thirteen healthy men were provided 600mg of CBD oil or a placebo daily for a week in stressful and calm situations. Subjects given CBD showed marked reductions in blood pressure. However, the benefits were reduced over the seven days due to tolerance.
These benefits were far more pronounced when participants were subjected to stress. Stress was induced through mental distress, exercise and cold exposure. CBD’s anxiolytic and soothing mental capacities helped to keep blood pressure levels stable during stress inducement. Unstressed subjects saw less direct blood pressure reductions after CBD oil dosing.
A 2019 Brazilian study also investigated the effects of CBD oil on blood pressure. Specifically, it explored how lowering anxiety during public speaking tests could influence blood pressure. The findings reinforced CBD’s ability to mitigate hypertension by better regulating the stress response. The group that received a medium dose (300mg) of CBD oil before a stress-inducing public speaking test showed far better blood pressure metrics versus the placebo group.
While valid, these studies were biased due to being conducted on healthy individuals. It’s unclear if the same effects would be exhibited in individuals with hypertension or high blood pressure problems.
Furthermore, the researchers typically only looked at the effects of a single, large, well-timed dose of CBD oil per day. More regular use of CBD could have a differing efficacy for lowering blood pressure.
As such, these studies weren’t necessarily representative of real-world applications of the product for those with hypertension. But they still point towards a high degree of effectiveness where CBD oil is targeted at calming stress to prevent elevated blood pressure issues.
Risks in Using CBD for Hypertension
There are some potential risks involved in using CBD oil to lower blood pressure.
It can cause side effects in some people. This is relatively rare but can certainly occur.
A more significant risk is in combining CBD oil with blood pressure medications like statins. This needs to be avoided.
Let’s cover these risks so you can be aware of them.
Does CBD Oil Interact with Blood Pressure Medications?
As a general rule, it’s not wise or safe to take CBD oil with other medications.
Primarily, this is due to the product affecting how the liver processes other chemicals.
CBD suppresses the liver’s P450 enzymes, which are used for detoxification. Many medications like blood thinners rely on liver detoxification to be used safely in the body. As such, combining them while taking CBD products is not a good idea. It could lead to build-ups of either compound in the liver, causing damage or poisoning.
Because CBD has vasodilating effects, taking it alongside blood thinners can also cause risks with blood pressure dropping too much.
Common hypertension medications like ACE inhibitors are potent vasodilators. Using them with other vasodilators is unsafe as it could mean your arteries and blood vessels relax too much. Dizziness, fainting or cardiac risks may result from this.
No matter what medications you’re taking, you need to speak to your doctor first if you want to take CBD products with them.
If you have an underlying cardiac condition or existing hypertension problem, the dangers of combining medications with CBD oil are exacerbated.
Consulting with you will help prevent these dangers. They’ll help guide you on the right approach for treating your high blood pressure.
Not everyone tolerates CBD products well.
In some, adverse reactions can occur and present as side effects.
These are rare and also typically transient.
However, a risk among those with hypertension is that specific side effects may become more likely.
In particular, the risk of experiencing dizziness, fainting or lightheadedness from blood pressure changes when using CBD oil is higher.
Most people with hypertension have less cardiovascular resilience. As such, they are more susceptible to CBD’s vasodilating and blood pressure-lowering properties.
Keeping to low doses until you’ve built up some tolerance is vital to preventing these reactions. If you do experience side effects or they persist, stop using the product. You may need to swap to a lower-strength formulation or reassess if CBD oil suits you.
It’s become more apparent that CBD oil helps lower blood pressure over time.
These effects are very valuable for those who have hypertension or who want to support blood flow better.
But the benefits of CBD products for hypertension aren’t as clear-cut as they sound.
These natural extracts help alleviate high blood pressure primarily by preventing stress. Additionally, they help to vasodilate the circulatory system, which counteracts hypertension symptoms. Cannabinoids like CBD are also anti-inflammatory, protecting the arteries from being degraded due to chronic inflammation.
Enhancing sleep quality and providing antioxidative benefits are further ways that CBD oil can aid in reducing blood pressure. Both are linked to greater metabolic and cardiovascular well-being, which helps build a preventative defence against hypertension.
Research on the therapeutic potential of CBD oil in lowering blood pressure is still early but has already borne fruit. It’s been proven in many studies to block stress, reduce blood pressure and trigger vasodilation.
Always remember that CBD products aren’t a cure or medication for hypertension. They should be considered as a milder, natural support.
Before using them, consult with your doctor. Don’t take CBD with blood pressure medications until it’s been approved by them.
Research suggests that CBD helps with managing high blood pressure, mainly via stress reduction. Studies have shown that it can help with blood flow through vasodilating effects. In addition, it helps protect blood vessels from inflammation, which can impact blood pressure detrimentally. Using it as a hypertension treatment isn’t viable, though, due to its milder effects.
CBD cannot ‘clean’ the arteries or remove arterial plaque. No evidence supports these claims. It may help in some ways to prevent plaque buildup through inflammation reduction and antioxidative benefits. But it can’t reverse or treat atherosclerosis.
CBD oil has calming and anxiolytic properties, which may indirectly affect heart rate. This could be beneficial for individuals who suffer from chronic stress and experience elevated heart rates due to stress hormones. However, no objective evidence suggests that CBD has an immediate effect on slowing down heart rate.
CBD can’t remove or clear plaque from arteries. Plaque build-up is typically associated with atherosclerosis, a chronic cardiovascular disease. This disease can be caused by various factors such as diet, genetics, lifestyle, smoking, alcohol use and overall cardiovascular health. Treating atherosclerosis requires medication and lifestyle changes. Using CBD to remove plaque has no evidence supporting it.
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