CBD oil has made headlines in recent years by offering a natural alternative to medications for a wide range of treatments. People use CBD for a range of benefits, from relieving pain to reducing the risk of seizures. Keep in mind that using CBD oil for blood pressure only helps those with high blood pressure. It would likely worsen the situation for those with lower blood pressure.
What to Know About CBD Oil
CBD oil contains CBD, cannabidiol, as its primary active ingredient. Cannabidiol is associated with the previously mentioned benefits, including controlling blood pressure.
Comparing CBD and THC
CBD comes from cannabis plants and is one of more than 100 cannabinoids that occur naturally within the plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, contrasting with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another major cannabinoid. THC is the largest factor contributing to the high associated with using cannabis. By contrast, consuming CBD without any THC does not produce those effects.
This means that nearly everyone should be able to function as they normally do when taking CBD. The lack of high lets you continue with work, school, and other commitments without a decrease in performance. It also makes CBD oil safe to take, even for those who must pass regular or random drug tests.
Including or Excluding THC
Just keep in mind that for CBD oil to be non-psychoactive, it must not contain any THC. Products containing CBD isolates do not have THC, while full-spectrum CBD products will. Any product you buy should also state the percentage of THC, information which you can also get from its certificate of analysis.
Some people who use CBD oil for blood pressure or other uses prefer small quantities of THC. This is due to the entourage effect, which means that THC and CBD working together produce stronger benefits than just CBD alone.
What to Know About Blood Pressure Problems
When it comes to blood pressure issues, CBD treats hypertension, which is elevated blood pressure.
Most people have high blood pressure at some point in their lives. It is particularly common to occur over time, affecting people as they get older.
What Causes It
Multiple factors work together to create a risk of high blood pressure. Eating too much fat or salt can play an important role. Family genetics are also a significant risk factor.
With high blood pressure, the walls of your arteries accumulate plaque, causing them to narrow. This can also cause weakening of crucial blood vessels. Those vessels can then clot, rupture, or leak, leading to heart attacks and other serious consequences.
Risks of High Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure comes with an increased risk of multiple issues, like strokes, blood clots, heart attacks, and Alzheimer’s disease. High blood pressure can also increase the risk of aneurysms, narrowed or weakened kidney blood vessels that stop the kidneys from proper functioning, vision loss from torn or narrowed blood vessels in the eyes, difficulty with memory, dementia, and metabolic syndrome.
The last of these is a group of disorders related to the metabolism, with symptoms like low “good” cholesterol, high triglycerides, increased waist circumference, high insulin levels, and high blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Blood Pressure
In addition to using CBD to reduce blood pressure, you can make some other simple lifestyle changes to minimize hypertension. Start by adjusting your diet to be healthier. Try to reduce your intake of fat, salt, and cholesterol, as this reduces plaque build-up in the arteries.
You should also make sure to exercise regularly, as this strengthens your heart. Even a daily half-hour walk can have a positive impact. Also, work to manage stress, as stress can worsen your heart health and increase your blood pressure.
Traditional Blood Pressure Medications and Their Side Effects
While there are many hypertension medications available, they all come with side effects. By contrast, taking CBD oil for blood pressure has minimal side effects.
The common Angiotensin II receptor blockers (known as ARBs), such as Diovan, dilate blood vessels to fight high blood pressure. Their potential side effects include skin rashes, joint and back pain, flu-like symptoms, nausea, headaches, and diarrhea.
Metoprolol beta-blockers are also common, including Toprol-XL and Lopressor. These slow the heart rate to help with hypertension and the risk of a heart attack. However, they can cause diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, shortness of breath, and decreased libido.
Finally, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), including Vasotec and Benazepril, prevent narrowing of blood vessels. Their potential side effects include skin rash, dry cough, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea.
The common theme is that the medications control blood pressure but at the cost of bringing a range of other problems.
By contrast, CBD has very minimal side effects with nearly everyone tolerating it well. The World Health Organization indicates it has a good safety profile.
How CBD Helps with Blood Pressure
Some people want to understand how CBD helps with blood pressure instead of just accepting the fact that it does. When you consume CBD oil, it dilates or widens your blood vessels. Wider blood vessels allow for the blood to flow through more easily, even if there is plaque build-up on your arterial walls. The result is a reduction in overall blood pressure. By helping with blood pressure, CBD can also improve overall heart health and improve the heart rate.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism completed a study showing that the endocannabinoids, including cannabinoids, suppress heart contractility in those with hypertension. This leaves room open for treatments that target the endocannabinoid system, like CBD and other cannabinoids. Other research indicates that anandamide, which our body’s natural equivalent of THC, can relax blood vessels.
Recent Studies on CBD for Blood Pressure
Humans have used cannabis for at least centuries, if not thousands of years, to treat a range of conditions. In recent years, scientists have conducted studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD and other cannabinoids for treating blood pressure and other conditions.
University of Nottingham Study (2017)
In 2017, the University of Nottingham’s Division of Medical Sciences & Graduate Entry Medicine conducted a study to test how CBD impacts blood pressure. The study found that giving healthy volunteers just a single dose of CBD in a randomized manner reduced blood pressure. The study concluded that CBD lowers the resting blood pressure, as well as the potential increase of blood pressure due to stress. The study did indicate that further research is necessary to connect the CBD’s ability to treat cardiovascular disease firmly.
25-Study Review (2017)
This in-depth review examined 25 previous studies that looked at the interactions between CBD oil and blood flow dynamics, known as hemodynamics. The conclusion was that more research is necessary, but it seems that CBD can be used to treat a range of cardiovascular disorders. The review specifically mentioned using CBD to treat hypertension, stroke, and myocardial infarction.
CBD Can Lower Cortisol (1993)
A 1993 study from the University of San Paolo in Brazil in 1993 showed a positive interaction between CBD and cortisol. For those unfamiliar with it, cortisol is the “stress hormone” that your body releases when stressed. High levels of cortisol can increase your blood pressure, which is why stress causes high blood pressure. This 1993 study found that taking CBD lowered the cortisol levels of subjects.
By lowering cortisol, CBD oil can keep blood pressure within the desired range, based on this study. The study also indicates the potential of CBD for relieving stress via regulating your body’s cortisol excretion.
How Much CBD to Take for Blood Pressure
Everyone reacts differently to cannabidiol, so the ideal dose for managing your blood pressure is not the same as someone else’s ideal dose. As such, you should expect some trial and error. The single dose of CBD depends on factors like your weight, metabolism, genetics, and the extent of your hypertension.
Although recommendations for dosing vary, the consensus is that you should start with a small dose and work your way up. This minimizes the risk of side effects and saves you money thanks to the smaller doses. If you need to, increase the dosage slowly. You should find your ideal dose shortly.
Look at the Product Instructions
To get an idea of the proper CBD dosing, read the label and other information that comes with the product. Many have dosage suggestions, although this is not always the case.
One common suggestion for dosing of CBD is to take 25 mg twice every day. Others suggest between 10 and 20 mg one or two times per day. This would be the starting point, and you can increase your dosage if you need to.
There is also a common suggestion of calculating your dosage based on your weight. With this method, you would start with between 1 and 6 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds you weigh. Choose whether you go with 1 milligram, 6 milligrams, or somewhere in between based on the severity of your hypertension. Start with the lower end of the spectrum and work up to the higher end if necessary.
How to Take CBD for Blood Pressure
You can choose from multiple methods of taking CBD oil as this cannabidiol oil is available in various forms, depending on your preferences.
Drops and Tinctures
One of the most common options for taking CBD oil for blood pressure is via drops or tinctures. You typically place a drop or two under your tongue, offering simple oral administration. Many people like this method because of the convenience associated with storing and traveling with the oil.
The bloodstream absorbs the CBD almost immediately, so you experience the relief within 30 to 60 minutes. The effects associated with this method can last four to six hours.
The biggest disadvantage of this method is the taste. Hemp frequently has earthy and natural flavors that are sometimes bitter. You may not like this flavor. You can overcome this with flavored tinctures, but those versions may contain chemicals that you do not want to consume.
Capsules offer a convenient method of consuming CBD for your blood pressure. Capsules come pre-dosed, so you do not have to worry about taking the right amount of cannabidiol. They are also highly convenient and easy to transport.
The effects when taking a capsule are slightly delayed since the capsule has to go through the digestive system before your bloodstream absorbs it. This can take 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your metabolism and what you have recently eaten. However, the results last longer, typically between 6 and 12 hours.
When most people think of cannabis edibles, they picture homemade items, but you can find pre-dosed CBD edibles with or without the THC content. These are most commonly found in the form of gummies, but you can find other options, as well. Each gummy, or another item, have a pre-dosed amount, taking out the guesswork.
Edibles are similar to CBD capsules but are in a different form. You have to wait about 20 minutes to an hour for the effects to begin, but then they last 6 to 12 hours. The gummies and other CBD edibles are highly transportable and convenient, as well.
For those who want to get the CBD oil into their system as quickly as possible, vapes are the best option. Vaping lets the CBD oil into your bloodstream via your lungs. This allows for quick absorption and feeling the effects within minutes.
The downside of vaping CBD oil is that the effects do not last as long. It lasts between 30 minutes and two hours. However, the good news is that when the dose begins to wear off, you can take a new one almost right away.
The other disadvantage of vaping CBD oil is the difficulty in calculating dosage. Your vape product tells you how much cannabidiol is in every inhale. The issue is that everyone inhales slightly differently. Luckily, you can overcome this with trial and error. Within a few uses of CBD vape oil, you should have a better idea of dosing.
Potential Side Effects of CBD
There are a few potential side effects of CBD, but they are uncommon. The side effects of CBD are much less common than the effects associated with most pharmaceutical medications, especially those treating high blood pressure.
Potential side effects include irritability, nausea, diarrhea, changes in weight, changes in appetite, and fatigue.
Consult Your Doctor First If You Currently Take Medications
If you are currently on any prescription medications, then you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist about potential drug interactions before you take CBD oil. CBD can interact with several types of medications, including antibiotics and antidepressants. To be safe, confirm with your doctor if CBD does not reduce the effectiveness of your current medications or interact with it to cause side effects. You should also talk to your doctor about whether CBD would impact other current medical conditions.
For example, if you take Coumadin, a blood thinner, CBD may increase the level of this medicine in your blood. Additionally, if you take any medication that should not be consumed with grapefruit, CBD may interact with it in the same way as grapefruit would. Both CBD and grapefruit interfere with the same specific enzymes involved in drug metabolism.
Long-Term Safety of CBD Oil for Blood Pressure
Because of the legal gray area regarding CBD, experts need to complete more research on the long-term effects associated with the use of CBD. There has not yet been enough time for researchers to conduct the ideal type of longitudinal studies. One study published in Pharmacology back in 1980 looked at cannabidiol consumption in epileptic patients and healthy volunteers. After a month of taking CBD daily, participants from neither category experienced any serious side effects, health issues, or indications of toxicity.
Recent research is still lacking in this respect. However, there do not seem to be any negative long-term effects of taking CBD oil so far.
Buy Your CBD Oil from a Reputable Source
While CBD oil is safe and you are unlikely to experience side effects, you should keep in mind that the FDA does not regulate it. Instead, the FDA treats it as a supplement.
This means that you are responsible for researching any CBD products you choose to use. Confirm that the company has a solid reputation and look for a certificate of analysis. The best CBD companies have third-party testing information for all of their products, complete with certificates of analysis. Most offer this information on their website in a readily accessible spot. Some may require you to email them for the analysis.
Always look at the certificate of analysis before buying a new product for the first time. This confirms that CBD oil is free from harmful substances, such as heavy metals. It also confirms the ingredients and the quantities of CBD and THC.
Other Health Benefits of CBD Oil
As mentioned, reducing blood pressure is far from the only benefit associated with CBD oil. Pain relief is among the most common, although CBD is also linked with controlling seizures and having anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some of the more important other benefits associated with cannabidiol.
CBD can help treat some of the worst types of seizure disorders that exist, including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, both of which affect children and do not normally respond to traditional medications for treating seizures.
Even the FDA recognizes the ability of CBD to treat seizure disorders. The first cannabis-derived medication it approved is Epidolex, which treats these conditions. That medication contains CBD.
Treating Anxiety and Depression
Those who suffer from anxiety experience relief with CBD. One study showed this effect on public speaking, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence.
One of the most popular uses of CBD oil is its ability to reduce chronic pain. Animal studies, including one in the European Journal of Pain, show that topically applied CBD can reduce inflammation and pain from arthritis. Other studies show that CBD can reduce neuropathic and inflammatory pain. This is crucial as those are two of the hardest types of pain to treat.
Some countries approved Sativex, an oral spray with CBD and THC. This spray effectively treats the pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
Treating Symptoms Associated with Cancer
There is much overlap between the issues CBD can treat and the symptoms of cancer. As such, CBD does well at treating many symptoms associated with cancer. These include treating vomiting, pain, and nausea. It is particularly useful at relieving nausea from chemotherapy.
There is also some evidence that CBD can reduce acne. Specifically, CBD reduces the inflammation associated with excessive sebum production. Since excessive production of sebum is a key cause of acne, this can reduce the condition.
Protecting the Brain
Some research indicates that cannabidiol has neuroprotective properties that can help it treat neurological disorders. This is a combination of its ability to treat epilepsy and the pain associated with multiple sclerosis. There is also some early research showing that CBD treatment improves sleep quality and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Some test-tube research even indicates it may delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
CBD successfully reduced inflammation in diabetic mice in one study. It also reduced the diabetes incidence, showing promise in treating diabetes in humans.
May Fight Cancer
Although the research is still very early, there are some signs that CBD may help fight the growth of cancer cells. This applies to both animal studies and test-tube studies. The animal studies specifically showed promise with treating cancer in the lungs, colon, brain, prostate, and breast.
Overcoming Substance Abuse
There is some evidence that using CBD can help those with addiction overcome their substance abuse. A study involving rats showed CBD reduced heroin-seeking behavior and reduced morphine dependence.
The Legality of CBD Oil
Because cannabidiol comes from the cannabis plant, it is natural to wonder whether it is legal. This is actually more complicated than it may seem at first since every state has its own requirements. In most parts of the United States, CBD is perfectly legal — or at least easy to get.
The caveat is that the federal government includes CBD with marijuana as a Substance I drug in terms of regulation. However, the government rarely enforces the law regarding CBD because of its benefits and its lack of psychoactive effects and side effects.
Even more confusing, regulations vary depending on if you have CBD from hemp than CBD from marijuana. The former is legal at the federal level, while the latter is not. Typically, if your CBD does not contain THC, it should be legal, although there are exceptions. CBD oil with less than 0.3 percent THC is also legal in many areas, as the hemp laws apply, not the marijuana laws.
To ensure you do not break any laws, you should spend a few minutes before buying CBD to confirm that it is legal in your state or jurisdiction. If your state only allows medical marijuana, get any documentation required for using CBD before you order it.
Finding the Best CBD Oil for Blood Pressure
Knowing that CBD oil can help with blood pressure is a good start, but you also need to find the ideal product for your needs. In the search for the best CBD oil, pay attention to the following factors.
Certificates of Analysis from an Independent Lab
As mentioned earlier, most reputable CBD retailers offer certificates of analysis or similar documentation. You should always choose a company that has this information available and focus on those that offer independent testing from third-party companies. In-house testing is better than nothing but could come with an inherent bias. If a company has no testing on its products, then stay away. The products may be perfectly safe, but it may also have something to hide.
The dosage of the CBD should also play a role in your decision.
If you are starting to take CBD oil for blood pressure, you should try a method like a tincture or drops which allows you to adjust the dose easily and deliver the exact dosage. Tinctures and liquids tend to make it easiest to adjust doses. If you were to use gummies or capsules, you would only be able to double or triple the dose, not increase it by fractions. If you prefer those methods, you could also try taking a capsule or gummy, then supplementing it with a bit of tincture.
You should consider the ingredients in your cannabidiol oil, as well. Many products will only have CBD extract and carrier oil. If you opt for capsules, gummies, or flavored options, there will be more ingredients. Ensure that there are no harmful ingredients. You should also opt for CBD from hemp grown without chemicals, as the residues may remain in the CBD extract.
You also need to decide whether you want a CBD oil that contains THC (like cannabis). This depends on your local laws, whether you need to pass drug tests, or if you drive or operate heavy machinery, or what your preferences are.
Some Top CBD Oils for Blood Pressure
To get you started in your search, here are some of the top CBD oils for blood pressure on the market:
Medterra CBD Gel Capsules: For those who prefer their CBD in capsules, this is a good option. You have a choice of 25 or 50 milligrams per capsule. The same company also offers tinctures and more.
NuLeaf Naturals 240-milligram Cannabidiol .17 fluid ounces: This is one of several concentrations from NuLeaf Naturals. As the lowest concentration, it is the company’s best option for those new to CBD oil. The product is lab-tested and fully organic. It is full-spectrum, so it contains THC in small quantities.
Spruce 750-milligram Lab Grade CBD Oil: A full dropper of this CBD oil delivers 25 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD. The company also offers a higher-potency version.
CBD oil is a natural method of reducing your blood pressure, helping patients control hypertension. It is available in multiple forms and is non-psychoactive. You can supplement it with other lifestyle changes to avoid the harmful effects of pharmaceutical drugs. If you take CBD oil for blood pressure, be sure to monitor your blood pressure regularly to ensure you effectively manage your levels.
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