Another article (published in the same journal) reported that CBD may reduce cardiovascular tension in the vascular system. Vascular tension is a heart condition in which significant strain is placed on the blood vessels.
As we continue to explore CBD in numerous therapeutic and medicinal applications, the evidence that is emerging supports the notion that it may offer treatment against heart disease. This is in addition to the various other health conditions that it could potentially help.
One of the potential side effects of CBD is lowered blood pressure. In the case of heart disease, this is more of a treatment than a risk. CBD appears to widen the blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow. As a result, this reduces the damage that high blood pressure does to arterial walls.
CBD for Heart Disease: Reduced Arrhythmia
A heart arrhythmia is when your heart either beats too early, too fast, too slow or too irregularly. Often times arrhythmias can be completely harmless. However, when the heartbeat is exceptionally irregular or comes from a damaged heart, then it can pose serious health risks.
Treating of any kind of medical condition can be complicated, but heart disease is particularly delicate. Treatment options depend significantly on the type of heart condition that a person has. It seems more and more patients are looking into cannabis as an alternative to prescription drugs. This is because many pharmaceutical medications come with an array of adverse side effects that can be as dangerous and problematic as the condition itself.
Among other things, inflammation of the heart can cause cardiovascular cells to become damaged or even die. This can be brought on by certain diseases, viruses, medications, or even an autoimmune attack. If inflammation isn’t treated, it could result in death.
Another study found that in addition to its ability to lower blood pressure, CBD could also be useful in the prevention and treatment of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. In this study, the authors discovered that CBD produces a substantial cardioprotective effect from ischemia, which reduces infarction size.
Inflammation is part of the process that leads to many diseases, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, and there is some evidence that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. Other studies have suggested that CBD can have a protective effect on the heart: this has been proven in rats after a heart attack and in mice with some of the heart damage associated with diabetes. But because these studies are often based on findings in a lab or in animals, not in humans, we cannot yet be confident that CBD will benefit the human heart.
“It’s clear that CBD has potential,” says Professor Sumnall, “but we’re at a very early stage of that research.”
CBD’s popularity has been given a boost by the fact that two CBD-containing medicines have been approved for prescription use by the NHS in England: Epidyolex, which has been found to reduce the number of seizures in children with severe epilepsy, and Sativex, which contains a mixture of CBD and THC, and is licensed for treatment of muscle stiffness and spasms in people with MS.
Does CBD work?
“In terms of the products found in shops, there’s virtually no evidence to support the claims made for a lot of them.” Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use at Liverpool John Moores University
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical that’s extracted from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabis itself is an illegal class B drug, as is the compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which it contains. But pure CBD isn’t illegal, as it doesn’t cause the intoxicating effects of cannabis.
A 2018 report by the World Health Organization suggested that CBD may help treat symptoms relating to conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), anxiety, depression, insomnia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Since 2016, any CBD product that is presented as having medicinal value must be licensed and regulated as a medicine, regardless of whether it is actually effective. Manufacturers must follow very specific and robust rules around production, packaging and the information provided.
Research shows that CBD can help maintain healthy cardiovascular function and prevent heart disease on a number of fronts, including protecting against hardening of the arteries, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the incidence of potentially dangerous arrhythmias.
Research shows that CBD also can suppress irregular heartbeat caused by stroke-induced ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the heart) and can minimize tissue damage caused by the lack of oxygen. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that when rats were given CBD 10 minutes before a 30-minute coronary artery occlusion (partial or complete obstruction of blood flow in the coronary artery, which may cause chest pain, heart attack, and tissue damage) or 10 minutes before blood flow was restored, they experienced fewer arrhythmias and less tissue damage than rats not given CBD . Research in this area is still in the early stage, but it already shows great potential.
Inside Your Arteries
CBD may protect against cardiac arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat.
An excerpt from The Essential Guide to CBD by the editors of Reader’s Digest & Project CBD .
THC and CBD are both vasodilators, meaning they widen your blood vessels, a process regulated by the endocannabinoid system. This can have a pronounced positive effect on blood pressure. In a 2017 study, British researchers gave a group of men either 600 mg of CBD or a dummy supplement and monitored their blood pressure at rest and again after stress tests that normally increased blood pressure. Just that single dose of CBD reduced the participants’ resting systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg. Plus, they had less of a spike in blood pressure in response to stress than those taking a single dose of a placebo pill.