By Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD
Many people with high blood pressure wonder if CBD can help. They want to know: Does CBD help with high blood pressure? Can I take CBD oil if I have high blood pressure? What are the side effects of using CBD while using other medications? Will CBD oil improve my blood flow? Will CBD improve my heart rate?
We hope to answer these questions in this post. By reading, you will become better informed before taking your CBD.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, comes from the prolonged elevation of pressure in the blood vessels. It’s a chronic medical condition that can lead to stroke, dementia, heart disease, kidney disease, and other complications. A number of factors can cause hypertension. Genetics and lifestyle choices could cause high blood pressure. Also, other problems like kidney disease or thyroid disease could lead to hypertension.
Therapy for hypertension can lower blood pressure to a safe range to prevent cardiovascular damage, stroke, kidney damage, etc. But therapy for hypertension is not without risks. Adverse effects from blood pressure medicines can include fatigue, low potassium, dizziness, metabolic changes, and lipid changes.
Simple interventions to improve cardiovascular health include weight loss, lower salt intake, exercise, stress reduction, etc. Medication might be necessary. Changing your diet to include certain plants can also help the treatment of high blood pressure.
Studies show that garlic can reduce systolic blood pressure. The leaf extract of the custard apple has been used to treat peripheral vascular resistance, which results in lowered blood pressure. Humans have used coffee weed, breadfruit, celery, and hibiscus have been used through the ages for their health benefits to help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. Science demonstrates that these plants do in fact have some activity against hypertension.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, CBD, is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. CBD may have real value in treating diseases and lifestyle conditions. CBD oil is made from hemp extract. Recent research focuses on the therapeutic properties of CBD oil. That research will evaluate the effectiveness of the anecdotal evidence that people use CBD for anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-convulsant and neuroprotective qualities.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. Through cannabinoid receptors, the ECS interacts with other systems including the nervous system, digestive system, and circulatory system.
The FDA recently approved CBD in the form of a pharmaceutical preparation for certain types of epilepsy. CBD appears to be well tolerated by the human body.
CBD Oil and High Blood Pressure
There are studies being done on the effects of CBD on humans with high blood pressure. What do we know so far?
In March 2020, the British Pharmacology Society published a study in which they gave 600 mg of CBD or a placebo to 26 healthy men daily for 7 days and assessed its effects on blood pressure and heart health.
The researchers found that CBD reduced resting blood pressure after a single dose of hemp oil. After 7 days, that effect wore off, presumably due to tolerance. Additionally, blood pressure reduction during stress persisted. The CBD patients had reduced stiffness of the artery walls and improvements in endothelial function.
What does this mean? The authors concluded that this warranted more research. That means we cannot advocate the use of CBD to treat hypertension until more studies are conducted.
CBD Affects on High Blood Pressure
Researchers believe CBD might have a synergistic effect with some medications. That means some drugs may act stronger in the body when combined with CBD. This could cause the side effects of other medications to flare when combined with a dose CBD.
The body can respond to a single dose of CBD in a similar way to grapefruit juice, which can affect certain medications. We need more research to be certain.
The FDA created an informational page about the possible interactions of grapefruit juice and medications, including blood pressure medications made from nifedipine, like Procardia and Adalat CC, because of how these medications interact with the liver enzyme, CYP3A4.
If you take blood pressure medications, please talk to your doctor before starting with CBD.
High Blood Pressure & CBD Oil Conclusion
The research shows that CBD might reduce stress and help the body achieve balance and homeostasis. This may be enough to affect hypertension in some people, which could improve heart rate and blood flow. Researchers need to conduct more human studies.
But make no mistake, high blood pressure is serious business. Doctors don’t call hypertension the “silent killer” for nothing. Be certain to talk to your doctor if you’re currently on blood pressure medication. In addition to using CBD oil, consider general lifestyle changes if your family genetics indicate cardiac dysfunction, heart attack, heart failure, body weight issues, cardiovascular disease, or other health problems.
If you have hypertension, do everything you can to control your blood pressure. Eat a healthy diet, get exercise, and follow your doctor’s orders may help reduce your blood pressure. If your doctor writes you a blood pressure prescription, take it as prescribed. Buy a blood pressure machine for your home and monitor your blood pressure regularly. Evaluate your stress level and health issues, and take steps to mitigate your stress response.
If your doctor recommends CBD oil tinctures or CBD oil capsules, you should only consider CBD that is USDA certified organic and third-party lab tested. Like the products at Cornbread Hemp, brands that take these steps reduce the risk of contamination.
Be aware that CBD tinctures may cause you to experience side effects from your other medication. If you have other health conditions in addition to hypertension, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
This post has not been intended as medical advice. CBD is not a drug. The FDA did not evaluate these statements. Cornbread Hemp products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.