CBD and Hypertension: What’s the Link?
At this moment, CBD, or cannabidiol, is expanding more and more each day with new research and findings. Around the world there are countless studies being done on the effects of CBD and common (or uncommon) health issues. From insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, eczema, or even diabetes, CBD is a true scientific discovery. This tool is what could very well treat some of the most debilitating diseases known to mankind. Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, the list goes on and on. So, what is known about CBD and hypertension?
First off, it’s important to understand what cannabidiol is. For starters, it’s one of the many beneficial cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp plants. These cannabinoids make up for the hundred plus compounds in the flower parts of each plant. While the extracted compounds can come from seeds and stems, it’s not favored by many companies due to their extremely low yields of CBD. So, if CBD is just one of the cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis, does it mean that it has any of the same effects as the other cannabinoids, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)? The great answer here is a simple “NO!”
In fact, CBD and THC, while both have medical benefits, act much differently than each other. THC is a psychoactive chemical found inside cannabis that gives a “high” effect that people seek after. However, the same cannot be said for CBD, as it is non-psychoactive and has different possible medical benefits. This is a reason as to why CBD can be sold more easily than its counterpart. Still, there are limitations, such as CBD products requiring less than .3% THC.
Even though CBD is extracted, it doesn’t mean that the two can’t work together. In fact, CBD and THC, when combined, have a synergistic effect that work differently when combined than when isolated.
A plethora of animals have what is known in the medical field as the endocannabinoid system. A part of our immune system that is specifically designed to metabolize and process the many cannabinoids. In this system, there are CB1 and CB2 receptors. But to avoid being too technical, we will simplify parts of the process. CBD essentially binds to these receptors in order to maintain and monitor many of the imbalances our body can have. For example, type 1 diabetics produce little to no insulin because of their immune system that mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then tries to compensate for this loss and eventually wears it down. Research is being done on the possible aid that CBD can bring for type 1 diabetics, and has found through tests on rats that essentially correct the immune systems response to insulin. CBD even has properties that can prevent and reverse the damage done from diabetic neuropathy.
So, we’re finding out that CBD has amazing promise in monitoring certain bodily levels. Could this mean that CBD can monitor blood pressure, and possibly prevent hypertension? Of course, this doesn’t apply to administering CBD through inhalation of smoke. In fact, cannabis use in general has been shown to have acute cardiovascular effects in individuals. One study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that a single dose of cannabidiol can lower blood pressure levels. This was actually done in a randomized cross study of healthy individuals, and suggests that, under certain doses, CBD could in fact reduce resting BP and the BP increase due to stress in humans associated with increased HR. This study is also inquiring that the use of cannabinoids requires more clinical studies in order to effectively administer it in the treatment of hypertension.
One way to think about CBD and blood pressure is by analyzing what can cause high blood pressure, which many people immediately think of stress. Stress can play a pivotal role in blood pressure as well as anxiety. While we can’t cover a lot of the data behind CBD and anxiety in this article, you can read about it here. A popular reason for trying CBD is for its anxiolytic properties. People who wish to manage stress and anxiety without the use of prescription medication will likely use cannabidiol. Since CBD is an anxiolytic, stress can be managed far easier.
Another study concluded cannabinoids that bind to the CB1 receptors, as mentioned above, actually monitors the vasodilator effects of endogenous anandamide by blocking its hydrolysis. This in turn can normalize blood pressure. “Targeting the endocannabinoid system offers novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hypertension.”
Associated with THC is its resulting red eyes. This study claims that THC actually lowers blood pressure in rats with hypertension, so does this imply that cannabis can lower blood pressure? As of right now, it’s not completely known yet. However, this decrease in blood pressure and increase in heart rate is one of the reasons that eyes turn red, which also can treat glaucoma.
Should you use CBD for hypertension?
Research is still being done on the effects of CBD (and cannabis) and hypertension. As of right now, clinical studies are being done on the relationship, but there is still one very important thing to consider.
If you are using other medications, especially for hypertension, discuss using CBD with your physician first. CBD is proven to change the effects of other medications in different ways. It could, in the end, change the dose, so be sure to clarify with your physician first.
CBD has amazing promise in the medical field, and is widely used for stress. If you have been told that your blood pressure is likely due to stress, or you want to manage stress, CBD might be a great option for you to start out with. You can visit our many other informational articles on the effects of CBD on many things, including anxiety and insomnia. Unfortunately, the common conclusion right now with hypertension and CBD is that more research is needed. However, there is a bright side to this in that CBD is becoming an extremely promising medical agent, and research is growing daily. If you would like to learn more about CBD, visit our Learn tab for more!
Disclaimer* Reminder that we are not doctors, and in no way are we suggesting you should replace your medications with CBD. We are not suggesting any dosage amount, and remember to talk about this option with your doctor if interested. We aren’t suggesting that it will cure the ailments listed, either.