Have you ever wondered if CBD oil and blood pressure are connected? Have you wondered whether cannabidiol may have a positive impact on high blood pressure?
Yes? So have I!
There is a reason for this curiosity of mine.
I have this fixed image in my head: my mother extremely stressed by dust or dirt in her sterilized house with the blood pressure monitor in her hands and panic in her eyes.
Dirt and dust are imaginary- she sweeps and cleans all day and she is never satisfied with the results.
But her blood pressure levels going up and down like a lift are worryingly real.
My experiment with my father’s psoriasis and CBD was a huge success. Now, it’s my mother’s turn.
My intention is to examine the potential benefits of my favorite cannabinoid on my mom’s occasional raised blood pressure levels.
I know that nothing can heal her from her obsession; detergents will always remain a passion of hers.
I want to find out whether CBD can help her before her temporary condition becomes permanent and transforms into hypertension.
I won’t keep the results for myself, don’t worry. I’ll share them with you, as always.
Relax and keep reading to learn whether CBD oil can help with high blood pressure
What is High Blood Pressure
When you measure your blood pressure you get two numbers.
The first and biggest of the two numbers is your systolic pressure and shows the force against the walls of your arteries when your heart is contracting and pumping blood.
The second number is the diastolic pressure and measures the pressure in your arteries during the intervals between heartbeats when your heart is resting.
Blood pressure is measured in ‘millimeters of mercury’ (mmHg).
A reading of 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower is considered a normal blood pressure. You should start worrying if you get readings from 120 to 139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg because these are considered risk levels. If you get readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg and above then your blood pressure is high (hypertension) and you should urgently see your physician.
For a simple reason!
Raised blood pressure is considered a silent serial killer.
No, I don’t exaggerate calling it a serial killer!
Hypertension is responsible for more than 7.5 million deaths worldwide. Coronary heart disease and both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are linked to elevated blood pressure.
According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that almost 40% of people globally suffer from high blood pressure.
Why did I call it silent?
Simply, because it is a sly, symptomless condition; it won’t warn you of its occurrence in your system.
So, if you expect that there will be symptoms to alert you and make you realize that there is something wrong with your blood pressure, I ‘m sorry to inform you that you are putting your life in serious danger.
I know that you have heard of some signs related to hypertension, such as
- Intense headaches
- Frequent nose bleeding
- Blurry vision
- Chest discomfort
- Breathing difficulties or
- Abnormal heartbeat
These are not warning symptoms.
They are signs of a hypertensive crisis.
Their occurrence indicates that your blood pressure has probably reached so elevated levels that could threaten your life by causing you a stroke or a heart attack.
Hypertension types, causes and risk factors
Hypertension can be categorized into two types: primary and secondary.
In the case of essential (primary) hypertension, there is usually no identifiable or detectable culprit. It is considered an idiopathic or autoimmune condition. it tends to be a familial disease and it’s probably the result of a synergy between environmental and heredity factors.
High blood pressure is called secondary when there is a health issue that causes it. If you suffer from conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, kidney problems, thyroid dysfunction or you have congenital defects in blood vessels, you should monitor your blood pressure constantly.
Illegal and legal drugs are not innocent either. Amphetamines and cocaine along with over-the-counter pain killers and antidepressants can skyrocket your blood pressure.
You don’t identify yourself in any of the above?
Take a look at these risk factors :
- Age. Hypertension risks rise in correlation with your age.
- Family history. High blood pressure is often hereditary and runs in the family.
- Ethnicity. People of African heritage develop high blood pressure more often and earlier in age than other races.
- Obesity and lack of physical exercise. Sitting on the couch and consuming junk food isn’t the best thing to do to maintain optimal blood pressure.
- A lot of sodium (salt) and very little potassium in your diet. Salt increases your blood pressure by retaining fluids in your body. Potassium balances sodium in your cells and prevents your body from accumulating it in your blood.
- Smoking and heavy drinking.
- Stress and anxiety.
The white coat syndrome and the masked hypertension myths
I have two friends that suffer from two opposite blood pressure conditions that in the past were considered neither alarming nor serious.
Maria has a normal blood pressure in all settings.
Did I say all? I lied.
I meant in all settings except for one:
When she finds herself in a medical setting and a doctor or a nurse measures her blood pressure, she exhibits unexpected spikes in her blood pressure levels and her readings rise about 4 mmHg above the normal range.
She was told she suffers from the “white coat” syndrome (the term “white coat” refers to the white clothing that medical professionals usually wear), a disorder that wasn’t treated as a health condition and it was, wrongly, considered as simple stress and nervousness in the past.
The doctors’ attitude towards the “white coat” effect has changed lately.
Scientific research indicates that Maria and lots of people like her have great difficulties in handling stress and anxiety.
As a consequence, they are at great risk of developing sustained raised blood pressure and cardiovascular issues in the future.
On the other hand, John’s blood pressure readings are more than perfect when taken by a doctor or a nurse.
He feels safe when a “white coat” is around and his readings appear normal. His blood pressure skyrockets as soon as he leaves the doctor’s office and returns to his high-stress daily routine and job.
John struggled a lot to convince his doctor that there was something wrong with his blood pressure. His physician thought my friend was a hypochondriac or a Munchausen syndrome sufferer because all his blood pressure readings at his office were optimal.
After numerous measurements in all kinds of situations and settings, the doctors informed John that his condition is the opposite of the “white coat” syndrome and is known as masked hypertension or reverse white coat syndrome.
My friends have one thing in common: they show intense reactivity to stress and anxiety.
Both of them were warned to be cautious and were ordered to monitor their blood pressure constantly.
Moreover, their doctors were categorical: they have to find a way to control their mental, physical and emotional response to stressors and thus reduce their increased anxiety levels.
Are you wondering why?
Even though stress and anxiety do not directly cause hypertension, research indicates that they can have an auxiliary effect on the evolution of the condition.
“Stress can cause hypertension through repeated blood pressure elevations as well as by stimulation of the nervous system to produce large amounts of vasoconstricting hormones that increase blood pressure”Kulkarni S, O’Farrell I, Erasi M, Kochar MS.
Both my friends have turned to CBD oil to cope with their stress and anxiety and their negative consequences on their blood pressure.
What does science say about CBD and high blood pressure?
Science has just started to unveil the potential benefits of cannabidiol on blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
A relatively recent study, published in 2017 in JCI Insight and carried out on humans, found out that cannabidiol has the ability to reduce systolic blood pressure.
This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study used nine healthy male volunteers with no underlying cardiovascular or metabolic disorders ( mean age 24 years; range 19–29). The participants were given cannabidiol in a single oral dose of 600mg or placebo and their cardiovascular parameters were monitored using a finometer and Laser Doppler.
The subjects that had received the CBD dose exhibited a systolic pressure reduction of about 6mmHg during rest and in response to cold stress and an average decrease of 5mmHg before and after stress.
According to the researchers:
“… data show that a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress, particularly cold stress, and especially in the post-test periods. This may reflect the anxiolytic and analgesic effects of CBD, as well as any potential direct cardiovascular effects.”Khalid A. Jadoon, Garry D. Tan, and Saoirse E. O’Sullivan
Our body’s own endocannabinoids have been found to normalize blood pressure and suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension. Moreover, research has brought evidence regarding the cardiodepressor and vasodilator effects of the endocannabinoid anandamide and the way CBD is related to it.
Additionally, there is good news regarding cannabidiol’s positive effects on cardiovascular issues.
Science has discovered that CBD
“induces a reduction in infarct size that is caused by reduced myocardial inflammation”Durst, Danenberg, Gallily, Mechoulam, Meir, Grad, Beeri, Pugatsch, Tarsish and Lotan
Its potential to restore normal heartbeat rhythm after an ischemic attack and to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation suggests that it may be a promising approach to treat myocardial ischemia.
How does CBD influence blood pressure?
The negative consequences and the adverse side effects of prescribed medications are known to all. This is the reason why more and more people, worldwide, are turning to CBD looking for a natural and safe way to treat health problems.
Cannabidiol’s close relation to the most important system in your body, the Endocannabinoid System, enables it to relieve plenty of health issues.
High blood pressure is one of them.
CBD oil is famous for its anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties. Because of them, it has the ability to positively influence high blood pressure in two distinct ways:
As I have mentioned before, hypertension is a multifactorial trait. Environmental and genetics determinants combined with unhealthy dietary or lifestyle choices lead to the condition.
Mounting scientific evidence has added one more culprit in the list: inflammation is actively involved in the initiation and the development of hypertension.
According to researchers inflammation and hypertension are reciprocally related.
To make it simple: inflammation may cause hypertension and hypertension may cause inflammation.
It’s a vicious circle, don’t you think?
How can you stop it?
By relying on the potent anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol (did you know that the US government has patented CBD for these properties?)
CBD oil interacts with the neurotransmitters of the Endocannabinoid System and manages to relieve chronic pain and treat not only acute but chronic inflammation as well.
Stress and hypertension are related.
Remember my mother?
Under a stressful condition (dust on her furniture!!) she experiences frequent spikes in her blood pressure. As soon as she realizes that her blood pressure is raised, she gets more stressed and her readings rise even more.
Another vicious circle to cope with!
Chronic stress and -its immediate consequence- anxiety can cause repeated blood pressure elevations. If these high blood pressure episodes occur frequently they can harm your blood vessels and lead you to hypertension.
According to researchers, CBD can be used as a potential treatment on stress and anxiety because it has anxiolytic, antidepressant and antipsychotic effects.
CBD oil has the ability to combat stress and anxiety and keep you relaxed and calm and therefore help your blood pressure levels remain low.
CBD and beta blockers
CBD oil is natural and safe but its conjunction with your prescribed medications can be problematic.
Beta-blockers (Tenormin, Toprol-XL, Sectral, Bystolic, Zebeta, Propranolol, Verapamil are some of them) belong to a class of drugs prescribed to hypertension sufferers. They lower blood pressure and slow down the heart rate by inhibiting the effect of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline).
Cannabidiol can change the way that these prescription drugs work. To be specific CBD may amplify the beta-blockers effects of slowing down the heart rate.
If you are on prescribed medications and you are interested in using CBD oil to manage your high blood pressure,
don’t take any unnecessary and, perhaps, harmful risks. Consult your trusted physician, ask for guidance and follow his instructions.
Wrapping it up
The aforementioned scientific studies regarding the way CBD oil lowers high blood pressure are promising and optimistic.
Its anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory properties can become an additional weapon in your arsenal against inflammation or anxiety induced raised blood pressure.
Modern society and hectic lifestyles play a significant role in the development of hypertension.
CBD can help you achieve calmness and relaxation and thus achieve and “enjoy” normal blood pressure levels.
It is not a panacea and certainly not a miracle substance, though. Its benefits can be enhanced by personal choices and decisions.
You should make all the necessary changes in your lifestyle and try to eliminate all the risk factors associated with it.
CBD oil in conjunction with a balanced diet, less salt and more potassium, physical exercise and reduced (or zero) consumption of alcohol and tobacco can lower your blood pressure levels and help you live a healthier life.
Which brands should you trust?
I wouldn’t buy anything from a source I don’t trust.
When it comes to CBD and health, you should be careful to choose a brand that is reliable, trustworthy and transparent.
VerifiedCBD, Joy Organics, Avid Hemp, Endoca, Nganic, and Elixinol are my personal choices. Their sourcing, extraction methods, lab tests, and clients reviews prove their claims regarding the quality of their products.
Why don’t you give them a try?
If you have any questions or want to share any personal experience regarding blood pressure and CBD products, please, leave a comment below
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DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not meant to cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.