CBD is one of the most popular topics in health today. We're all looking for ways to live healthier lives — including scientists and doctors who are constantly researching and testing new ideas.
CBD has been shown to have many health benefits, including reducing anxiety and relieving pain. Studies also suggest it might benefit a wide range of conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, and psoriasis.(1)
But what about heart health? Is hemp and hemp-derived CBD oil good for your heart? Studies show that it might be! Let’s see why.
First, let's define what we mean by heart health and heart disease.
Heart disease is an umbrella term that refers to several kinds of heart conditions. One of the most common is coronary artery disease — a condition that decreases blood flow to the heart.
Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes.(2)
It's the leading cause of death in the US, so it comes as no surprise that reducing the risk of heart disease is a major field of study.(3)
More and more evidence is revealing that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a key role in regulating cardiovascular functioning — and a dysregulated ECS is linked with higher risk of cardiovascular issues.(4)
Could cannabinoids like CBD play a role in heart treatments one day? Here's what we know.
It's no secret that living a healthy lifestyle can reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension and heart disease. But what about CBD — can it help lower your risk of heart disease?
Recent research shows that it might. CBD may benefit your heart and circulatory system due to the effects it has on blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, you're probably wondering, "Does CBD oil raise blood pressure?"
The short answer is no (hurray!). No known studies have shown increases in blood pressure after taking CBD. Sounds promising so far.
Your next question is — "Okay, so can CBD lower blood pressure?"
Indeed it can!
Let’s dig into the research to explore how CBD may lower blood pressure.
Several studies have demonstrated blood pressure reducing powers of CBD. For instance, in one study, nine men were given 600mg of CBD or a placebo. The researchers found that the individuals who were given CBD had a lower resting blood pressure than those who were not given the CBD.(5)
The study also involved several stress tests known to raise blood pressure. Researchers found that CBD reduced the amount the participants' blood pressure increased in response to the stress tests.
These results are consistent with other research that shows that CBD has the potential to reduce stress levels.
Because we’re discussing hemp-derived CBD — and because many CBD oil products include hemp oil — we think this is worth mentioning.
While many CBD oils are derived from the hemp plant, hemp oil is a little different than CBD oil. CBD is a cannabinoid. Hemp oil — also called hemp seed oil — contains no cannabinoids whatsoever.
Instead, hemp oil is largely made up of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help lower blood pressure. Hemp seed oil also contains the amino acid arginine, which is linked to heart health.(7)
Hemp oil is not known to cause high blood pressure. Instead — like its cousin, CBD oil — it may also have heart benefits.
CBD may also help other aspects of heart health, like diabetes complications. In one study, CBD protected diabetic mice with heart disease from oxidative stress and injury.(6) Oxidative stress happens when the antioxidants and free radicals in the body are out of balance.
These results show that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities of CBD may even help reduce the risk of heart damage in cardiovascular diseases.
The link between heart disease and stroke has been recognized for some time. The chances of stroke are more likely if one has heart disease, high blood pressure, or engages in a heart-unhealthy lifestyle — like smoking and zero exercise.
So what do we know about CBD and stroke?
CBD may help protect stroke patients from brain damage and even aid recovery by increasing brain activity, according to a 2010 study.(8) A 2017 review also found that CBD increases cerebral blood flow in mice during stroke.(9)
However, we do need more research to confirm these effects and determine if CBD can benefit human stroke patients.
So, can you take CBD if you’re managing a heart condition? Maybe!
Before starting any supplements, including taking CBD to support your heart health, talk to your medical care team first.
Research shows us that CBD is generally safe for use in adults, but your doctor will know what's best for you. He or she will be able to answer any questions you have, and review your medical history and medications for any potential interactions and contraindications.
CBD products are available in a variety of forms, including CBD oil, CBD gummies, CBD creams, and more. The FDA does not regulate CBD products sold online or in stores, so prepare to do some research to find products you can trust.
When taking CBD for your personal heart wellness:
CBD has built a solid reputation as a natural way to help relieve pain, boost mood, and get a better night's sleep. And now, new research suggests that CBD might have cardiovascular benefits as well.
Studies show that CBD can help lower your blood pressure in stressful situations and possibly drop your resting blood pressure. Some animal research also suggests that CBD helps increase blood flow.
Have a chat with your doctor if you're thinking about adding CBD to your heart-healthy lifestyle. And when it's time to shop, only buy the highest-quality CBD oils from CBD brands known for purity and transparency.
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