Everybody tells you to slow down, reduce your salt intake, avoid red meat etc. If you score too high just once on a blood-pressure test. You’re one cheeseburger or slice of bacon away from your first heart attack, your uppity sister-in-law warns you. No kidding, you don’t have to be an MD to know about BP. But, does your MD know about CBD? No? You can share the good news with everybody else, and now you can be the know-it-all at the family reunion.
CBD is the abbreviation for the cannabinoid from the cannabis and hemp plants known as Cannabidiol. It does not provide a psychoactive high like THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is naturally found within the cannabis plant. Rather it is known to have a wide array of inflammatory based treatment properties, including the lowering of blood pressure. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, affects 1 in 3 Americans over the age of 20–or 80 million adults in the United States.
That’s a staggering figure. This diagnosis means that for a third of the American population, the veins and arteries are getting an overload of pressure exerted on their walls–causing stress on the cardiovascular system–arteries can burst or clog more easily. Over a long period of time, hypertension erodes heart health. It might be unnerving to discover that what someone might tell you are telltale symptoms of hypertension are actually myths. That is because hypertension is a silent killer. In and of itself, high blood pressure (HBP) is mostly symptom less.
Although, hypertension does eventually erode cardiovascular health in a number of ways, including stroke. One of the leading causes of stroke is hypertension. The most common sort of stroke is an ischemic stroke. Strokes are blocked arteries in the brain–which cuts off the blood flow to the brain where specific functions are performed.
The symptoms of stroke are:
These are all worrying symptoms of course, and sounds like getting a diagnosis of hypertension might be more than just a bit of bad news. However the good news is that studies and further research into the use of cannabis for treating illnesses is still being carried out. The Journal of Clinical Investigations is publishing reports on studies into the use of CBD for reducing (treating?) blood pressure. The best thing about this study is that it is one of the few studies carried out on humans. Most use mice or rats.
What Was the Study and Its Findings?
These findings further support the anecdotal claims as well as other scientific findings that CBD has a direct influence (anxiolytic and analgesic effects) on our cardiovascular functions. However for this specific finding to lead to treatment for hypertension further research would be required.
The human body itself has a system of compounds and corresponding receptors called the “endocannabinoid” system; phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants) like CBD, are chemically nearly identical to the endocannabinoids produced by the human body. This is good news because our body produces endocannabinoids–but in modern times, it seems our bodies are constantly depleted of these endogenous compounds. A natural source of cannabinoids are found in the Cannabis sativa L plants–such as marijuana and industrial hemp. One of the main endocannabinoids scientists discovered in recent decades is anandamide.
There is also evidence that shows that anandamide might be metabolized more quickly that cannabidiol–or CBD. This might suggest that CBD has the ability to stay in the tissues longer than this endogenous compound– multiplying its natural therapeutic effects. CBD seems to so many potentially healthy effects because it acts as an aid to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) for its regulatory duties. In other words CBD stimulates and interacts with receptors within our ECS influence the uptake or blocking or various neurotransmitters and compounds release by our brains and other organs.
As mentioned before the phytocannabinoids which are cannabinoids from plants are almost identical to our own endocannabinoids and how they help or hinder our bodies. It is theorized that this is the reason why cannabinoids like CBD and THC are so influential within us. Even if they can provide potential benefits or some minor side effects. Also, it appears that the antioxidant properties of CBD play a key role in preventing clots or ischemia from a buildup of cholesterol. The article states that “the trans and saturated fats found in some foods, and the nicotine in cigarettes are toxins in the body. These toxins can cross the blood vessels, which will be attacked by the leukocytes of the immune system.
The resulting clumping of the leukocytes, their debris, and the leftover toxins become the plaque that adheres to the blood vessels.” While cannabidiol helps decrease blood pressure, it also appears to have the ability to prevent a blood clot before it even forms, which is why findings about CBD’s ability to lower blood cholesterol are so promising. Although, it may not be directly due to the CBD within the oils, but due to the other essential oils that are included within them. For example some studies have found the ever popular Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which we have been told for years to take, can lower our cholesterol levels and improve our metabolism. This lowering of our cholesterol is understood in many professional medical circles to lower blood pressure and even attribute towards insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, which could have potential uses within the diabetes treatment area.
Given the fact that so many people suffering from hypertension are taking a variety of prescriptions with as many side effects as benefits, it only seems natural to investigate an herbal extract (yes, that what it is—an herbal extract rather than a synthetic drug from Big Pharma) that offers something everybody is looking for: good health. Given the many potential benefits of CBD for people suffering from a wide variety of acute and chronic ailments, such as cardio and circulatory problems to back pain.
This interesting compound derived from the cannabis plant offers a glimmer of hope where hope is in short supply. To ensure blood pressure is kept at optimum levels–along with a healthy diet, quality sleep, exercise, and reducing negative stressors–CBD may be a wise addition to a regimen for long term heart and cardiovascular health. And that may be just the best news of all for people who are constantly being told that the Grim Reaper–in the form of high blood pressure–is stalking them, even at family reunions.