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How Does CBD Help With Blood Pressure?

Hypertension is a serious health condition involving an increased force of blood passing through your arteries. Left unmanaged, hypertension or high blood pressure may lead to additional risks like stroke or heart attack.

If you are among those looking for alternative remedies to help with hypertension, you may have encountered discussions about CBD and its potential to alleviate symptoms of high blood pressure.

How does CBD work, and how does it deal with hypertension? This article addresses these questions to help you decide if CBD is the right option for managing high blood pressure.

How CBD Works

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a compound of the cannabis plant known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, antioxidant, and anti-anxiety properties.

These properties suggest that CBD may help alleviate the risk factors connected to high blood pressure, such as stress, depression, and anxiety disorders.

CBD may also address other factors associated with high blood pressure, like obesity and chronic conditions.

CBD works by engaging the cannabinoid receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is responsible for several body functions, including modulating the brain’s neurotransmitters and regulating the body’s inflammatory and pain responses.

The cannabinoid receptors in the ECS prevent excess neuronal activity by modulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.

By regulating neuronal activity, the ECS can reduce anxiety and depression that are risk factors associated with high blood pressure.

Many CBD brands offer different kinds of CBD products depending on one’s preferred dosage and method of administration.

CBD tinctures are sold as oils that may be taken sublingually or under the tongue. CBD capsules and CBD edibles like gummies or chews are taken orally.

CBD topicals like creams, lotions, and balms are applied to the skin.

CBD vapes are sold in vape oil cartridges and are taken by inhalation.

How CBD May Help Manage Blood Pressure and Its Risk Factors

CBD oil may help manage obesity, a risk factor for high blood pressure. CBD does this by interacting with the CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the ECS.

CB2 receptors are responsible for limiting inflammation and weight gain, thus providing potential anti-obesity effects.

A 2020 study stated that administering cannabis containing elevated levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may help reduce the symptoms associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD is associated with a high cholesterol diet, which may increase the risk of high blood pressure.

The study was performed on mice that were fed a high-cholesterol diet. Additional research is needed to determine CBD’s antioxidant effects on cholesterol levels in humans.

In one study published in 2017, the researchers administered a single dose of cannabidiol in 600mg capsules to a group of healthy male volunteers.

The results showed that CBD may help lower resting blood pressure and the body’s blood pressure response to stress.

Findings from a case study conducted on adult patients with sleep and anxiety complaints showed that CBD may help improve sleep scores and decrease anxiety. Lack of sleep and anxiety are risks that can sometimes lead to high blood pressure.

In another study, oral administration of CBD, together with regular psychiatric care, may lower symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a stress-related factor that may increase the risk for high blood pressure.

However, researchers mentioned that there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of natural or nonsynthetic cannabinoids in managing symptoms of chronic kidney disease.

Possible Side Effects

Although humans have a good tolerance for CBD, the drug may cause side effects like dry mouth, fatigue, loss of appetite, drowsiness, and diarrhea.

CBD products often come with a grapefruit warning. This warning means that CBD may interfere with other medications and prevent them from breaking down and getting absorbed by the body.

The CYP3A4 enzymes in the intestine usually break down drugs. Taking grapefruit or products with a grapefruit warning may block the activity of these enzymes, causing the drugs to remain unmetabolized and thus lose their effect.

For example, taking CBD with medications to lower blood pressure, such as nifedipine (Adalat CC and Procardia), may limit the effectiveness of the drugs.

The severity of the side effects caused by the interaction between CBD and the medications can vary depending on the individual, the medicine, and the amount of grapefruit consumed.

Is CBD Legal?

The 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, known widely as the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp and removed hemp-based CBD products from the list of controlled substances of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

However, marijuana-based CBD that contains more than 0.3% THC is still prohibited by federal law. THC is the psychoactive chemical of the cannabis plant that may cause a high.

Currently, the only CBD-based medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Epidiolex. This drug is used for treating seizures associated with epilepsy.

Despite CBD being widely available in the United States and no longer a controlled substance, legal restrictions on CBD purchase and consumption vary among the different states.

Familiarize yourself with your state’s laws regarding CBD. Check your product’s CBD and THC content to determine if CBD is legal in your area.

Medical experts advise doctors to be mindful of the potential health risks of nonsynthetic or natural cannabinoids despite their substantiated benefits. This advice also applies to using CBD to help with hypertension.

Before you consider using CBD, talk to your physician about your medical condition, especially when experiencing symptoms associated with high blood pressure.


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