Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women, killing a person every 37 seconds in the United States alone. Heart disease is the result of the cardiovascular system not working efficiently when the blood vessels harden and plaque accumulates over time.
Treating this medical condition is the job of thousands of medical professionals who work to prevent patients from suffering from fatal strokes or heart attacks. However, the medication to treat heart disease comes with a list of side effects that can cause other complications, so a safer alternative is ideal.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but before expanding on how it affects your body, it is important to know that it will not make you high. Two main natural compounds are extracted from the cannabis plant. There is CBD, also known as cannabinol and THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol.
THC has psychoactive properties, and it will make you high. On the other hand, CBD does not have psychoactive properties. Accordingly, products such as CBD oil or edibles such as gummies with minimal THC levels can be taken safely without fear of getting high.
With its positive traits, researchers are analyzing this compound to see if it is a safer option when compared to traditional treatment prescribed for heart disease. CBD has similar properties to the ECS found in our bodies and manages critical functions such as appetite, mood, sleep, temperature, reproductive systems, immune systems, and more. In a nutshell, the ECS’s goal is to create homeostasis, thus achieving the right balance in your body for optimal function.
While CBD does not directly work with your cardiovascular system, it does have positive benefits on lowering the risk of heart disease thanks to the way it interacts with the ECS.
How is CBD Helpful to Patients with Heart Disease?
Research on CBD is limited since researchers usually have to conduct tests on animals, rather than people. However, early studies are showing the benefits of CBD on patients with heart disease. These include:
- Reducing irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing inflammation
Heart arrhythmias happen when the electrical impulses in your body help coordinate your heartbeats when they aren’t working as they should. As a result, it can beat slower, faster, or irregular. While some heart arrhythmias are harmless, others can be life-threatening.
In one study on rats, researchers noted the positive effect of CBD on arrhythmias. It was noted how CBD is “cardioprotective” by lowering ventricular arrhythmias. They concluded that CBD could help with the antiarrhythmic effect.
Lowering Blood Pressure
High blood pressure creates damage to the body for years before you even start feeling symptoms. Hypertension can damage or narrow your arteries due to the high pressure inside your body.
When blood vessels’ pressure occurs for years, it can start forming bulges, known as aneurysms. If one of these bulges ruptures, internal bleeding would be the result that could lead to fatal consequences. High blood pressure may also be the culprit of an enlarged heart when it’s forced to work harder to pump blood, leading to a higher risk of a heart attack. Hypertension can also cause heart failure and coronary artery disease, both of which lead to chest pains and heart attacks.
Lowering your blood pressure is, therefore, crucial to reducing your risk of heart disease and this is where CBD can help. Researchers have found that CBD can lower blood pressure by widening blood vessels and enabling the blood to flow more easily. During a 2017 study, researchers learned that one dose of CBD reduced blood pressure in healthy participants.
Researchers have already noted the benefits of CBD on inflammation-causing diseases such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis. CBD can also be of benefit when it comes to the inflammation of the heart.
One report conducted by researchers at the Imperial College London noted how CBD contains significant anti-inflammatory properties, even higher than the usual contenders such as antioxidants, Omega-3 and vitamin C. When mice were given 5 mg of CBD, their inflammation was diminished by 50 percent.
Using CBD the Right Way
As with any other form of medication, doses will vary from one person to the next, even when it comes to consuming CBD. Ideally, it’s always best to consult a medical professional before taking CBD, especially if you are already suffering from a form of heart disease and you are taking medication.
CBD could affect your current medication and lead to complications. Moreover, a professional can guide you into choosing the right CBD for you, as some can still contain a high percentage of THC.
Furthermore, CBD should not be the only answer to your heart disease problems. A healthy diet is critical to remain healthy as is regular exercise and enjoying days when stress and anxiety are not present.