Mainstream doctors (and even politicians) know that there are health benefits that come from cannabis. That’s why 33 states and a handful of U.S. territories have legalized some form of medical marijuana. But it’s not the psychotropic “high” that provides medicinal benefits. In fact, more and more studies are showing that the non-intoxicating cannabinoid known as CBD supports a variety of healthy body functions. Scientists have discovered that CBD supports a system in the human body known as the endocannabinoid system and, in turn, the endocrine system. This means CBD can support everything from hormonal balances and a good night’s sleep, to weight loss, pain management, and more.
Recently, attention has turned to CBD hemp oil regarding the cardiovascular system. While studies continue, there are new findings that suggest that there are ways this powerful supplement can help heart health, too.
Managing Blood Pressure with CBD
Usually, when a patient is diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure, doctors immediately prescribe extensive lifestyle changes. Sometimes, they go further and recommend a lifetime of medication. It’s vital that patients with high blood pressure make the necessary changes to improve their health, as they’re at greater risk for a heart attack, stroke or kidney disease. One non-traditional method that they may wish to consider is adding CBD hemp oil into their daily routine.
In one 2017 study, scientists discovered that CBD helped lower both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 10 male subjects, compared to a placebo. Part of the study looked at the participants’ blood pressure before and after mental stress tests. Surprisingly, CBD kept blood pressure low during stressful situations.
Other researchers have examined the role CBD could play in managing psychiatric disorders that are related to poor heart health and high blood pressure. Using mice, scientists learned that CBD helps increase a body’s level of serotonin, which brings feelings of pleasure and relaxation. Imbalances related to this neurotransmitter have been implicated in numerous psychiatric disorders.
Research also supports using CBD for social anxiety. A small, double-blind study of 24 participants with this disorder found that CBD helped their anxiety, lowered heart rates, and decreased blood pressure— even before they had to give a public speaking test.
CBD’s Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
CBD’s anti-inflammatory power is an important property for heart health. When the heart muscle is inflamed, the condition is known as myocarditis. As a result, the heart is less able to effectively pump blood throughout the body. A 2016 study showed that CBD may reduce autoimmune myocarditis, as well as reduce certain immune responses in the body. Scientists have also found that CBD reduces oxidative stress, a condition that is closely related to inflammation.
CBD Could Improve Stroke Recovery
Strokes are strongly associated with heart disease, and unfortuantely they are extremely common, causing a death every four minutes in America. Because so many people suffer from strokes, researchers have looked at whether CBD could help in stroke recovery. For example, one 2007 study with rats yielded promising results, showing that CBD was able to reduce tissue damage in animals that suffered a heart attack or a stroke. The study found that rats treated with CBD for a week had the amount of dead tissue in their bodies lowered by 66 percent. Ten years later, a second study found that CBD could also protect animals who do suffer a stroke against long-term, permanent brain damage. The research reported that CBD helped lead to long-term functional recovery after what is known as a lacunar stroke.
Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in America. Doctors are always looking for more ways to encourage their patients to support their cardiovascular system—to keep hearts beating and pumping fresh oxygen, nutrients and hormones through the body. Already, studies have shown a variety of findings that show the potential value of CBD on heart health, and more studies are underway to support these findings, too.