As the popularity and availability of CBD has exploded into the mainstream, for many of us, it’s become as much of a household staple as toothpaste and soap (did you know that you can find CBD in both? Of course you can. Because CBD is all around us). While it’s popular for general wellness use, lots of people find it extremely effective for medicinal purposes, as it helps ease a wide variety of symptoms, from mild aches and pains to the sometimes debilitating effects of anxiety. Some doctors will even suggest it as a treatment or medical intervention for certain ailments. With CBD so prevalent and helpful for so many health conditions, it’s natural to wonder about CBD effects on heart health. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions.
Does CBD help with heart health?
Before we examine CBD effects on heart health, let’s take a quick moment to explore the cardiovascular system and what it is. This extensive and complex structure of ours is composed of arteries and veins that pump nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. One fun fact is that the cardiovascular system is connected to the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a major role in helping to keep your bodily functions . . . functioning. ECS helps to regulate our emotions and our stress levels, both of which can have a major impact on our hearth health.
This is where CBD comes in because it interacts with the ECS. CBD, also known as a cannabinol, is the second most active ingredient in marijuana, acting as a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid. You won’t get high from CBD, but rather you’ll feel mellow. Calm. In good spirits. So, back to CBD effects on heart health. It’s important to know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States overall and the No. 1 killer of women specifically. There are multiple studies that suggest CBD oil in particular may help with some of the most common symptoms related to heart disease, such as high blood pressure. For example, there is research that indicates CBD can help to improve resting blood pressure and decrease spikes in blood pressure brought on by stress, especially in people who don’t have heart disease.
Additional research has shown CBD’s antioxidative properties may help to reduce inflammation, which can have a damaging effect on blood vessels. One of the most positive CBD effects on heart health is the impact it can have on strokes. Decreasing inflammation and the damage it can do to blood vessels can in turn, help reduce the potential for stroke. There are two types of stroke – ischemic which is when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain, and hemorrhagic, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing hemorrhaging. Multiple studies have revealed that CBD may help minimize the brain damage caused by a stroke, as well as potentially boost brain function afterward.
Does CBD cause heart palpitations?
Another concern people may have about CBD effects on heart health is the issue of heart palpitations. There have been reports that products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the part of cannabis that does get you high, have resulted in some people experiencing heart palpitations. However, CBD does not impact the body, specifically the heart, the same way that THC does. In fact, studies show that CBD-only products can blunt (no pun intended) the effects of THC by providing some measure of defense against things like paranoia, anxiety, and yes, rapid heartbeats. While you might have a different experience on a CBD-only product than your best friend, numerous studies continue to find it has no impact on the heart rate.
Does CBD help with heart disease or heart failure?
A big question about CBD effects on heart health is whether or not CBD helps with heart disease or heart failure. Well, while CBD cannot cure heart disease or heart failure, it can help to mitigate some of the factors that prompt cardiovascular disease, including helping to lower stress, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. A major contributor to heart disease is obesity and maintaining a healthy weight can result in a healthy heart. Turns out, CBD may help to turn white fat cells into burnable calories, which can lead to weight loss. It’s a win-win!
What does CBD do to heart rate?
When it comes to CBD effects on the heart, as mentioned above, a CBD-only product, be it a gummy, a mint, or chocolate, has not been found to have an impact on heart rate. A 2009 study pointed to the administration of a dose of CBD during a stressful situation which resulted in both lower blood pressure numbers and a decreased heart rate.
While there is still more research to be done about CBD effects on heart health, so much of the information we have available to us now points to a ton of benefits for heart health, everything from reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure, to losing weight. Seriously, what’s not to love?