Does CBD Lower Blood Pressure?
by Alissa Gardner | 09 September, 2022
High blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension, is a common condition around the world. In fact, according to the Pan American Health Association, it affects more than thirty percent of the adult population worldwide.
In the long run, hypertension can lead to a number of serious health problems, such as strokes and heart attacks. Unfortunately, it does not really cause any symptoms, either. For that reason, many people who have it do not even know about it.
If you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is likely that you have already heard that CBD can help you deal with it. But is that really the case? Can CBD help the heart? Read on to find out!
What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of circulating blood against the walls of your blood vessels. It can be subclassified as diastolic and systolic. Diastolic blood pressure readings are meant to measure the force on the blood vessels when your heart muscle relaxes. Meanwhile, systolic blood pressure measures the force when your heart muscle contracts.
While it is completely normal for blood pressure rates to change throughout the day, they should not be consistently high. If they are, then you are dealing with hypertension, which is a serious issue and you should contact a medical professional immediately.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension is a condition in which the force of blood on your blood vessels is consistently high, which puts you at risk of developing cardiovascular disorders. It can be divided into two main types – primary and secondary. Primary hypertension, the more common one out of the two, develops gradually and with no clear cause. It is thought to be linked to physical changes in the body, high body weight, and genetics.
Secondary hypertension develops rather quickly and can be much more serious in nature. It has a number of identified causes, including congenital heart defects, high alcohol consumption, thyroid issues, and kidney disease, as well as certain medications and stimulants.
Since high blood pressure tends to be a silent condition, you might not experience any symptoms until it has developed in severity. At that point, possible symptoms might include blood in the urine, changes in vision, flushing, chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and headaches.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system, also known as ECS. It is responsible for regulating a number of important processes in the body, such as emotional memory, learning and memory, and immune responses.
While scientists are still trying to understand what the endocannabinoid system is capable of, we know that it consists of three components, namely endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. Cannabinoids like CBD are similar to endocannabinoids and interact with the aforementioned receptors in the same manner. As a result, it is possible for CBD to influence the processes that ECS is in charge of.
CBD and Blood Pressure: What Does Science Say?
There is some evidence that cannabidiol reduces blood pressure. A recent study of nine healthy male volunteers found that just a single 600 milligrams dose of cannabidiol can reduce blood pressure response to stress, as well as resting blood pressure. Unfortunately, the study in question had several flaws. First of all, the test subjects were young and not hypertensive. Second of all, the researchers tested the effects of just one dose of CBD. So, while interesting, the study is not representative of real life.
In yet another study, researchers focused on hypertensive rats. They were given CBD on a daily basis for two weeks. In the end, CBD was ineffective in lowering blood pressure and heart rate. It did have some potentially beneficial antioxidant effect, though.
In conclusion, the research on the matter is contradictory. Further studies are needed to fully grasp how CBD affects the human cardiovascular system.
Effects of CBD on Blood Pressure – Is It Safe To Use?
The effects of cannabidiol on blood pressure have not been thoroughly studied just yet, and medical professionals cannot draw informed conclusions on the matter. The study which outlined that cannabidiol can reduce blood pressure involved young and healthy volunteers and just one large dose of CBD, whereas animal studies were fairly inconclusive. With that in mind, if you have hypertension, you should use CBD sensibly and with caution.
How To Use CBD for High Blood Pressure
Again, it should be noted that the research on the matter is contradictory. What is more, there are no clinical guidelines regarding the dosage of cannabidiol for any medical condition. Still, if you really want to lower your blood pressure with CBD, you could do the same thing as the volunteers in one of the studies mentioned above.
In the study of nine healthy volunteers, the test subjects were given 600 milligrams of CBD. You could start taking such doses of CBD on a regular basis. Just keep in mind that just 1000 milligrams of high-quality CBD can cost over one hundred dollars. As a result, using very large doses of CBD might not be that financially viable for you in the long run.
If you want to go for the more sensible option, though, you should start with small amounts of CBD. Use just a small dose of 5 milligrams and see how it makes you feel. If you notice a difference, you can increase the dosage to 10 milligrams, and then keep on increasing it until you get the desired results.
CBD & Blood Pressure FAQ
Can CBD Boost Heart Health?
Inflammation is a process that can cause a number of serious diseases, including high blood pressure, and CBD appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, researchers have suggested that CBD can have a protective effect on your heart.
There is also ongoing research into the use of CBD for various conditions, such as myocarditis and cardiomyopathy. But since such studies tend to be based on findings in animals or in a lab, medical professionals cannot yet be confident that CBD can actually benefit the human heart.
As of now, it is clear that CBD products have plenty of potential health benefits, but more studies are needed to determine the exact mechanism.
What Are Some Alternative Treatments for High Blood Pressure?
You should not rely on CBD alone to reduce your high blood pressure. Instead, talk to your doctor and follow their advice. It might include taking blood pressure medications, as well as investing your time and effort into stress management.
Things like yoga and meditation are really worth exploring if you want to reduce stress. You might also be advised to quit smoking and avoid drinking alcohol. Chemicals present in tobacco smoke can damage your cardiovascular system, while alcohol can raise your blood pressure levels.
In addition, you could start exercising and eating a low-sodium diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
What Time of Day Is Blood Pressure Highest?
It starts rising a while before you wake up, and it is the highest in the middle of the day. Then, it drops in the late afternoon or in the evening. At night, it will be lower than in the afternoon or in the morning. If your blood pressure is always either too high or too low, it might be a sign of diabetes, thyroid disease, obstructive sleep apnea, or kidney disease. It could also be a result of certain lifestyle factors, such as stress, night-shift work, obesity, anxiety, and smoking.
Can You Take CBD If You Have High Blood Pressure?
If you have already started taking blood pressure medications, you should be cautious when using CBD. It can interact with such medications, as well as any medications that come with a grapefruit warning. With that in mind, you should talk to your doctor before adding CBD oils or any other CBD products into the mix.
Can CBD Raise Blood Pressure?
A systematic review found that CBD does not affect blood pressure and heart rate. Instead of raising blood pressure, it seems to actually decrease it under stressful circumstances.
One study on intraocular pressure, which is related to blood pressure, found that CBD can temporarily increase it. Such an effect occurred after a single dose of 40 milligrams. Therefore, if you already have high intraocular pressure, you should talk to a doctor before using CBD.
What Kind of CBD Lowers Blood Pressure?
In general, you should aim for products that you will be eager to take on a regular basis. The key to making a product work is consistency. If you actually enjoy using a product or have no trouble incorporating it into your routine, staying consistent should not be an issue. Here are a few types of CBD products that you might want to look into.
A tincture is made by using a mixture of water and alcohol to extract beneficial compounds from a plant. In the case of CBD tinctures, that mixture is used to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. You might also be able to find tinctures that use vinegar, oil, or glycerin instead of alcohol as the solvent.
However, while alcohol-free, such tinctures might not be as potent as the ones made with alcohol. The main benefit of using CBD tinctures to manage blood pressure lies in how quickly they can take effect. When taken sublingually, they can work their magic in just fifteen to thirty minutes.
CBD softgels are an amazing option for people who want to take CBD on the go, without having to deal with extra calories. You just need to swallow a capsule or two and you are good to go! They are also more accurate than tinctures, as well as more convenient and easier to take with you when you are traveling.
CBD gummies are candies infused with CBD. Their main benefit is their flavors, which can range from desserts to tropical fruits. As a result, they are a great alternative for people who dislike the earthy taste of CBD tinctures and oils. If CBD gummies sound like just what you were looking for, remember to look for the ones that contain minimal sweeteners and are made using natural ingredients. When dealing with high blood pressure, you want to avoid consuming excessive sweets.
How Can You Find a Quality CBD Product?
In order to find a high-quality CBD product that you will be satisfied with, it is important to check for a few crucial things.
The more potent a CBD product is, the more CBD it contains. If you have never used CBD before, you should stick to products that are less potent. This way, you’ll get a general idea of how your body reacts to CBD. What is more, they are rather cheap.
Type Of CBD
Make sure to pay attention to the type of CBD that your chosen product contains. Full-spectrum products include a number of different compounds found in the cannabis plant, including up to 0.3% THC. Broad-spectrum contains the same compounds except for THC, while CBD isolates contain just CBD and nothing else.
Certificate of Analysis
For starters, avoid purchasing products that do not have a certificate of analysis. Its presence indicates that a given product has been tested by a third-party laboratory and that it meets modern safety and purity standards. Quite a few brands make sure that these certificates are easy to find via a QR code. You should be able to find it either on the product packaging or on the company website.
Remember to check whether the amounts of CBD and THC that the laboratory found match what is being advertised by the manufacturer. In addition, take a look at the contaminant testing results. By doing so, you can be certain that what you are buying does not contain unsafe levels of heavy metals, molds, or pesticides.
FDA Warning Letters
If a company selling CBD products makes false health claims, the FDA will send that company a warning letter. You might want to check whether the company that you want to buy from has received such a letter by visiting a special FDA website.
Take a look around the website of any brand that you are interested in. Ideally, you should go for one that is very transparent about where it gets its CBD from, as well as how it makes its products.
Read customer reviews on both the product that you want to buy and the company that sells it. By doing so, you will get a general idea of how effective the product is and how the company treats its customers. Just keep in mind that some brands will only publish positive reviews. Others might remove the ones that mention any specific health conditions in order to comply with rules set by the FDA.
What Can Lower Blood Pressure Quickly?
There are quite a few ways to lower your blood pressure in a matter of minutes. They are all temporary, though. If you want long-lasting results, it is important that you implement a long-term approach to lower your high blood pressure.
- Relaxing. Stress can contribute to your high blood pressure. For that reason, you should do whatever you can to unwind. It could be something as simple as reading an interesting book, meditating, or doing a few stretching exercises.
- Breathing exercises. Begin by taking a deep breath from your core. Then, hold your breath for three seconds and exhale slowly. Repeat the entire process a few times.
- Take a warm shower or bath. It should last at least fifteen minutes. So, take your time and enjoy yourself!
Can Drinking Lots of Water Lower Blood Pressure?
If your blood pressure became elevated due to dehydration, drinking at least eight glasses of water throughout the day might help you lower it. However, it won’t help you much if your high blood pressure is caused by cardiovascular disease.
What Medications Should Not Be Taken with CBD?
Numerous medications are broken down by various enzymes in the liver, and CBD can interfere with the said enzymes. It can lead to altered concentration, which is when there is too much or not enough medication in the body. In turn, altered concentration can lead to an increased risk of side effects or cause medications to stop working.
Such interactions are rather hard to predict and can cause some serious problems. As of now, several drug interactions with CBD have been identified. Here is a short list of the ones that are potentially serious.
- proton-pump inhibitors
- oral hypoglycemic agents
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- immune modulators
- HIV antivirals
- calcium channel blockers
- anti-seizure medications
- angiotension II blockers
Can CBD Products Interact with Blood Pressure Medications?
CBD has been shown to interact with some common blood pressure prescription drugs. As a result of that interaction, the prescription drugs are not properly metabolized and can cause problems for brain function and heart health. Nevertheless, if you get a doctor’s consenting permission, using CBD together with blood pressure medications should not be a problem.
Can CBD Cause Heart Problems?
CBD alone does not seem to lead to any heart problems. However, it can interfere with medications for heart conditions. As a result, it might lower their effectiveness and lead to serious liver problems. For that reason, you should exercise caution and talk to your doctor before using any CBD products for heart disease, no matter whether it is a full spectrum CBD tincture or softgels with CBD isolate.
Can CBD Cause Heart Palpitations?
It appears that some people experience heart flutters after taking CBD. No clear reason why that is the case has been identified just yet. It has been hypothesized that consuming products that are known to affect heart rate or certain medications together with CBD might play a role here.
What Are the Downsides of CBD?
It is worth noting that everyone reacts to CBD a bit differently. Just because your friend found using it to be an excellent way to support a healthy sleep schedule does not mean that you will experience similar results. In addition, CBD does have a few potential side effects. The most common ones include dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea.
Can You Drink Alcohol and Use CBD Oil?
The simple answer to that question is yes, but certain risks are associated with doing so. If one drinks alcohol and takes CBD in moderation, their chances of experiencing any adverse effects are rather low. Even so, you should not engage in excessive consumption of either substance.