Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the over 115 pharmacologically beneficial, naturally occurring compounds in marijuana. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. CBD and its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are the two widely studied and the most abundant cannabinoids. The compounds make up about 40% of marijuana’s extracts.
Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol differ fundamentally in how they impact the human body. CBD interacts with receptors mostly widespread in the body’s peripheral regions, while THC binds to receptors closer to the brain and central nervous system. This explains why THC can get you high while CBD is generally non-psychoactive.
Cannabidiol’s inability to induce mind-altering effects is a significant reason behind the compound’s popularity as a health supplement. Multiple studies investigating CBD’s medicinal properties have found that the compound may offer relief from a broad spectrum of medical conditions. Common issues that you can mediate using CBD-based products include pain, anxiety, inflammation, seizures, and nausea.
What’s more, some recent studies now suggest that cannabidiol might help to lower blood pressure. But can CBD guard against blood pressure surges? This post shall attempt to shed more light on that.
More About Blood Pressure and the Role of CBD
Right off the bat, it’s important to emphasize that CBD is far from being the magic pill to most human ailments. However, a growing body of studies points to the compound’s potential for relieving some of the worst chronic diseases. For instance, some studies found CBD can lower blood pressure and even go as far as reducing the risks of future blood pressure surges.
But perhaps we should back up a bit and familiarize ourselves with what blood pressure is.
As the name implies, blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood against the walls of the arteries as it circulates the body. They generally transport oxygenated blood, except for the pulmonary artery that carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs.
According to the CDC, it’s normal for your blood pressure to surge and dip throughout the day. However, if the blood pressure is consistently above normal levels, you could be suffering from hypertension.
Hypertension is considered a silent creeper. That’s because it generally produces no early warning signs. Most people only realize they’re hypertensive when it’s a bit too late. If untreated, hypertension may trigger severe complications like heart attack, chest pain, and stroke. Fortunately, it’s now emerging that you can keep your blood pressure in check by incorporating CBD-based products into your health and wellness routine.
How Does CBD Lower Your Blood Pressure?
First up, it’s worth mentioning that cannabidiol is not the magic pill for hypertension. That’s to say that the condition will not resolve itself immediately after you take a CBD-based supplement.
Also, cannabidiol doesn’t address hypertension directly. Instead, it targets the condition’s most bothersome triggers.
The following are the top ways CBD may help keep your blood pressure in check.
CBD can relieve anxiety
One of the studies by the American Institute of Stress, stress and anxiety are major risk factors for hypertension. Anxiety raises your heart rate. And the harder your heart pumps blood, the more likely you are to develop hypertension. Fortunately, cannabidiol has proven to be effective against stress and anxiety. CBD relieves anxiety by increasing the body’s signaling of ‘happiness’ hormones like serotonin and suppressing the stress hormone cortisol.
According to one 2017 study, CBD demonstrated better potential at relieving stress-induced hypertension compared to a placebo. The experiment involved 90 healthy men who either received one dose of cannabidiol or a placebo. Towards the end of the trial period, researchers noted a marked reduction in blood pressure, both at rest and during anxious moments.
And here’s the best part. Various studies investigating CBD’s anxiolytic properties have shown that the compound may help with significant anxiety disorders. They include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder (PD).
CBD may dilate blood vessels
Cannabidiol is a potent vasodilator. When consumed, the compound dilates (opens up) constricted arteries. Dilated arterial walls translate into reduced blood pressure. That’s because it lowers the pressure applied to the previously smaller walls. The phenomenon is comparable to replacing smaller-diameter water pipes with larger ones.
A 2020 study sought to shine a light on CBD’s vasodilatory properties. The study, conducted on human lung tissues removed due to lung cancer, discovered that CBD caused arterial dilation in the lungs. Researchers concluded that this could be an effective way to manage hypertension.
Cannabidiol’s vasodilatory properties are why the compound is generally recommended for people with erectile dysfunction (ED). Consuming CBD-based supplements before intimacy may open up your arteries and increase the volume of blood flowing to your sexual organs, ultimately resulting in more robust and longer erections.
CBD might not cure hypertension instantly. But the compound may address some of the condition’s worst triggers, including anxiety and the constriction of arterial walls. However, remember to consult a qualified medical marijuana doctor before using CBD for high blood pressure. That’s especially if you’re already on other hypertension medications. Also, remember to use CBD in moderation. The compound has proven to be effective at relatively low doses and counterproductive at high doses.