Does CBD Lower Blood Pressure?
Awareness about CBD is on the rise. More than three-quarters of people familiar with the cannabinoid say it has medical benefits.
Emerging scientific research seems to be proving them right, too.
Many people like the idea of using CBD because it is recommended for almost everything, including anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy.
Some people even recommend it for heart health, but does CBD lower blood pressure? A review of the evidence is in order, so let’s take a look.
A Quick CBD Primer
Before diving into CBD’s potential effects on blood pressure, it’s helpful to take a quick review of what CBD is.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid that occurs in cannabis sativa plants. When it enters the bloodstream, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. CBD also interacts with other systems, including those involved in mood, digestion, and pain.
Since it has such a wide reach, it’s little surprise that researchers think CBD has a wide range of health effects. Some of the conditions CBD helps with include:
- Pain, including nerve pain and headaches
- Sleep disorders, like insomnia
- Mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Nausea and vomiting
Medical researchers are still exploring just what this cannabinoid can do. Some research shows it plays a role in bone health. Other studies suggest it could help with common skin ailments like acne.
Does CBD Lower Blood Pressure?
With such a wide range of effects, it’s easy to see why people are so optimistic about CBD. It seems like it could do almost anything.
So, what about CBD and blood pressure?
A 2017 study showed that a single dose of CBD could, in fact, lower blood pressure. In this study, volunteers were subjected to one of two stress conditions, exercise or cold. Both conditions usually raise blood pressure.
The volunteers were given either CBD or a placebo, and then their blood pressure was taken. Those who received CBD had a lower blood pressure number than those who had the placebo.
Those are some promising results, although the study group was very small. It also doesn’t say much about how effective CBD is as a blood pressure treatment over the long term.
How Does It Work?
Researchers have noted that CBD works on the cardiovascular system in a few different ways. One of the most important for those with hypertension is the fact it works as a vasodilator.
That effectively means CBD increases vein diameter. That decreases the pressure as blood circulates through the body.
In addition to this, CBD is also an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Inflammation and oxidative stress often go hand-in-hand with high blood pressure.
It isn’t quite clear if high blood pressure triggers inflammation or if it’s the other way around. What is clear is that reducing inflammation can decrease blood pressure.
CBD and Anxiety
When considering CBD for blood pressure, it also helps to think about CBD’s effects on anxiety and stress. Both conditions are associated with increased blood pressure.
A recent study looked at CBD’s effect on anxiety in public speakers. Volunteers were given either a dose of CBD or a placebo. The CBD group was broken into three different subgroups, receiving 150mg, 300mg, or 600mg of CBD.
The volunteers then underwent a simulated public speaking test, an activity known to cause anxiety. Researchers measured the volunteers’ blood pressure and heart rate during their speeches. The volunteers were also asked to rate their mood.
The results? Those who were given 300mg of CBD experienced much less anxiety than any of the other groups.
This study shows that CBD can reduce anxiety, but it’s most effective as specific doses.
What It Means for Blood Pressure
The results of this study show CBD can help manage anxiety. Since anxiety raises blood pressure, the study suggests that CBD could help lower blood pressure too.
A few processes are at work. As mentioned, CBD works to increase the diameter of veins, which lowers blood pressure. That’s a physiological form of relaxation.
CBD also works on systems in the body that help regulate mood.
In fact, CBD interacts with the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel-good” substance and CBD can increase levels of serotonin in the body. That also signals that the body should relax.
Is CBD the Answer?
Millions of Americans have chronic hypertension. Many of the medications available today have unpleasant side effects. Since CBD can lower blood pressure, is it a better alternative for patients with high blood pressure?
CBD is plant-based medicine.
It seems to have fewer side effects than other blood pressure medications. It’s nearly impossible to overdose on and the potential for addiction is relatively low.
That said, long-term studies on blood pressure and CBD are needed. This research would help determine if CBD is a safe and appropriate treatment for chronic high blood pressure.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from CBD, though. Research has shown CBD has plenty of other health benefits, some of which could help you manage high blood pressure.
- CBD could lower inflammation, which can contribute to high blood pressure
- As an antioxidant, CBD can help repair damage caused by oxidative stress
- CBD’s calming effects can be used to relax and bust stress, which often adds to high blood pressure
Adding a small dose of CBD to your day is an easy way to improve your health.
How Much CBD?
The researchers found that 300mg of CBD was the most effective for reducing anxiety. Most people take lower doses.
A good starting point is often 20 to 30mg of CBD oil for blood pressure and other health benefits.
New CBD Treatments on the Horizon
Researchers are still working to answer the question, “Does CBD lower blood pressure?” and have found that for most people, it definitely helps in the short term.
Long-term studies could lead to more effective treatments for millions of Americans.
If you want to keep your fingers on the pulse of CBD research, there’s no better place to start.
Check out the latest on exciting CBD research and news.