Most people are familiar with the medicinal benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), but there’s still plenty to learn about its potential uses. We know that CBD oil can help treat chronic pain, reduce anxiety, and help regulate sleep cycles.
Research is now finding evidence that CBD may also be able to help treat or even prevent heart disease—a leading cause of death in the United States—and other conditions as well.
Read on to learn more about how CBD can help with heart diseases and what you should keep in mind when thinking about using CBD as a treatment option.
What is Heart Disease
Heart disease is a common, life-threatening condition affecting more than 25 million people in the United States. Every year it accounts for nearly half of all deaths. But there’s good news!
Preventative care and treatments can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. We’ll break down what cardiovascular events are, how they happen, and what you can do to protect your heart health.
Cardiovascular events are things like heart attacks, strokes, angina (chest pain), atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), and pulmonary embolism (blood clot).
The good news is that these factors can be prevented through medication or lifestyle changes. Medications such as statins, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and ARBs can lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and control symptoms of chronic diseases.
Stress reduction techniques include meditation and exercise. These have been shown to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and decrease anxiety levels.
Lifestyle changes may also be recommended including cutting back on alcohol consumption, quitting smoking cigarettes if applicable, eating healthier foods with less saturated fat, and reducing salt intake.
Do you think CBD can help you with your heart disease? Read on!
Heart Disease Symptoms
Chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs, headaches. A slow heartbeat. Feeling unusually tired or out of breath even after minimal exertion. Nausea or vomiting.
Feeling like something is going to happen without warning (premonition). Short-term memory loss. Hallucinations. Seizures. Lack of movement on one side of the body.
A sense that someone else is controlling your thoughts and actions. Rapid breathing. Uncontrollable shaking or tremors. Fast heart rate. Losing touch with reality.
Concentration difficulties. Trouble thinking clearly or staying focused. Fear of losing control over impulses. Confusion about where you are or what you are doing.
Withdrawal from work, social events, and family activities; feeling restless and irritable when not using alcohol/drugs; experiencing anxiety symptoms (such as a pounding heart) when abstaining from alcohol/drugs; neglecting personal hygiene; trouble sleeping; stomach pains or other bodily aches without a clear cause.
The symptoms could also be caused by an underlying condition such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, asthma, lupus, anemia, or hyperthyroidism.
Alcohol consumption can contribute to some cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and heart attacks.
Causes of Heart Disease
Heart disease, a leading cause of death globally, is responsible for one in four deaths. More than 60 million people die each year from cardiovascular-related diseases.
It accounts for about 17% of all the world’s deaths and will only increase as the population ages. Research suggests that there are several factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and diabetes.
CBD has been shown to protect against hypertension (high blood pressure) by acting on key receptors found in the brain, muscles, and vessels.
The receptor called TRPV1 senses both physical and chemical irritants like heat or inflammation. These activators can then open channels to allow calcium ions into cells, causing muscles to contract or allowing the dilation of blood vessels.
Another way that CBD has been shown to prevent and treat cardiovascular problems is through its effect on endocannabinoids, compounds produced by the body naturally.
Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that prevents overactive immune responses and lowers blood pressure, while 2-AG protects against stroke damage and helps regulate insulin levels.
Another way CBD may be useful in treating cardiovascular problems is through its anti-inflammatory properties – many inflammatory markers were reduced after treatment with cannabinoids including CBD.
How CBD Can Help
CBD has been found to have very few adverse side effects. It is also non-addictive and has no psychoactive effects.
One way that it may help, for example, is by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by protecting against constrictions in the arteries that can lead to atherosclerosis and lower blood flow.
Another potential use is as a treatment for coronary artery disease where studies are investigating whether or not CBD may be able to reduce inflammation and improve vascular function.
These uses are still being researched, but they show promise and so far there have been few if any adverse side effects reported. Furthermore, even if CBD does not work for these purposes, it does not cause addiction or impair mental functioning.
For those reasons, CBD could be an excellent choice for someone who wants to avoid prescription medications like opioids or amphetamines.
But again, more research needs to be done before this becomes conclusive.
Is There Anything Else I Should Do?
Just as your doctor would prescribe medications for the treatment of conditions like arthritis, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you should consult a doctor about CBD and its effect on your specific condition.
They can help determine if this is the right supplement for you and if so, how much to take and how often. Additionally, they may also be able to recommend other treatments that work well in conjunction with CBD.
For example, someone with arthritis might find it helpful to use both CBD and exercise to manage their symptoms more effectively.
A person who has just been diagnosed with cancer might need chemotherapy medication but could find relief from their symptoms through the use of CBD during chemotherapy.
To provide an idea of dosage, those taking CBD for anxiety typically take 10mg-30mg daily. The dosing will depend on the severity of your condition and what other treatments are being used at the same time.
It’s important to know the proper way to dose CBD, as too little may not have any effect while too much could lead to unwanted side effects.
There is no right amount that works for everyone. It’s all based on your needs and situation, so be sure to ask your doctor before starting any new regimen.