CBD: it’s great for sleep, pain relief, and improving your mood. But those are just the obvious benefits — could there be more?
Definitely, given that CBD energizes a biological system (the endocannabinoid system) that in turn promotes full-body balance everywhere else. The truth is that CBD has dozens of documented health benefits…and it’s likely that there are even more yet to be discovered.
Many people who initially begin taking CBD for pain or inflammation get a surprise only hours later, when they discover their blood pressure’s normalized! Their Doctor may not have seen it coming, and the research didn’t say much about this, either…but still, lower blood pressure happened.
That’s right: CBD may help reduce high blood pressure. There are several other things that those with blood pressure problems should keep in mind when using CBD. If that’s you, keep reading and we’ll take a look.
CBD: Reducing Blood Pressure from the Inside Out
How does CBD reduce blood pressure? Holistically, from the inside out! According to this 2015 study, CBD has been shown to work with nitric oxide (N.O.) to control the dilation of blood vessels.
Nitric oxide is a free radical that the body releases in response to sunlight. Like other oxidized molecules it’s helpful in small amounts, but too much can be a bad thing. CBD seems to strengthen the endocannabinoid system, which researchers have found “cross-talks” with N.O. production.
All this means less stress, less oxidation, and gently lowered blood pressure.
Is CBD a vasodilator?
Yes. CBD seems to promote vasodilation both with N.O. and by acting alone on endocannabinoid receptors. The same study we mentioned above showed CBD to act on CB1 receptors in the brain, which is unusual…it usually acts on CB2!
Dilated blood vessel won’t be as pressurized, which means blood can flow more easily without putting excess strain on the heart. And that means lower blood pressure and less pressure on the cardiovascular system as a whole.
How to Safely take CBD With High Blood Pressure Medication
As always, consult with your Doctor before taking CBD with pharmaceutical medication. It’s highly unlikely that medications will interact with each other (see below for more info on that)…but it is possible that their physiological effects will clash.
In other words, CBD can be very effective at lowering blood pressure. If one takes a large dose of CBD and their normal HBP medication at the same time, things could drop too low.
The best solution for this is a simple one: consult your Doctor, ease into CBD dosing slowly, and stagger dosing schedules by at least 2-4 hours.
CBD and Drug Interactions
CBD doesn’t directly interact with pharmaceutical drugs. It does, however, impact liver enzymes in the cytochrome P450 enzyme family that may also play a role in metabolizing pharmaceuticals.
In other words, if these liver enzymes are busy ‘digesting’ CBD, they may leave pharmaceuticals un-metabolized in the bloodstream. That could result in one’s normal dose acting very differently than normal; it could also result in unusual side effects.
Thankfully most drugs don’t do this. Pharmaceuticals that target high blood pressure and high blood sugar are the most common one’s to compete with CBD for uptake. If you’re taking any of these, it’s always important to stagger your dosing out.
High CBD = Lower Cholesterol
Can CBD lower cholesterol, too? It seems so. A 2011 study in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology found that CBD may even influence gene expression to favor lower cholesterol levels.
Pretty impressive, right? It gets better: CBD could make a high-fat diet safer by promoting the conversion of dietary cholesterol into health-boosting hormones, like testosterone, before it can damage health.
Got High Cholesterol? Try CBD For Sure
What happens when a person goes past the point of prevention, and winds up with chronically high cholesterol? The aftereffects aren’t good: high LDL cholesterol is clearly tied to increased chances of heart attack, heart disease, and more.
Thankfully it seems like CBD can be used as more than just a preventative measure. A 2013 study went into great detail about CBD’s “vasculoprotective effects”: they include reducing the cardiovascular stress of exercise and maintaining blood flow to the brain.
CBD For A Healthy Heart
We’ve already looked at CBD, oxygenation, and the blood. Now let’s look at the other half of your cardiovascular system: heart health.
Once again, cannabidiol delivers. It appears to activate what are called Adenosine A2A receptors, which in turn relax the smooth muscles of the heart.
Healthy adenosine levels also create an internal environment with less inflammation. Because inflammatory diseases are some of the biggest factors behind things like heart disease, CBD could be the perfect solution for ensuring health and “long-lasting protection” of the heart.
CBD, Stress, and Heart Palpitations
You know how enjoyable coffee is… until that post-cup-three feeling comes along with anxiety and heart palpitations?
The very same adenosine A2A system we mentioned above is responsible for that. As it turns out, the CBD + coffee trends of recent years actually have some basis in biochemistry!
CBD relaxes A2A, which means it directly combats heart palpitations — regardless of whether or not coffee caused them. In fact, CBD relaxes many of the body’s muscle groups by facilitating balanced calcium levels and improving their nervous system-mediated innervation.
In simple terms, CBD helps muscles (including the heart muscle!) by keeping them conductive.
CBD… A Blood Thinner?
Perhaps one of the only downsides to CBD is that it can be a natural blood thinner.
That’s not a bad thing, for most people. But for those who are on blood thinning medications like coumadin, some extra care is needed. As always…consult with your Doctor and let them know if you intend to take CBD!
CBD: Anti-Stoke, Anti-Aging, Anti-Stress!
If CBD had a theme, it’d be stress reduction. The tiny plant compound permeates endocannabinoid receptors in the body and brain, in turn improving the body’s ability to communicate with itself.
That’s important, because a body that’s signalling well is plenty capable of overcoming stress.
With less stress comes a greatly reduced risk of stroke. According to a University of Michigan study, men with chronic stress were 72% more likely to have a stroke.
On the other hand, if you can eliminate this stress and reduce the oxidative wear-and-tear of aging, then you’ve greatly improved their chances of staying stroke-free!
All in all, CBD’s ability to reduce blood pressure is one of its most under-rated qualities. But it’s also one of the compound’s most important, and it’s a quality that needs to be treated with care.
Don’t forget that CBD might just lower blood pressure so noticeably that reducing your pharmaceutical dose is needed. We’d encourage you to let your Doctor know about your CBD use and refine your dosing plan as needed. Then sit back and truly relax as you experience the many stress-reducing benefits of CBD!