When it comes to the cardiovascular system, both men and women are affected by heart disease as a result of hardened blood vessels and plaque build up. Treatment and prevention of fatal strokes and heart attacks has been the focus for medical professionals for many years. Heart disease is the leading cause of death, killing a person every 37 seconds in the United States alone. However, the medications used to treat heart disease each come with a list of side effects that can cause other complications. Finding a safer alternative is ideal and this is why CBD (cannabidiol) shows so much promise.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil derived from cannabis, is a popular natural remedy for many ailments. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, both of which are substances found in cannabis plants. CBD does not produce the “high” sensation associated with cannabis. Laws passed in 2018 made it legal to sell hemp and hemp products in the US. Today, CBD can be found in various products online and in stores, including dietary supplements, bath soaks, drinks, and food.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
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. 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. 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 body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD has similar properties to the ECS which 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 the body for optimal function.
Is CBD Safe for Heart Patients?
It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD if you have a heart condition or are taking any medications. CBD can inhibit the activity of enzymes in the liver responsible for metabolizing certain medications, potentially affecting their effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. However, there are many benefits that have helped patients reduce heart disease symptoms with CBD treatment.
Improving Heart Health with CBD
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 benefits 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 experience high pressure for years, they start forming bulges, known as aneurysms. If one of these bulges ruptures, the result is internal bleeding that could lead to fatal consequences. High blood pressure may also be the culprit of an enlarged heart which must 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.
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 also noted the benefits of CBD on inflammation-causing diseases such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis. CBD can also be used to reduce inflammation in 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 working to reduce stress and anxiety.
Experience Holistic Heart Healing with Dr. Cynthia
Dr. Cynthia Thaik, MD, a Harvard-trained Los Angeles cardiologist, brings the art of healing to life through her compassionate and integrative approach. With a focus on nutrition, fitness, and spiritual well-being, she empowers her patients to replace stress with inner calm, fostering true health and vitality. Experience the transformative power of Dr. Cynthia’s holistic methods as she guides you towards a vibrant heart and a life filled with joy, energy, and lasting well-being. Schedule your consultation today!