Can CBD Really Help with High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the force of the blood flowing through your blood vessels is consistently too high. High blood pressure can be a very serious ailment if left unchecked and is something you should take seriously. CBD has been thought to help with many things but can CBD actually help regulate or lower your blood pressure?
Many people don’t even know or realize that they have high blood pressure. In the United States alone it is believed that almost half of adults are considered to have high blood pressure. Hypertension can be addressed in many ways and with various prescription medications. But if you are someone who prefers a more natural solution you might be wondering if CBD could help to alleviate your blood pressure.
We were wondering the same thing so we did some more research on this topic. Read on to find out what the research says about whether CBD is effective at lowering blood pressure and how much CBD you should take to lower your blood pressure.
What Is Blood Pressure and How Is It Measured
So, what exactly is blood pressure? Understanding the basics of human anatomy as it pertains to blood pressure is important. It allows you to better recognize when there may be a problem and it also allows you to better understand what your response to that problem should be. We have doctors for a reason but it is a good thing to understand your body and how it works, at least in a general sense.
Your heart pumps blood throughout your body through what is known as the circulatory system. This is a vast system of pathways by which your blood reaches your entire body. The term blood pressure simply refers to the amount of force or pressure of the circulating blood against the walls of your blood vessels. It is normally viewed as the pressure in the large arteries. Blood pressure is an important vital sign that a healthcare professional would use when evaluating a person’s health.
Most of us have probably had our blood pressure measured. It is traditionally done using what is called a sphygmomanometer. That’s the cuff that they put on you and then pump it up to squeeze your arm. A stethoscope is also used so that they can carefully listen to the artery to determine the correct systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It’s not a complicated method but it does take some training and practice to become accurate. Nowadays we also have more automated ways of determining a person’s blood pressure, which can also be very accurate.
How High Is Too High
One common question from people is how high is too high when it comes to blood pressure? There are some pretty clear guidelines that have been laid out to determine whether or not you are considered to have high blood pressure. The problem comes because there are some stubborn people out there who do not think these guidelines should apply to them. We can understand that because we’ve been there ourselves. But our recommendation is to follow the advice of the professionals that have researched this stuff. They probably know better than you do.
Here are some guidelines to follow when looking at blood pressure numbers.
|Category||Systolic (Top number)||Diastolic (Bottom number)|
|Normal||Less than 120 AND||Less than 80|
|Elevated||120-129 AND||Less than 80|
|Stage 1 Hypertension||130-139 OR||80-89|
|Stage 2 Hypertension||140+ OR||90+|
|Hypertensive Crisis||Higher than 180 AND/OR||Higher than 120|
Hypertension is referred to ‘the silent killer’ for a reason. You may feel fine and you may not be experiencing any negative symptoms that you are aware of. But the fact is that if left untreated, HBP does damage to your circulatory system that can lead to major health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
Possible Causes and Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
What causes high blood pressure and are some people more prone to it than others? There is no question that there are some things you can do to lower your risk of hypertension. On the other hand, there are other risk factors that are hereditary and you are simply stuck with.
These are some hereditary risk factors that you cannot change but should be aware of that can lead to high blood pressure:
- Family history – If close blood relatives have had HBP then you are more at risk
- Age – The simple fact is the older you are the more likely you are to suffer from HBP
- Gender – Before age 64 men are more at risk. After 64 women seem to have a higher risk
- Race – HBP is more prevalent in African Americans
Some risk factors of HBP that you do have some control over:
- Diet – unhealthy diet, especially high sodium contributes to HBP
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much alcohol consumption
- Sleep apnea
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Stress – too much stress can definitely contribute to an increase in your blood pressure
Short and Long Term Effects of Hypertension
High blood pressure is referred to as ‘the silent killer’ for a reason. Unfortunately, you may not even know or feel the damage being caused to your circulatory system and your heart. If you are aware that you are at risk for high blood pressure then you should have it checked regularly to make sure it is not increasing. There are also a host of symptoms that may point to signs of having high blood pressure.
Some of these symptoms may include:
- Severe headaches
- Vision problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
In the long run, high blood pressure can lead to some very serious problems. It can lead to atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. This is when plaque actually builds up in your arteries, causing blockages. This can lead to a restriction of blood flow to your heart. A severe condition may even lead to chest pain especially when you are exerting yourself.
Some other conditions that are often attributed to high blood pressure are strokes, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, and preeclampsia during a woman’s pregnancy. These are all very serious conditions that can be life-threatening. And your chances of experiencing these are all increased with high blood pressure.
What Is CBD
For those who don’t know what CBD is we will give a high level overview before going into more detail about whether CBD can actually help lower blood pressure.
CBD is simply one of the naturally-occurring compounds found in cannabis sativa plants. This is the plant that is known as marijuana but the CBD that we use today comes from a sub-species of the cannabis sativa plant, known as hemp.
Unlike marijuana, hemp is rich in CBD and also has a very low THC content. This is important because THC is the compound of marijuana that causes users to get a ‘high’ feeling. It is the psychoactive component of marijuana. Hemp plants, where we get THC, contain 0.3% or less of THC. That is not enough to alter your state of mind.
CBD is extracted from hemp and is being used by millions of people around the world who are finding it helpful in various ways. There are tons of great CBD products being produced today. On top of that the best CBD brands in the world continue to bring new product offerings to the market.
What Has Research Shown About CBD and Blood Pressure
This all sounds nice but the real question is can CBD help lower your blood pressure? We have to admit there more scientific research needs to be conducted around CBD in general but also around how CBD impacts your blood pressure. But at least one study of 9 male volunteers would indicate that CBD does have the power to reduce blood pressure.
This particular study on whether CBD impacts blood pressure was conducted in 2017. It included 9 healthy male volunteers using a 600mg dose of CBD vs a placebo. The results were not astronomical but they definitely did appear to show a pattern for the volunteers.
At the end of the study the researchers concluded that a single 600mg dose of CBD did in fact help reduce resting blood pressure. Furthermore, the CBD showed to help reduce blood pressure increases that were associated with stressful situations.
Depending on the situation the research concluded that the 600mg dose of CBD kept blood pressure lower by 5-6 mmHg compared to the volunteers who received the placebo. That may not sound like a lot but that can easily be the difference from separating you from what is considered elevated blood pressure from being in Stage 1 blood pressure.
How Does CBD Work To Lower Blood Pressure
It is well-known that an increase in stress and anxiety lead to higher blood pressure. It is one of our body’s natural reactions to these types of outside stimuli. Some people are less affected than others but it has some impact on all of us.
CBD has shown itself to display many different health benefits for a lot of people. One of the main reasons that consumers use CBD is because of its ability to help reduce stress and anxiety. Promoting a sense of calm is one thing that many users of CBD have reported and continue to report. It’s a big reason why people keep coming back and keep using CBD. They are simply able to function better under the daily pressures of life.
The simple fact that CBD promotes a calming feeling helps to keep anxiety down. You may still have the outside pressure, but you are able to handle it more calmly and confidently. This in turn allows CBD to help keep blood pressure lower for users who experience this calming effect from CBD.
CBD can also help to lower blood pressure because it helps with vasodilation. This means that it can help increase the diameter of your veins which allows blood to flow more freely throughout your body, lowering blood pressure. A combination of these factors can lead to lowering of blood pressure and can have an overall positive impact on both your mental and physical health.
How Long Will It Take For CBD To Work and How Much Do I Need
The answers to these questions aren’t exactly cut and dry. The reason is that people react differently to CBD. It is not a one size fits all formula.
If you are using CBD to help with blood pressure then we recommend trying CBD oil. For most people, CBD oil is the most potent and effective way to experience CBD. Ingesting CBD oil orally allows it to interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
When using CBD oil we have found that it is most effective when you place it under your tongue and hold it there for 30-90 seconds. You can play with the timing as people report different effects depending on how long they keep it under their tongue. Most people start to feel the effects of the CBD within 15-45 minutes.
How Much CBD To Lower Blood Pressure
In the previously mentioned studies they were using 600mg of CBD daily and achieved blood pressure drops of around 5mmHG. These are admittedly not huge decreases in blood pressure but the evidence does strongly support it from the study.
Taking 600mg of CBD daily is not a small amount. In fact, it is a fairly large amount. Studies have shown humans to be highly tolerant to CBD up to 1500mg per day so it’s not a high enough amount to make you think it’s too much. We are speaking more from a financial standpoint.
For example, if you were taking a CBD oil that averaged out to be 10 cents per mg of CBD it would cost you $6 per day to be able to take 600mg of CBD. With 30 days in each month that would be an average of around $180 per month. For most of us that is a substantial financial investment to make. And one that many people cannot afford to do.
How Long Before I Know If It’s Working
When using CBD it is normal to feel some effects within the first hour after taking CBD. But research is showing that the most benefit of using CBD comes when you take it consistently over a longer period of time. Consistent, long term use is the key to experiencing the most benefits from CBD and will give you the greatest chance to have a lasting, long-term impact on reducing blood pressure.
Does CBD Interact With Other Blood Pressure Medications
If you are on other medications you do need to be careful if you plan on trying CBD for reducing blood pressure. CBD does have the potential to interact with other prescription medications and could interfere with them.
We are not medical professionals and don’t claim to be but we do want to give you a general idea of how CBD can interact with other medications based on our research. We highly recommend that you do your own research as well as seek advice from a knowledgeable medical professional before starting to take CBD, especially if you are already on other medications.
If you have ever seen a grapefruit warning on the label of a medication you may be aware that it can interfere with the breakdown of certain medications. CBD can potentially have a similar effect on medications as well.
A high percentage of prescription medications are metabolized by an enzyme known as CYP3A4. This enzyme also breaks down various types of blood pressure medications as well.
If you are taking a medication that utilizes CYP3A4 to break it down and are also taking CBD, which uses the same enzyme, it is trying to metabolize two substances at the same time.
This can lead to the enzyme not being able to properly break down either substance. This means you can possibly have an elevated amount of unmetabolized drugs in your system.
You may have leftover CBD or prescription medication that your body is not able to metabolize properly. We want to stress the importance of making sure you do your research if you are taking other medications alongside CBD.
Are There Side Effects of Taking CBD for Blood Pressure
We are going to assume that you are not taking other medications or that you are completely sure that CBD will not have a negative impact on your current medications. That could introduce a whole new set of issues.
There are some possible side effects from CBD although they are not considered to be severe. Some possible side effects of CBD include the following:
- Dry mouth
Other Ways to Keep Your Blood Pressure Down
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure then the first and most important thing to do is to change your lifestyle. This will include things like choosing to eat healthier, no more smoking, and the evergreen answer of exercising more often.
The combination of these three things is not only effective in helping to lower your blood pressure but it will ultimately just increase your health, longevity, and the amount of energy you have on a daily basis.
You should also try to limit your salt intake as part of changing your diet and drinking less alcohol can also have a positive impact on your blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is over 130/80 and you are over 65 you will likely receive a recommendation from your doctor to go on prescription medication.
Final Thoughts From The CBD Guru on CBD and Blood Pressure
Research has shown that CBD is a natural remedy that may help to reduce blood pressure. If you are going to take CBD solely for the purpose of lowering your blood pressure you should probably set your expectations low. The evidence points toward a reduction of around 5mmHG. While that is not insignificant, it does mean that it may be a little less, or possibly a little more for you.
Hypertension can be a serious long term issue and we recommend seeking the advice of a medical expert if you suspect you have high blood pressure. There are lifestyle changes that you can try that may help reduce blood pressure or you may need to seek prescription medication.
We always prefer to go a natural route whenever possible, which is why CBD may be a viable option to help you lower your blood pressure.
Something to keep in mind is that it can be expensive. To achieve a 5mmHG drop in blood pressure for the test patients they had to use 600mg of CBD. That type of CBD use is not dangerous but it can get expensive quite quickly.