Does CBD help control blood pressure?

Currently, it is estimated that more than 1,280 million adults in the world are hypertensive.

Given the high incidence that this condition has developed in recent years, many researchers have focused on studying different alternatives to deal with them. One of them is cannabidiol or CBD, one of the active ingredients of cannabis.

What is hypertension?

Blood pressure is the force that blood exerts on the walls of blood vessels or arteries. It can be measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) taking into account the activity of the heart: systolic (pumping) and diastolic (resting) pressure.

Normal levels are considered when systolic pressure is below 130 mmHg and diastolic pressure below 85 mmHg. If the blood pressure monitor indicates that the above measurements are consistently exceeded, hypertension may have developed.

Since hypertension is usually a silent condition, symptoms may not be experienced until it is advanced. At that time, symptoms may include:

  • Changes in vision.
  • redness
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Head and chest pain.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Dizziness.
  • Blood in the urine.

In the long run, high blood pressure can cause arterial narrowing, impair blood circulation, impair heart function, and increase the risk of stroke, kidney and eye damage.

How to control blood pressure levels?

Most people with high blood pressure need lifelong treatment, and sticking with it is very important because it can help prevent or delay other cardiovascular problems. A good way to achieve this is by adopting healthy habits:

  • Maintain a healthy diet: It is advised to follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, better known as the DASH diet. This type of diet is characterized by including many fruits, vegetables (especially green leafy), whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, eggs, chicken, fish, lean meats, and nuts, especially walnuts and almonds. Also, limit your intake of sweets, sugary drinks, alcohol, processed foods, and foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
  • Avoid excesses: Quitting smoking can help your blood pressure return to normal or be easier to control. This warning also extends to alcohol consumption.
  • Controlling stress: nervousness, irritability and anxiety cause muscle tension, fatigue and poor circulation, favoring an increase in blood pressure levels.
  • exercise regularly: It is a healthy habit that prevents hundreds of diseases.
  • sleep properlyRest allows the body to stabilize blood pressure levels. The ideal is to sleep between 7 and 8 hours, if possible at regular times.
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Another option that has been studied in recent years for its promising effects in controlling blood pressure is cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD, together with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the phytocannabinoid with the highest concentration of the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana.

  • Cannabidiol, cannabinoids and THC, how are they different?

While THC is psychoactive, producing euphoric or dysphoric effects, CBD is capable of blocking that psychoactivity.

This property made it an object of interest for its application in the medical field. Thanks to research in recent years, a wide variety of CBD properties have been found, some with greater support than others. The most notable are:

  • pain relievers
  • Anticonvulsants.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • antioxidants.
  • Antitumor.
  • Immunomodulatory.
  • Neuroprotective.

Although the most popular and fastest way to consume CBD is to smoke it, this practice can trigger side effects, such as an increased risk of lung disease. Some alternatives include:

  • Droppers that are applied directly to the mouth.
  • Edible products, such as pills.
  • Topicals that are rubbed into the muscles
  • Vaporizers, where its oil is boiled and then the steam is inhaled.

Does CBD help lower blood pressure?

Different investigations indicate that the use of CBD can help reduce blood pressure.

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For example, a paper published in Frontiers in Pharmacologyfound after conducting a review of studies, that it is possible that the beneficial effects of CBD on blood flow occur when the cardiovascular system is abnormally altered.

This suggests that CBD can be used as a treatment for various cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension, heart attack or stroke.

The authors also noted that the findings were predominantly preclinical and that significant effects were only seen in animals.

However, there are other cases, such as the study published in Journal of Hypertensionwhich found, after conducting studies in rodents, that CBD was not effective in reducing blood pressure, although it did provide antioxidant effects.

Although more clinical research is needed to recommend its use, many researchers agree that the benefits of CBD on blood pressure are due to the fact that it provides relief from certain risk factors of hypertension, such as anxiety, excessive inflammation, pain and chronic stress, or poor quality sleep.

Is it safe to use CBD?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize the potential benefits of CBD, noting that it is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile, and no side effects that can indicate the potential for abuse or dependency.

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The recommended daily intake is usually between 0.5 and 20 mg or between 1 and 3 drops of 5% oil. Its extract is also available at 10%, 20%, 30% and 40%. However, professionals agree that doses may vary depending on the reactions of each metabolism.

Experts also warn about some precautions that should be taken regarding the use of CBD products that are marketed, since health authorities are not responsible for regulating them in the same way that they do with medicines.

This means that consumers must be especially careful when choosing the products to use. To reduce any risk, it is advisable to take into account some aspects:

  • That the CBD products you buy have certificates of analysis. These help verify that the amount of CBD the labs found matches what is advertised on the label.
  • That the manufacturers of the CBD products have not been the recipients of warning letters or lawsuits by the health authorities.
  • That the manufacturers of CBD products show transparency in the manufacturing processes.
  • Opinion of other users.
  • The consumption of CBD products has been linked to certain side effects, among which are: diarrhea, changes in weight or appetite, and fatigue.

    It can also interact with some medications, so it is recommended to consult a health professional before starting to use them.

    Sources consulted: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health Drug Abuse, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, World Health Organization (WHO).

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