Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, can be caused by a myriad of reasons. One can be born with the disease, high blood pressure could cause a blockage, or fatty plaques could build up in arteries. Either way, the effects can be deadly.
If you suffer from heart disease, you know how hard it can be to treat and care for your heart. Millions use medications that can improve symptoms, but that can also have other unrelated negative side-effects, like muscle and chest pain, blurred vision, nausea, and even an irregular heart rate. That’s where CBD for heart disease comes in. There are preliminary studies that show CBD could help lessen symptoms of heart disease.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, is already being used by millions for many different illnesses, from depression and anxiety to epilepsy and inflammation. It appears that CBD may one day help with heart disease as well.
CBD for Heart Disease at a Glance:
- Claim: CBD can alleviate blood pressure and have a direct effect on the cardiovascular system.
- What the Research Shows: Preliminary studies show the human endocannabinoid system interacts with CBD positively in the heart muscles, arteries, and blood.
- All the Facts: Studies on CBD for heart disease are in their early stages, but they show promise that one day CBD for heart disease could become an effective way of managing symptoms without the side-effects of medications.
About Heart Disease
According to the CDC, heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to several different types of heart conditions. A person suffering from heart disease could have an anomaly in the heart that involves narrowed or blocked blood vessels, the heart’s muscles, valves, or rhythm that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke. The most common occurrence in the U.S. is coronary artery disease, which is a decrease in the blood flow to the heart that can cause a heart attack.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of heart disease are chest pain; tightness; pressure and chest discomfort; shortness of breath; pain; numbness or weakness in the extremities; and pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back.
Heart disease could be caused by a multitude of reasons and needs a medical diagnosis to be treated properly. Treatment for the illness includes lifestyle changes like eating a low-fat and low-sodium diet, exercising, and limiting alcohol intake. Medications can assist a person suffering from heart disease in returning to health and controlling problems, but the type of medication treatment will depend on the type of cardiovascular disease.
How CBD can be used for heart disease?
According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2013, CBD has shown beneficial effects in a multitude of illnesses, from diabetes and Huntington’s disease to cancer and colitis. Evidence now also suggests that CBD has direct actions on isolated arteries and is beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, affects our bodies by working with our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system has been shown to affect a growing number of physiological functions in the central and peripheral nervous systems and peripheral organs.
According to research in the Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, this system has two important cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, that have been found distributed along many mammalian tissues, like the central nervous system and immune cells. CBD works by connecting with those receptors in our bodies and “readjusting” those cells to work properly, or heal.
Medical Studies on CBD for Heart Disease
One study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD reduced blood pressure in healthy human volunteers. Although this study was fairly small and needs to be further developed and tested, the results showed that CBD could help people who have blood pressure-related heart disease. It’s also an important anecdote for people who have low blood pressure to know that CBD could perhaps have a negative effect on such individuals.
CBD for heart disease could also be used because of its anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that the non-psychotropic cannabinoid CBD showed promise as a prototype for anti-inflammatory drug development. This could perhaps help lessen inflammation of components of the heart.
The study mentioned above, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2013, also found that CBD influenced the survival and death of white blood cells, white blood cell migration, and platelet concentration in the blood. The researchers wrote that these preclinical data appeared to support a positive role for CBD treatment in the heart, and in peripheral and cerebral vasculature, but said further studies are required to strengthen their hypothesis.
Are there any side effects?
There are very few side-effects of CBD and they are usually minor. These can include tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite and weight. A more serious side-effect could occur when CBD interacts with other drugs. CBD has been shown to negatively interact with some medications, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before trying CBD for heart disease.
Also, considering there is preliminary data that CBD lowers blood pressure, those suffering from low blood pressure should also consult a doctor before trying CBD for heart disease.
CBD is a non-psychotropic component of the cannabis plant. Because the FDA does not regulate the CBD oil industry, dosage can vary widely between CBD manufacturers. It is important to make sure you are buying from a reputable source.
CBD is already being used to help improve a multitude of illnesses and lessen countless symptoms, like insomnia, epilepsy, anxiety, inflammation, and more. It appears that preliminary research also shows that CBD for heart disease could one day be of help too.
However, studies on CBD for heart disease have so far been small and not tested enough to understand potential positive and negative side-effects for this specific disease. Even though millions are already using CBD, every person is unique and should consult with a doctor before trying CBD for heart disease.