We live in times of much stress and agony; work pressure, tension at home, strained relationships and physical and mental pain. Almost all of us suffer from stress, hypertension, and pain on a regular basis.
Thanks to advanced medical care, epidemics are fewer than they used to be. But they have been replaced by even more debilitating conditions and disorders, thanks to the rat race of modern society.
High blood pressure currently affects thousands of adults in the US. According to some reliable sources, around 33% of all adults above 20 years of age in this country struggle with this condition. Incidentally, the figure surges to 66% for people in their mid-60s and above.
Hypertension may not seem as serious or fatal as cancer, but it is still a silent killer. Conventional pharmaceuticals do attempt to keep this condition at bay but do little to help people overcome this evil.
This is why people often turn to more natural remedies to find relief. Cannabis products, especially a non-intoxicating and non-addictive substance called Cannabidiol (CBD), have been found to help many in distress for different kinds of ailments, like chronic pain, sleeplessness, treating symptoms of cancer, Alzheimer’s’ Disease and even fighting addiction.
Recently, another study has been able to link CBD to changes in blood pressure. This study isn’t unique, but it’s definitely a step forward in the better understanding of what more cannabidiol can do to our physical and mental health and addressing its issues.
Why is Blood Pressure such a serious issue?
High blood pressure has become quite commonplace these days. High-intensity jobs have robbed people of their peace of mind and healthy relationships – both of which cause much strain on our nerves and force us to push ourselves too far for comfort, that too, on a daily basis.
What most don’t realize is that such life conditions tend to keep us on an edge, spiking our blood pressure and keeping it there to allow us to get through each stressful day after another.
While we may not pay much attention to it on a day-to-day basis, it slowly eats away into our body, one organ after another, putting our lives at risk without us even noticing it.
Prolonged high blood pressure is what leads to hypertension, which can, in turn, lead to conditions like:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Heart attacks
- Kidney disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates, high blood pressure has claimed 410,000 deaths back in 2014. Apparently, this condition and its treatment cost Americans close to $50 billion a year – a cost that could have been avoided with regulated lifestyle, proper diet (which often gets ignored in the race against time and deadlines), and sufficient exercise.
Several stress-management therapy clinics also help people deal with their issues to better manage their life and lifestyle for a more healthy body and mind.
Even after all these treatments and therapies, a lot of people still continue to struggle with hypertension. Additionally, they often experience undesirable effects like insomnia, depression, asthma, dizziness and confusion, irregular heartbeat and even erectile dysfunction, etc.
It is usually such people who tend to turn to alternative remedies, often those that are extracted from nature.
Signs of Hypertension
Blood pressure isn’t something you can detect easily. You won’t know that you suffer from it if you don’t go for regular check-ups. Sometimes, you may go to the doctor only because you’re already experiencing certain symptoms of hypertension, and chances are that by that point it could be a bit too late.
When you notice these following signs, promptly make an appointment with your local doctor or nearby medical center:
- Constant fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Nagging, intense headache
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain
- Pounding sensation in your chest, ears, and eyes
Can CBD oil REALLY lower blood pressure?
Cannabidiol helps maintain a smooth flow of blood through your blood vessels, keeping cholesterol clots and narrowing of vessels at bay and prevents any damage to your heart, arteries, brain, and nerves.
Besides, reducing hypertension, it also aids in sleep, relieves pain, lowers anxiety and gives you an overall sense of well-being.
If we were to segregate the different specific ways in which CBD helps regulate our blood pressure, we need to look at it from these following standpoints:
- CBD lowers anxiety, busts stress and promotes sleep:
Stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness (owing to work pressure or strained relationships or otherwise) keeps your blood pressure at a constant high. CBD helps in busting these issues quite effectively. While conventional methods of treatment have been found to help very little with these issues, research [1, 2 & 3] shows CBD’s efficacy in these areas.
- CBD acts as a pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory agent:
Hypertension, more often than not, leads to inflammation and pain. CBD is a well-known pain and inflammation reliever.
Opioids and other pharma pain-killers seem to do more harm than good for its users. CBD, on the other hand, addresses these problems in a very different way, through a different route – through the endocannabinoid system. Quite a bit of research and clinical tests have been carried out on CBD’s efficacy in treating pain [4, 5 & 6] and inflammation [7, 8 & 9].
The results are evidently quite promising.
- CBD has fewer, rarer and milder side effects: Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, CBD has far fewer side effects [10, 11], and that too, they are quite rare and very mild in nature, making CBD a more natural remedy, a better, safer and more efficient alternative to pharmaceutical medications.
- The body develops no tolerance, dependence or addiction to it:
CBD intake does not cause the body to develop a dependence or addiction. Neither do CBD’s effects grow dim with prolonged use. In fact, it has the opposite reaction, known as reverse tolerance [10, 12]. In fact, CBD fights other forms of addictions, like smoking, cocaine, heroin, and opioids. [13, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18]
CBD & Blood Pressure – Recent Findings
Debate on whether CBD has a direct impact on the blood pressure level has been going on in the scientific parlance for ages. There were too many conflicting opinions doing the rounds, with no clinical consensus within the fraternity.
Recently, however, a study yielded some very promising results. Not only did it confirm some previously proven attributes of CBD, like it is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid that can be used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and intractable epilepsies, it also discovered that CBD has several cardiovascular benefits, like reducing blood pressure (BP) response to stress.
The study , published in the JCI (Journal of Clinical Investigation) Insight, studied nine healthy male volunteers. They were administered with 600 mg CBD or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. The effects of CBD on their cardiovascular system were monitored with a fine meter and laser Doppler. Although the results were not exactly the same for all the subjects, it was generally similar, i.e., to say, there was a decrease of about 6 mm HG in the readings.
The study concluded:
A more recent study, published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, indirectly proved that CBD can help control or at least bring under control the blood pressure in a stressful situation, like public speaking, etc. The aim of the study was to examine the appropriate dosage for producing the typical bell curve of effects. They tested four separate groups of subjects with either low dose of CBD (150 mg), medium dose (300 mg), high dose (600 mg), or placebo.
It was noticed that only those who were given the medium dose experienced a lower stress response to the stressful situation.
The Flip-Side of Using CBD for Blood Pressure Treatment
We have established that CBD is great for lowering blood pressure as well as other parameters associated with it. We have also seen that CBD is comparatively safe and effective.
However, so far, not enough clinical trials have been conducted to definitively say that CBD is an effective treatment for hypertension.
So, could there be any adverse effects of CBD on a user’s blood pressure level?
- CBD does not interact with everyone’s system in the same way.
- No clinical trials for prolonged use exist.
- No data is available on the interaction of CBD with conventional hypertension medications.
- Full-spectrum CBD oil that contains THC (Tetracannabinol) can lower the blood pressure too far – far enough to be dangerous to the user.
The best bet is to consult your doctor. He is the right person to gauge its effects and its dosage for your overall health condition and your body’s level of tolerance and effectiveness to this new drug.
CBD Dosage for Hypertension
CBD products are available in the market in different forms – capsules, tinctures, drops, oral sprays, gummies, and other edibles. They are used differently for different purposes.
The maximum dosage of CBD for people suffering from high blood pressure is 600mg. But, it is always best to start from the smallest dosage for a user’s weight and ailment and go up from there. To find the smallest dosage for you, check it on our CBD calculator.
Also, experts recommend using only those CBD oil products that have been tested by a third-party laboratory for impurities and active elements.
While CBD may not yet be an absolute cure or a prolonged treatment method for hypertension, cannabis does have a fair chance of providing you with a natural, safer alternative to conventional medications for people fighting stress and blood pressure.
We can only hope to see more scientific experiments and clinical trials being conducted in the near future so that we can make the most of the non-psychoactive substance – CBD.
- Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials; Frontiers in Neuroscience; July 24, 2018; Rafael M Bitencourt, and Reinaldo N Takahashi; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6066583/
- Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders; Neurotherapeutics; September 4, 2015; Esther M Blessing, Maria M Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares and Charles R Marmar; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
- Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series; The Permanente Journal; January 7, 2019; Scott Shannon, MD, Nicole Lewis, ND, Heather Lee, PA-C, and Shannon Hughes, PhD; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
- Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis; European Journal of Pain; Oct 30, 2015; DC Hammell, LP Zhang, F Ma, SM Abshire, SL McIlwrath, AL Stinchcomb, and KN Westlund; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
- The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda; Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); January 12, 2017; Chapter 4 – Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767/
- Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors; Journal of Experimental Medicine; June 4, 2012; Wei Xiong, Tanxing Cui, Kejun Cheng, Fei Yang, Shao-Rui Chen, Dan Willenbring, Yun Guan, Hui-Lin Pan, Ke Ren, Yan Xu, and Li Zhang; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/
- Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis; Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; April 9, 2018; Petrosino S, Verde R, Vaia M, Allarà M, Iuvone T, Di Marzo V; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29632236
- Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis; Pain; September 1, 2017; Holly T Philpott, Melissa O’Brien, and Jason J McDougall; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690292/
- Cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma; European Journal of Pharmacology; November 24, 2018; Vuolo F, Abreu SC, Michels M, Xisto DG, Blanco NG, Hallak JE, Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Reis C, Bahl M, Pizzichinni E, Maurici R, Pizzichinni MMM, Rocco PRM, Dal-Pizzol F; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30481497
- An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies; Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research; June 1, 2017; Kerstin Iffland and Franjo Grotenhermen; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
- A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users; Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research; July 1, 2018; Jamie Corroon and Joy A. Phillips; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
- Cannabidiol displays unexpectedly high potency as an antagonist of CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists in vitro; British Journal of Pharmacology; January 22, 2007; Thomas A, Baillie GL, Phillips AM, Razdan RK, Ross RA, Pertwee RG; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17245363
- Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use: preclinical proof of principle; Neuropsychopharmacology; March 22, 2018; Gustavo Gonzalez-Cuevas, Remi Martin-Fardon, Tony M Kerr, David G Stouffer, Loren H Parsons, Dana C Hammell, Stan L Banks, Audra L Stinchcomb, and Friedbert Weiss; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098033/
- Repeated Cannabidiol treatment reduces cocaine intake and modulates neural proliferation and CB1R expression in the mouse hippocampus; Neuropharmacology; September 28, 2018; Luján MÁ, Castro-Zavala A, Alegre-Zurano L, Valverde O; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30273593
- Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence; Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment; May 21, 2015′ Mélissa Prud’homme, Romulus Cata, and Didier Jutras-Aswad; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444130/
- Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal; Addiction; June 3, 2018; Chandni Hindocha, Tom P Freeman, Meryem Grabski, Jack B Stroud, Holly Crudgington, Alan C Davies, Ravi K Das, William Lawn, Celia JA Morgan, and H Valerie Curran; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6099309/
- Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial; The American Journal of Psychiatry; May 21, 2019; Yasmin L. Hurd , Ph.D., Sharron Spriggs , M.A., Julia Alishayev , R.P.A., Gary Winkel , Ph.D., Kristina Gurgov , R.P.A., Chris Kudrich , D.H.Sc., Anna M. Oprescu , M.P.H., Edwin Salsitz , M.D.; https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101191 / https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01605539
- Cannabidiol enhances morphine antinociception, diminishes NMDA-mediated seizures and reduces stroke damage via the sigma 1 receptor; Molecular Brain; September 17, 2018; María Rodríguez-Muñoz, Yara Onetti, Elsa Cortés-Montero, Javier Garzón, and Pilar Sánchez-Blázquez; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142691/
- A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study; JCI Insight; June 15, 2017; Khalid A. Jadoon,1 Garry D. Tan,2 and Saoirse E. O’Sullivan; https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/93760