3 Ways to Use CBD Oil to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

CBD oil used to treat cardiovascular disease.

Image Credit: By AlessandroBiascioli on shutterstock.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, 610,000 people die of heart disease. That’s one out of every four deaths. Annually, 730,000 Americans have a heart attack. First-time heart attack sufferers make up 525,000 of these. The remaining 210,000 happen to people who have had a prior attack. Men and women are both highly susceptible.

What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) generally refers to a condition affecting the heart muscle and blood vessels. CVD is instigated by a common process called atherosclerosis. It is characterized by the build-up of fatty deposits (plaque) on the walls of our arteries. It increases chances of blood clots.

The development of blood clots will prevent blood flow. The buildup narrows the artery, a pathway for blood. This will lead to cardiovascular diseases. There are four main types of heart disease, including:

  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood is blocked or reduced. It can lead to angina, meaning restrained blood flow which will result in chest pain. It can also lead to a heart attack and heart failure. CHD is the most common type of cardiovascular disease. It kills over 370,000 people annually. That is over half of heart disease related deaths.
  • Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut-off. Another condition of it is the transient ischaemic attack (also known as TIA or “mini-stroke”), where the disruption of the blood is only temporary. Heart disease and stroke often go hand-in-hand. Symptoms of TIA make up the acronym FAST. It breaks down as such:
    1. Face (eye and mouth fall downward)
    2. Arms (unable to lift)
    3. Speech (slurred, garbled, or unable to talk at all)
    4. Time to call for help if you see any of these signs
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease is when blockage of the arteries to the limbs (usually the legs) occurs. This event can cause the following:
    1. Cramping leg pain (worse when walking and better at rest)
    2. Numbness and weakness of the legs; there is hair loss for both legs and feet
    3. Persistent ulcers (open sores) on feet and legs
  • Aortic Disease is a condition that affects the aorta (the largest blood vessel in our body). It prevents the pumping of blood from the heart to the rest of our body. It can lead to an aortic aneurysm where the aorta is weakened and bulges upward. An abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) can also happen. Symptoms may include:
    1. Fluttering in our chest
    2. Increased heartbeat (tachycardia)
    3. Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
    4. Lightheadedness
    5. Shortness of breath
    6. Dizziness
    7. Fainting or near fainting

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

What causes CVD in the first place? There is no apparent reason for why it occurs, but there are risk factors experts consider triggers for heart disease. Risks of heart disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension) can cause damage to the blood vessels.
  • Smoking can narrow the blood vessels.
  • High Cholesterol will narrow the blood vessels because of fatty substance and can lead to developing a blood clot.
  • Diabetes will be likely to narrow blood vessels because of high blood sugar levels.
  • Physical inactivity can lead to most of these risk factors. It’d be best to exercise regularly.
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risks of having high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Family History is also a risk factor. A person is considered to have a family history if his/her father or brother was diagnosed with CVD under 55 or mother or sister under 65 years of age.
  • Other risk factors include age (usually over 50 years old), gender (men at an earlier age than women), an unhealthy diet, too much stress and alcohol.

Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

To prevent CVD, we must consider avoiding risk factors. Before warning signs and symptoms, you can lessen your chances by educating yourself on health topics. The best way to avoid sudden cardiac death is a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle changes can include:

  • Stop Smoking
  • Have a balanced diet (include low levels of saturated fat, salt, and sugar and add plenty of fiber, whole grain, fruits, and vegetables)
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Cut down alcohol
  • Ask your doctor for medication, if needed, for conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol to control and lessen other risk factors

How Can CBD Help?

Have you heard of medical marijuana? Its reputation may precede the plant. There are so many chemical compounds we can find in the cannabis plant, called cannabinoids. There are two primarily used as medicines: Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is an intoxicant and therefore non-psychoactive, unlike THC that gives the user the“high” feeling associated with marijuana.

Within the endocannabinoid system (ECS), there are two primary cannabinoid receptors in our bodies: CB1 and CB2. CBD and THC connect to the cannabinoid receptors in our body. Although CBD indirectly binds while THC directly binds to CB1. CB1 is located in the brain and spine, or the central nervous system, explaining it’s psychoactive effect. CBD has a range of properties, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Anxiolytic
  • Anti-nausea

The exciting potential health benefits of CBD’s effects made it come to researcher’s attention. The illegality of cannabis stunted research until it was found THC was the sole psychoactive cannabinoid. There are current aims to use it in medications to help treat anxiety, depression, acne, eczema, cancer and more.

Treating heart conditions can be tricky. We have to take precautions when applying treatments to one of the most hardworking parts of our body. So how can CBD oil help in treating cardiovascular conditions? Well, this question is a little bit tricky since studies about it are still ongoing. Regardless, we’ll give you an idea on how it might help.

CBD has a direct effect on isolated arteries, resulting in vasorelaxation. This means CBD is an effective vasorelaxant. Vasorelaxation increases the blood flow and protection from glucose.

One study on hypotension (low blood pressure) and hypertension (high blood pressure) used CBD oil. It suggested inconsistency in the regulation of the vascular system. Another study was for treating stroke. It was successful, but we have to take into consideration that it was preclinical. Preclinical meaning it was tested on an animal and not on a human being. Clinical trials on CBD and heart disease are now in progress though.

Three Ways to Use CBD Oil to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Listed below are some ways you can use CBD oil to prevent heart disease. Whichever you choose, the oil is low risk, with few to no side effects, and very tolerable.

  • Smoking: We can use CBD oil by adding a few drops in our vape. The effect will be immediate and will last for a few hours.
  • Orally: We can put a few drops under the tongue for 90 seconds and achieve the same effect. It was last for a few hours.
  • Eating: We can infuse our meals with CBD oil. The effect may not be immediate, but it would last the longest, for about 8 hours maximum.

As, the studies on CBD and its benefits are still ongoing we cannot assure level of effects. As promising as it CBD sounds, we still have to wait on the progress of these studies. If you want to treat yourself with CBD, you should first communicate with your doctor. You should also be sure to check your local state or national laws to ensure you are not partaking in illegal activity.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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